Latest Study Confirms Cox Traffic Shaping; Comcast Misleading Again

from the sounds-familiar dept

A bunch of folks have been submitting various news reports claiming the “news” that Cox is traffic shaping just like Comcast is — but that’s hardly news. We had a story about that last November. What is a bit more interesting out of the same study (though, not very surprising) is the news that Comcast has been less than forthright in explaining what it’s doing. While Comcast denied any traffic shaping for the longest time, when it finally ‘fessed up (just a bit) it said that it only used traffic shaping during peak hours. However, the research suggests otherwise. After testing a bunch of users at various times, this new study found no noticeable difference in blockages based on time.

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Companies: comcast, cox

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Comments on “Latest Study Confirms Cox Traffic Shaping; Comcast Misleading Again”

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20 Comments
40TB of porn!? says:

frankly, you guys all know it. I mean, it’s a cat and mouse game betweeen P2P users and bandwidth. some users go way overboard on sharing and it clogs up the network. i hate to say it but it’s kinda like college kids having a party. it should be ok to have a party, but only in moderation (as in noise and stuff). otherwise, someone’s gonna call cops. I hate those bastards who call cops, but i also understand their perspectives. I mean, i like partying but c’mon let’s have a common sense. just like oil, resources are limited and you have to be a good citizen and conserve so that we can keep enjoying the benefit of it, right??

Anonymous Coward says:

we moan, we bitch, but give us some credit,
you just can’t advertise an un-metered access line, and then expect that ‘everyone’ is going to be satisfied with service that doesn’t reflect what was said on some x-million dollar commercial.

internet providers need to not over subscribe their lines to the point where they become overloaded so easily (or as easily as they would want some to believe). upgrade and maintain. is it so much to ask that some profits be shaved and put back into the company?

MichaelE (user link) says:

Re: Upgrading Infrastructure

“you just can’t advertise an un-metered access line, and then expect that ‘everyone’ is going to be satisfied with service that doesn’t reflect what was said on some x-million dollar commercial.”

I agree to a point but there is also a corollary to this statement that implies equal access for the rest of the subscribers. It’s kinda like those folks who like to drive at or below the limit in the passing lane. Sure they have a right to drive at that speed, but they should also respect the rights of others and yield the lane to other who wish to go faster. Their rights should not trample on the rights of others. To that end I agree on the idea of traffic shaping but only with regards to a published formula that is measurable and verifiable to external scrutinies.

“internet providers need to not over subscribe their lines to the point where they become overloaded so easily (or as easily as they would want some to believe). upgrade and maintain. is it so much to ask that some profits be shaved and put back into the company?”

Again, sound in concept but in practice it begs the question of who would benefit? Without some degree of QoS or Shaping the rest of the users on the network still get crowded out by the noisy P2P users. Also since the majority of the users usually only pay for the lowest level of account access, it really does not support the idea that enough revenue would be realized to offset investment.

I for one pay for a business level of cable internet and it burns my backside when I look out at the edge of my network and see the traffic passing by my router. If anything I think that service limits should also be imposed to allow the customers that pay more to actually be able to get a higher level of priority than the average base subscription user.

TriZz says:

Re: Re: Upgrading Infrastructure

“I agree to a point but there is also a corollary to this statement that implies equal access for the rest of the subscribers. It’s kinda like those folks who like to drive at or below the limit in the passing lane. Sure they have a right to drive at that speed, but they should also respect the rights of others and yield the lane to other who wish to go faster. Their rights should not trample on the rights of others. To that end I agree on the idea of traffic shaping but only with regards to a published formula that is measurable and verifiable to external scrutinies.”

There’s a huge problem here…HUGE! Bit Torrent isn’t preventing others from getting the access they deserve. When I use my Internet connection, I want the speeds that I pay for regardless of protocol. No more, no less. I pay X dollars/month for X/bandwidth. IF Comcast/Cox are selling more bandwidth than they have the supply for, then that’s their fault…why in the hell should my Internet connection suffer because of it?

“Without some degree of QoS or Shaping the rest of the users on the network still get crowded out by the noisy P2P users. Also since the majority of the users usually only pay for the lowest level of account access, it really does not support the idea that enough revenue would be realized to offset investment.”

QoS? Come on! Throttling my connection at all hours of the day is quality of service? I get the idea of “peak hours”…but at 3am? This is definitely NOT about QoS…this is some political BS so they can have ammunition to kill Net Neutrality…which, by the way, this whole thing just tramples over.

