Comcast Realizes Blocking By Protocol Is A Problem; Asks BitTorrent For Some Help
from the took-'em-long-enough dept
Well, well, well. After stubborn silence, non-denial denials, and (finally) a “but we have to!” defense, combined lawsuits and FCC threats, it appears Comcast has realized that its traffic shaping efforts have turned into something of a “rootkit moment.” In an announcement this morning, the company has teamed up with BitTorrent Inc. (the company, not the wider protocol itself) in order to come up with “protocol agnostic” ways to manage its traffic. It’s not giving up on traffic shaping — but it will be based on overall bandwidth use, rather than what applications you’re using. Lotus Notes users rejoice.
Of course, announcements, by themselves, mean nothing. Let’s wait and see what sort of systems Comcast actually puts in place before we judge whether the end result is better or not. Though, it does confirm what we noted recently: this really is a problem that can be solved by technology — which Comcast just didn’t want to implement. Comcast’s unwillingness to come up with a more reasonable technology solution earlier (while Verizon and others have been exploring them) is its own fault. In the meantime, it will be interesting to see if this has any impact on the lawsuits and the FCC investigation. Other than that, let’s see what Comcast actually does (and how upfront they are about it) before saying this is a full win. In the meantime, just getting Comcast to budge a little has to be seen as a short-term victory.