The fact that Comcast was caught by the AP blocking BitTorrent last week wasn't much of a surprise (even if it was a disappointment), but more people have done self-tests and discovered they're possibly blocking even more application traffic. The EFF found that not just Gnutella—another file sharing app—was being blocked, but Lotus Notes, an app businesses use to share calendars, emails and files over the net had its traffic interfered with as well. It's fine to piss off a bunch of file sharers, but when Comcast starts making sure that a CTO can't get the files off his work machine, that's a different story altogether. Net Neutrality, we need you! [EFF via Ars Technica]
That's funny, when I e-mailed Comcast just the other day about why I can get 50ms and 400kB/s to my VOIP provider over FTP but latency of 800ms over a VOIP session, this was their reply:
We do not block access to any P2P (Peer To Peer) applications, including
BitTorrent. We respect our customers' privacy and don't monitor
specific customer activities on the Internet, or track individual online
behavior, such as which websites are visited. Therefore, we do not know
whether any individual user is visiting BitTorrent or any other site.
Additionally, Comcast does not "throttle" bandwidth (limit throughput on
the network). Comcast also is not traffic shaping or packet shaping.
We have a responsibility to manage our network to ensure that our
customers have the best broadband experience possible. That means we
use the latest technologies to manage our network to provide a quality
experience for all Comcast subscribers. This is standard practice for
network operators around the world. I do not have specific information
to provide to you regarding the details of how we manage our network, or
vendors that may be used.