OneDisciple (profile) says:

Re: Re: Upgrading Infrastructure

“It’s kinda like those folks who like to drive at or below the limit in the passing lane. Sure they have a right to drive at that speed, but they should also respect the rights of others and yield the lane to other who wish to go faster.”
First let me say this is a terrible analogy. The law says you can drive up to the speed limit, it does not say you have any right to drive faster then that limit. As a matter of fact you do not even have the right to drive period. you have the right to take the test and become licensed, which allows you to take advantage of the privilege of driving, but I promise you, you do not have a right to drive, and definitely do not have the right to speed.

rabidsquirrel says:

Re: Re: Re: Upgrading Infrastructure

Lane Discipline (There are laws on the books for this in most states, folks)… http://blogs.motortrend.com/6200177/editorial/lane-discipline-or-a-lack-thereof/index.html
Also, there is a master law to the effect of “One should not impede the flow of traffic”. This is law in all states and applies to lane discipline…

Andrew (user link) says:

Not just "shaping"

I think the point to get from this is that they’re not actually “shaping” traffic during peak hours. They’re blindly cutting off types of traffic even during off-peak hours were the heavy users aren’t impacting anybody else’s experience.

Also, if you advertise unlimited service, then that’s what you should provide. If you plan on offering anything else then make that apparent. Nobody is advertising unlimited oil. We’re used to buying things with limits, it’s a concept we, as consumers, can understand.

Paul says:

Really?

“I pay X dollars/month for X/bandwidth. IF Comcast/Cox are selling more bandwidth than they have the supply for, then that’s their fault…why in the hell should my Internet connection suffer because of it?”

I’d like to see your customer service agreement where it says you pay X for X bandwidth. You should have read it first. Their ads typically say speeds “up to x megabytes”. I’ve never see a guarantee of bandwidth, and I really don’t think they EVER said EVERY user gets byte 24/7. If you find that, please post.

To continue the car analogy: the speed limit is 70, my car can go 70, why are all these people in my way during rush hour?

Its is a shared resource, designed for bursty traffic. You want to suck it all down, I’m all for filters to throttle you.

TriZz says:

Re: Really?

The car analogy doesn’t work. There’s no way to ‘change lanes’ on the Internet. Plus, this is NOT about peak hours. This is about the off-peak hours…SO, if you and one other person are on the highway at 3am, and the one person is slowing you down…wouldn’t you just go around them?

Comcast/Cox is the one person slowing you down…except they won’t let you pass…even though the road is empty. You’ve paid the toll for UP to 55MPH and they’re holding you back at 25MPH (not even in a school zone).

How’s THAT for an analogy?!

Anonymous Coward says:

I thought video streaming knocked P2P from the title of bandwidth hog king? Why do people automatically assume it’s file sharing that is clogging up the pipes?

It’s only going to get worse from here. Netflix downloads, all the broadcast stations throwing their show up online, internet tv, you name it, the average user’s need will only increase, and dramatically.

The cable companies have two choices, spend more money upgrading their infrastructure or limit the number the customers they have. Packet shaping is just a finger in the dike. It might work now, but the way demand is going, is no long term solution

Nate (user link) says:

This is why I stick with DSL. I have never, ever had any issues with this sort of crap. Sure, the fastest I can get in my area is 7 mb downloads, and I think cable can do a little faster. But, guess what, my connection never changes… just a constant 7 mb dl speed. If cable companies want to do this, they need to inform their potential and existing customers. Otherwise, it is misleading and false advertising. http://www.custompcmax.com

Travis (profile) says:

Like some others on here, I can understand packet shaping during peak hours. This is because, unlike DSL, cable internet is a shared line. All subscribers in an area use a finite amount of bandwidth(I don’t know what the actual speed is unfortunately, it depends on line quality and distance). If you have a few ppl who are using their max bandwidth at all times, that slows down the connections of everyone in the neighborhood. This is why I save my P2P traffic for at night or while I’m at work.

Now having said that, I believe that they should put in a program to only perform shaping when bandwidth saturation gets above a certain threshold. This would be very easy to implement as an automated process and would cost them almost nothing. They would also be legally required to inform their customers of this, but that can just be included in the monthly bill for current users and in the contract for new ones. A program like this would prevent throttling during off-peak hours.

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