Comcast Still Dancing Around Its Content Jamming Operations; What's Wrong With Admitting It?

from the shhhh,-it's-a-secret-that-everyone-knows dept

With the news coming out that Comcast's broadband jamming operations actually interfere with other apps as well, Comcast is now trying to respond to the complaints in every way other than telling people what it is that they're doing, which at this point really does appear to be the only sensible response. Comcast went to Reuters (since it was AP who confirmed the original story) and repeated the carefully worded claim that Comcast is not blocking any kind of traffic. Of course, people aren't saying that it's completely blocking any traffic -- just that it's quietly pulling some background tricks to slow down certain types of traffic without letting its customers know. That's the key part, and it's the same complaint that people have had for years with Comcast concerning its fuzzy bandwidth caps. The company advertises unlimited service, but if it's not unlimited, why not come out and explain what the limitations are? It seems only fair.

Perhaps an answer comes from Tim Lee, who was invited to a conference call today with Comcast to help "clear up" the misperceptions Comcast feels are being spread in the media about its actions. The only problem is that Comcast doesn't clear up anything. It basically admits to the traffic shaping but says it can't tell people that it's doing that, as it could help them get around the shaping. Well, sorry, too late for that. Besides, what's wrong with simply telling people what the limitations are and then going after the violators for terms of service breaches? In being so secretive and misleading about it, all it's doing is causing many more people to get upset with Comcast and think that they're being targeted (even if they're not). It's a ridiculous PR situation for Comcast to be in -- and it could be solved easily enough if Comcast stopped beating around the bush, stopped giving gobbledy-gook doublespeak responses that don't actually answer the questions people are asking and simply told people what they're doing and why. It really is that simple. If the company has a legitimate reason for doing what it's doing (and some people say there is) then why not explain that?

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  1. identicon
    R. H., 23 Oct 2007 @ 2:54am

    This looks like a poor attempt at customer retenti

    I don't believe for a minute that Comcast couldn't tell us customers what protocols they specifically have an issue with. The argument that telling us what protocols are being blocked would lead to workarounds is invalid. They can quite easily tell us WHAT they're blocking without telling us HOW they block it. As it is independent groups have figured out the how (TCP reset packets) and, it seems, the what (bittorrent, and as a casualty of war, Lotus Notes).

    If it was listed in the Terms of Service what I could and could not do I'd probably avoid doing things to get my service terminated...or switch ISP's. THAT is probably what they're more worried about. If they were to say that certain protocols weren't allowed I'd be on AT&T's 6mbps/384kbps DSL faster than anything. I've never used my full d/l on Comcast except for bandwidth tests and the u/l is the same. It's just too bad the most Comcast users will just notice that their torrents aren't seeding correctly and just become swarm killing leechers....

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