Another move by a major ISP to change the way they handle traffic, Comcast announced that they are ready to begin testing of a “protocol agnostic” method of controlling bandwidth
. The protocol will identify users that make heavy use of the connection, and during periods of network congestion will throttle only heavy users, irrespective of what services they are using. They admitted (after lying) to have been specifically targeting torrents in the past, but this new approach promises to be fairer to people who rely on torrents. Assuming a torrent is not causing you to enter the “heavy use” category, this will supposedly result in torrentors experiencing better connections overall.
The same is not true for those who download a lot or stream a lot, as in theory those people who go above average will be prioritized below those who don't. This obviously won't be helping those who do make heavy use of it, though clearly it is those customers that Comcast is least interested in pleasing. As ISPs continue to modify what they consider to be reasonable service, year after year the U.S. is continuing to lag behind other countries in pure connection speed. Five years from now, the idea of a bandwidth cap or speed throttling might lead to protest.