Tue, Jan 20th 2009 6:44pm
Comcast has already been slapped down -- well, slapped on the wrist, anyway -- by the FCC for violating Commission rules with its traffic-shaping efforts, and it could be on its way for a second rebuke. The FCC has asked Comcast for some more details on its newest "congestion management" system, which throttles heavy users' speeds for periods of time. As part of the penalty for its previous infraction, Comcast had to file details of the new system with the FCC, and the commission know wants to know if Comcast treats traffic from its own VoIP system differently than traffic from competing providers' VoIP services. The company apparently advertises the fact that its VoIP service doesn't get affected by heavy network traffic and slowdowns, giving the impression that it degrades other VoIP traffic in this new system, while leaving traffic from its service alone. This will be an interesting test of the new FCC administration, to see how it handles these sorts of complaints compared to its predecessor. It could also set an important precedent, because it sounds like Comcast handles its own VoIP traffic in a way similar to other cable companies, by setting aside a portion of bandwidth that's managed separately from a subscriber's internet traffic.
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