Comcast Is Starting The Tiered Internet.. Whether We Like It or Nothttp://ubuntu-tutorials.com/2007/08/21/comcast-is-starting-the-tiered-internet-whether-we-like-it-or-not/
Update: Visit Save The Internet and let your voice be heard!
Sunday afternoon I finished setting up a dedicated rtorrent server for seeding Ubuntu .iso images. I do my best to hand out all the CDs I can, but I also figured I could make use of the bandwidth I have to do the same. Once I got on that idea I realized I had access to two Comcast connections (family) where I could drop in two more of these “rtorrent appliances”. So, I got to work setting a second one up and dropped it on the network at my Dad’s house.
Wasn’t I surprised to find that my seeds weren’t taking off. After some quick Google searching I found that Comcast is cutting torrent connections nearly across the board. All across the internet people are complaining about Comcast not letting them seed anymore–and many of these for completely legal material!
I know bittorrent is associated with a lot of pirating. Hell, so was ftp and whatever other protocol you want to drop in here. This doesn’t mean that it is *only* used for pirating. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t legit reasons to use the efficient protocol. Apparently Comcast doesn’t see it this way.
The way I see it this is the first step toward a Tiered Internet, whether or not any such thing is approved in Legislation or by the consumers. Comcast doesn’t care. They are simply cutting off access to part of the Internet, plain and simple.
I would not be surprised at all to soon hear that Comcast will allow bittorrent traffic, for an additional fee. If you *really* want to use that protocol you can pay us more, but otherwise we don’t deem it as part of “normal internet usage”. Once that starts what is to stop the avalanche that will happen next?
“You want access to YouTube? It really uses a lot of bandwidth and we weren’t expecting most people to use more than casual browsing and email. That’ll be $5/mo additional.”
If Comcast is able to start cutting off access to internet protocols they are already to the Tiered Internet that will only become grounds for corruption and extortion. Who will be next?
The telecoms like the idea of a Tiered Internet because they can then extort both sides of the product. Since they are the middle-man they can charge more to the consumers for access to “the whole internet” and charge more to large domains and take pay-outs from big online powerhouses to provide “better or preferred” access to them.
What do I mean by that? We all know Google pwns the internet. We start getting into the Tiered Internet setup and Microsoft gives a big payout to Comcast, requiring them to limit access to Google, while preferring access to Windows Live Search (or whatever the hell its called). They’ll make up some reason why its more efficient for bandwidth or some BS and you’ll have to pay more to get to Google. They would be in the perfect position to rake in huge piles of money from both ends, with nothing to stop them.
The internet needs to stay open. The *whole* internet. Not the convenient internet. Not the bandwidth friendly internet. Not the bribed-into-becoming-the-new internet. The whole internet. All protocols. All sites. All networks.
If Comcast is allowed to continue cutting off even one protocol we’ve already lost. Voice your opinion. Contact your local office. Complain. Make some noise. Switch providers.
Until then I’ll be getting these two Comcast connections switched to a competitor. It may be a slower internet (in my area) on DSL, but at least its the whole internet.