2/13/2008

Comcast defends Internet practices

Filed under: — By Aviran Mordo @ 4:00 am

Comcast Corp. told the Federal Communications Commission in formal comments Tuesday that hampering some file-sharing by its subscribers was a justifiable way to keep Web traffic flowing for everyone.

The comments are the fullest accounting yet of how Comcast manages its network.

Comcast’s network management is the subject of formal complaints to the FCC from consumer groups and law professors.

The groups say Comcast has breached the principle, known as “‘Net Neutrality,” of treating all Internet traffic equally. They also say the company was hampering movie downloading services because they might compete with Comcast’s cable TV business.

Comcast says it must curb some file-sharing traffic because some subscribers would otherwise hog the cables with their uploads and slow traffic in their neighborhood.

The company - the country’s second-largest Internet service provider - also said it was justified in using “reset” packets to break off communications between two computers.

Comcast sometimes inserts these packets in the data stream to kill a file-sharing session. The move “fools” each computer into believing the other computer wants to end the connection.

The return addresses of Comcast’s packets indicate they’re from one of the file-sharing computers when they are in fact from Comcast.

 

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