Comcast has announced that it will lift the ban on BitTorrent traffic, which prevented its users from sharing files using the popular protocol. The ISP and BitTorrent Inc. will work together on finding customer friendly solutions for the congestion allegedly caused by BitTorrent traffic.
Comcast has announced that it will stop targeting BitTorrent transfers and has said it will invest in its network capacity. For the time being the company will throttle users who use the most bandwidth, not all BitTorrent users per se.
Comcast’s chief technology officer Tony Warner said: “Rather than slow traffic by certain types of applications — such as file-sharing software or companies like BitTorrent — Comcast will slow traffic for those users who consume the most bandwidth.”
Comcast hoped it could quietly interfere with its customer’s BitTorrent activities without getting too much attention. Unfortunately for them, their actions didn’t go unnoticed, and during August last year we broke the news that this ISP does indeed mess with its customers internet connections.
Comcasts actions sparked the debate about what “reasonable” network management practices are, and this eventually resulted in a FCC hearing last month.
It now seems that Comcast saw the light, and wants to invest in more Internet gateway capacity after all. BitTorrent Inc. announced today that it will work together with the ISP to optimize their software, so that it puts less stress on the network.
Ashwin Navin, president of BitTorrent Inc. told TorrentFreak: “We are happy that Comcast is increasing the upload capacity on its network and that they will stop sending TCP resets to BitTorrent clients. We plan to jointly test how ISPs can better address the large volume of P2P traffic and share our research with all ISPs and application developers. This is a huge win for the Internet community as a whole.”
Still, Comcast will continue to throttle heavy users, who actually use the bandwidth that was promised to them in their contracts. It is to be expected that Comcast and other ISPs will have to step away from the all-you-can-eat plans they have been offering for years, now that people actually start to use bandwidth they signed up for.