Yes, it is a comcast rant. I am certainly not a pioneer in hating comcast, but I am furious nonetheless. Recently comcast won a case against the FCC, which ruled that the FCC does not currently have the authority to govern ISP’s ability to manage web traffic. This case was the result of Comcast and other internet providers throttling or shutting down subscribers use of any sort of p2p activity, regardless of if you were torrenting an entire install of hacked Microsoft 7 and Office, or your grandmothers carrot cake recipe with home video of her baking it. Present data suggests that facebook(and similarly trafficked sites) and porn account for only about 30% of total web traffic, and p2p accounts for nearly the entire remainder of web traffic. Throttling of p2p can be seen as removing 70% of the web from comcast subscribers fingertips. Lets say you really love your stylish 1953 Trabant:
You zoom along frequenting your favorite spots giving winks to all the pretty little things that flock to your pimpmobile, and finally head back home after a long day of being fine in that sexy auto. The next day you open your garage door and BAM you see your Trabant sitting there prostrate sans engine, seats and transmission:
That’s what the internet is without p2p. Facebook may have 400 million users, but only 33 percent of internet users even visit facebook daily (up from ~10% about a year ago), there are many more people who use p2p, even if they dont know it. Large video game companies need p2p to disperse large content patches. Think what would happen if the millions of people who play online games tried to access direct http downloads of the latest patches for their favorite games: they would bankrupt just paying for bandwidth. Nearly every video game you play is updated through bit torrent, just with a flashy game specific download bar.
Recently I have been attempting to torrent some I would call legal (I say this because the RIAA would probably call any download illegal, bought by you or not, as they say even iPods are illegal) material, and within 15 minutes my downloads are sub 50kbs/sec. Within 30 minutes my downloads stop entirely as does my ability to load a single web page. I have to reset router/modem just to get back online. I am not without my technical expertise when it comes to this sort of thing, and short of SSH tunneling or paying my way into a VPN there is nothing I can do. I genuinely hope that the FCC follows through with its plans for net neutrality, and is indeed granted the ability to oversee net traffic. Regardless of what the FCC is able to do, for this offense and a litany of others, I will be changing providers once the opportunity arises.