updated 05:40 pm EDT, Wed August 20, 2008
Comcast Time Throttling
Comcast's proposed software-independent throttling method will involve time-based slowdowns of Internet service, company senior VP Mitch Bowling says in an interview with Bloomberg. The new method will actively monitor subscribers' overall cable Internet connection use and slow it down for between 10 to 20 minutes if a user is creating a problem on the network, returning to slow it again if their particular habits continue to affect others in the area.
The slowdown is allegedly mild and would still qualify as regular high-speed Internet access. It would equal a "a really good DSL experience," Bowling claims without providing exact speeds.
This approach follows a formal FCC ruling banning Comcast's old filtering, which the US government body said unfairly punished specific content formats that included BitTorrent. The FCC also accused Comcast of deceptive practices by denying any throttling or similar techniques until investigators confirmed the behavior, which forced Comcast to admit what it argues are "reasonable" steps to take care of its network.
Such methods as the time-based method suggested by Comcast are potentially controversial as they may interfere with legitimate services that depend on a guaranteed level of bandwidth for a long amount of time, such as streaming movies.