This article was published 16 years ago

Comcast wants ‘bill of rights’ for file sharers

Is Comcast suffering from multiple personalities syndrome or did the CEO drink the juice from The Pirate Bay?  Comcast, the company that first denied then admitted to throttling bittorrent packets and is under investigation from the FCC, wants to set up a bill rights for online file transfers

The announcement expands on Comcast’s new policy toward file-sharing: It said last month that rather than singling out such traffic and blocking some of it, the company will move toward a system that treats all types the same.

The document would codify “best practices” for Internet providers to deal with file-sharing traffic, which can place substantial loads on the networks of cable companies. It would also clarify what controls consumers should have over peer-to-peer (or P2P) file-sharing applications on their computers. Some of these applications are often designed to run in the background, and give the user little insight into what they’re doing or how much resources they’re using.

This doesn’t add up and I smell something unsettling about this.  Why would an ISP throttle, then deny and admitted to trottling bittorrent packets wants to setup rules for ‘proper downloading’?  This sounds like a ‘please don’t fine us and look the other way’ press release.

However, if Comcast really wants to do ‘bill of rights’ for downloading there’re a couple of items I want address.  First, this agreement has to apply to ALL traffic, including packets from YouTube and Vonage.  All packets need to be treated equal, not just P2P.