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Comcast going local in web jam clearing efforts

updated 05:15 pm EDT, Wed June 4, 2008

Comcast starts local tests

Comcast's latest attempt to curb bandwidth bandits will see the Internet and cable TV provider perform local tests to help it decide which method of traffic management it should undertake. The company announced on Tuesday it will be conducting one month-long tests in local neighborhoods, starting tomorrow in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, and Warrenton, Virginia, with another test planned in Colorado Springs, Colorado, later on this summer.

In the past, the company limited speeds (throttled) or otherwise inconvenienced customers that used file sharing programs, a practice which attracted the FCC's attention. More recently, the practice was stopped, and the company announced it would develop a new system that would focus on individuals rather than formats. Comcast defended the moves by saying users who download hundreds of gigabytes from torrent sites and other file sharing programs slow down the majority of other, more casual subscribers who simply surf the Internet and use e-mail.

In the test areas, heavy bandwidth users may notice slowdowns in their connection speeds, Comcast warns, though all subscribers in the areas will be notified of the test by email. Unlike in the past, where the company's efforts were kept secret, Comcast promises a "full" and "transparent" notification of the web traffic management method that will be adopted nationwide by year's end.

by MacNN Staff





  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    wouldn't it be great if..

    they did something crazy like: a) have this plan for the iPhone [so it auto-selects between wifi and 2/3g], b) permit tethering the iPhone to your laptop via BlueTooth so you have an always-on net connection. Heck, this would probably reduce their support calls AND costs, as they don't have to keep writing/updating drivers for MacOS X and Windows for a computer-only device.

    Oh, sorry, I forgot that bits consumed by a computer are fundamentally different from bits consumed by a phone.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Buying Bandwidth

    People are shopping around for the best bandwidth for the dollar. If Comcast cheats them out of that bandwidth, then Comcast can't complain if all their customers move elsewhere.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Comcast Still Throttles

    Comcast has not ceased throttling downloads, no matter what they say. I've had downloads throttled to the extent that what should have taken an hour, tops, has taken 2 days. If Comcast says that they have ceased this practice then they are flat out lying.

  1. dimmer

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I'm sorry but using the bandwidth you bought and paid for does NOT make you a "bandit" or a "thief" -- if anything Comcast selling you one service and delivering another is the immoral practice.

  1. jdonahoe

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Refunds are due

    If "most" people are only surfing the internet and reading email, then I think Comcast owes them a refund. Charging $45 for minor use of bandwidth is a ripoff. AT&T's DSL is tiered, why not Comcast.

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