Comcast Wants a P2P Bill of Rights: Should You Be Excited or Afraid?

Comcast officially loves P2P as much as George Washington loves freedom. It's calling for an industry-wide P2P bill of rights and responsibilities that would cover ISPs and users and "clarify what choices and controls consumers should have...as well as what processes and practices ISPs should use to manage P2P applications." Furthermore, as they stated earlier, Comcast is pushing for protocol agnostic management, more bandwidth and more transparency. Sounds groovy, but here's why we don't think they're doing this just to make your 30 Rock torrent experience a silky smooth ride.

As Ars points out, they don't plan on inviting consumer groups to this constitutional convention, viewing it as more of an "industry" deal. Which is what we told you guys earlier about ISPs suddenly seeing the light of P2P. It's an industry thing, not a you thing. Protocol agnostic management, for one, can simply mean slowing down all your traffic equally, be it p2p or streaming video.

Also, if they make a "bill of rights" on their own terms, it's a further case for the industry that the FCC doesn't need to step in with a government-mandated bill of rights or net neutrality rules—which no ISP wants, not even Verizon, who is the most vocal about not policing or throttling their pipes.

The upside, again, is smarter use of increasingly taxed pipes with more efficient protocols. But that's not necessarily about you. And if the rest of the industry doesn't jump aboard, this could all amount to jack. [Comcast, Ars, Multichannel]