The fallout from Comcast deceiving the public (along with the FCC) continues, and while whatever actions the FCC might take are still undecided, the company is looking for ways to solve their bandwidth troubles without resorting to protocol-destroying mechanisms. More information on how they plan to “fix” the issue has been revealed.
Apparently, their plan will include identifying heavy users during a period of congestion, then de-prioritizing those users as compared to the rest of the network for 10-20 minutes. Furthermore, someone who habitually uses large amounts of bandwidth won't get singled out – the throttling is all done on a per-case basis. The throttling won't affect any particular program or traffic type, and will instead simply slow down the entire connection.
This is certainly a more fair approach than any other that has been proposed so far. A “heavy user” is determined on a per-minute basis, avoiding singling people out, and the connections aren't shut off, merely slowed. However, it does bring to mind another question – just what is “heavy use”? As we've seen in recent days, some ISPs have very limited ideas of what a heavy user is. Ultimately it's an issue of perception – and it seems people will have to trust the ISP to make the right decision.