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Cox: BitTorrent interruptus?

May 15, 2008 | 12:47 pm

Broken_connection The public drubbing Comcast has received for interfering with BitTorrent uploads may not have been enough to stop other ISPs from doing the very same thing. The Associated Press reported today that a new study by the Max Planck institute found that Cox, a major cable operator, appeared to have taken a page from Comcast and was sending reset packets to disconnect BitTorrent uploaders. Of the 151 computers on Cox's network that ran the institute's test, 82 were blocked (you can read about the methodology here). That's 54%. The only other U.S. ISP to have such a high percentage of blocked uploads was Comcast, where 62% of the 788 hosts were blocked, the AP reported.

The study also found that Comcast, which had said it slowed BitTorrent uploads only during peak traffic times, appears to be interfering with BitTorrent uploads at all hours of the day and night. But then, Comcast's tune has changed considerably over the past few months, and it now seems eager to play nice with BitTorrent (umm, by the end of the year, that is). Anyway, the first note of outrage in response to the Planck study came from the Open Internet Coalition, which has been lobbying Congress in favor of Net neutrality regulations. Not surprisingly, the coalition's executive director, Markham Erickson, said the results show that such regulations are, in fact, needed. Here's the money graf:

“Contrary to what the cable industry has said before Congress, Comcast’s action in blocking legal peer-to-peer applications like BitTorrent is clearly not an isolated case. This new study shows that the threat to the open Internet is not isolated to one company’s network, but endangers access by a wide group of Internet consumers across the country."

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