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Comcast's New Network Management Will Slow Down Heavy Users for Up to 20 Minutes

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While Comcast's new network management scheme-to slow down heavy bandwidth users' entire connection-started back in June, we're just getting some of the grislier details. People hitting their pipe hard-whether it's watching a boatload of streaming video or FTP or whatever-will see their top speeds cut for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Under the setup, Comcast claims it will figure out "in nearly real time'' who's causing congestion and if "in fact a person is generating enough packets that they're the ones creating that situation, we will manage that consumer for the overall good of all of our consumers,'' says Mitch Bowling, Comcast's senior vice president and general manager of online services. The real time comment is interesting, because Comcast said the same thing about their targeted P2P slowdown technique, calling it "surgical" in its precision, but FCC Chair Kevin Martin said that wasn't true and that their system was "not even capable of knowing when an individual ... segment of the network is congested." So let's hope they've upgraded. Either way, all indications show that this is likely just a first step toward overall usage caps, which appear to be an inevitability. What that means for the future of the internet is still unclear, but for now, heavy downloaders or people living in crowded houses might wanna look at alternate ISPs (if they're even able to). [Bloomberg via All Things D, Image via Biscuitsmlp]