When I was talking to Comcast for my round up of ISP network management practices (pre-BT deal), we talked a lot about how they manage p2p traffic, and they were very clear that the temporary slowdowns were "surgical," (their word) and only employed during heavy congestion. So I'd been using that caveat anytime I brought it up, out of fairness. FCC Chairman Kevin Martin told a Senate committee this week that what Comcast told me wasn't true: "It does not appear that this technique was used only to occasionally delay traffic at particular nodes suffering from network congestion at that time."
He continues that "Based on testimony we've received thus far, this equipment was typically deployed over a wider geographic area or system, and is not even capable of knowing when an individual ... segment of the network is congested."
Honestly, the Comcast/P2P/net neutrality story is a bit played out, and frustrating, because nothing material has really happened, and I'm actually sort of tired of it. The major reason I'm posting this is because I was specifically told something by Comcast PR—which I gave the benefit of the doubt, because while PR cajoles and spruces, they rarely intentionally deceive—which the chairman of the FCC is stating to be categorically untrue. That's unfortunate, and disconcerting.
While we should always fact check, we shouldn't have to worry about being lied to. I'm waiting for them to get back to me, and I hope there's just some mixed signals going on here, but their response to Computerworld, that doesn't flat-out deny Martin's accusations, isn't very reassuring. [Computerworld via /.]