Comcast Changes Web Traffic Management PolicyBy Reuters | Posted 09-22-2008
Comcast has provided U.S. regulators details of how it plans to change the way it manages Web traffic over its high speed Internet network without blocking any applications or content.
The move comes after the Federal Communications Commission voted last month to uphold a complaint that Comcast had violated the regulator's open-Internet principles by hindering peer-to-peer traffic from applications such as BitTorrent.
Comcast said on Friday that under the plan designed to give all users their "fair share" of bandwidth it would focus on managing the traffic of customers who are using most bandwidth when the network is congested.
It said it will use software on its network to determine if particular subscribers have been the source of high volume of traffic and will temporarily give traffic from those subscribers a lower priority status.
It said that when a subscriber's traffic is assigned a lower priority status its traffic could be delayed if the network is congested but would not be delayed if there is no congestion.
Comcast said it expect to have the new traffic management system in place across its network by the end of December.
U.S. Internet service providers such as Comcast have been overwhelmed by the rapid growth of online services including peer-to-peer applications as well as online video, music downloading and photo-sharing, and are seeking ways to cost-effectively avoid network congestion.
Comcast, which has more than 14 million high-speed Internet subscribers, had previously said it was changing its network management practices to ensure all Web traffic is treated essentially the same.