Online video services angry at Comcast

By Justin Mann on February 14, 2008, 4:11 PM
The Comcast torrent scandal has been heating up recently, following a probe by the FCC into their practices and another self-contradicting statement from the ISP and cable giant. Now, BitTorrent and companies that rely on that technology are taking exception with Comcast's actions, claiming that what they are doing could fall into the arena of anti-competitive behavior. As a cable TV provider, the majority of their business comes from selling access to TV shows. With the increasing amount of video provided over the Internet, many companies have begun to turn to BitTorrent as a way to reduce bandwidth costs while still being able to provide fast access to content.

With Comcast doing dirty deeds to torrent traffic, they are upsetting more than just the pirates that many people make torrenters out to be but also the increasing number of people who use it for legal purposes, video distribution among them. This is dangerous ground for Comcast, which is now being stuck between a rock and a hard place. It's their responsibility to maintain the integrity and stability of their network, but their methods for doing so might wind up with them facing charges.

My guess is that this issue will get a lot bigger than just one ISP and in other regions besides the U.S. Torrents are no longer something you could easily to ignore, and given the amount of legal uses for it continue to grow at a fast rate, ISPs will have to come up with a better answer than blocking or throttling these connections.

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