Comcast Starts "Net Neutral" Slowdowns of Heavy Broadband UsersS

Comcast is finally rolling out its "net neutral" network management scheme, starting with customers in Chambersburg, PA and Warrenton, VA. As we've explained before, Comcast says of the new plan that "heavy users, who are doing things like conducting numerous or continuous large file transfers, may experience slightly longer response times for some online activities, until the period of network congestion ends." And it doesn't matter whether it's BitTorrent or gobs of GooTube.

The reasons behind the rush to curb heavy data users, whether or not they're asshole pirates, are simultaneously simple and complex, but one of the major reasons is that content flowing over the pipes increasingly competes with cable's TV offerings. Literally in Comcast's case, since it needs as much bandwidth as it can get to deliver HD content. We're keeping our eyes peeled for more about its rumored plan to test data caps, much like Time Warner is doing-it's increasingly looking like the future of broadband in the US. [Threat Level]