Comcast Blocking Certain Types of Internet Traffic
From our 'so much for Net Neutrality' department comes a story from the Associated Press, which assigned a reporter to see if there was any validity to recent accusations that Comcast, the cable TV and Internet provider, is throttling and/or blocking file-sharing on its networks.
The AP turned to the Bible, which is public domain and legal to share. The tests were run from two different PCs in the Philadelphia and San Francisco areas. The reporter found that two out of three times, the peer-to-peer BitTorrent transfer was blocked completely. The third time the transfer only started after a 10-minute delay.
Control tests were run on other providers, Cablevision and Time Warner Cable, and no blockage or throttling was documented in those tests.
You can read more about exactly how Comcast blocked traffic on AP's more extensive story here, but suffice it to say that future blockage could be applied to more legit sites and services such as Joost, Skype, and online-video-rental-service Vudu.
This is exactly the sort of heavy handed tactic proponents of Net Neutrality have feared, and the widespread reporting may help bring the issue of Net Neutrality into the limelight.
From BetaNews and the AP
For further reading on Net Neutrality, visit these sites:
- Follow up From AP
- Save the Internet - An organization pushing for legislation requiring Net Neutrality
- Google Guide to Net Neutrality
- News.com - Net Neutrality Showdown
- Iran Blocks Access to Google and Gmail
- Is it Wrong to Block Web Site Ads?
- AT&T Admits Error In Censoring Pearl Jam Song