Internet Provider COX to Begin Selectively Throttling Internet Traffic



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I'm glad I'm not affected. There's nothing I would hate more than having people look through my hard drives while I wait for "Security Update for Windows XP" to download, all while my neighbor's live porn stream isn't interupted. They need to classify OS updates as "time sensative." 


The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.



what the hell are you talking about?


Keith E. Whisman

I think that they have a good plan. That's not really even bandwidth throttling. It's just a matter of packet prioritization and that's what already goes on inside my PC. So I guess that this will be going on the server end.



I doubt you would wait hours for non time sensative, in fact I'd be willing to bet the only real difference would ping, time sensative would be 30 -60, normal, and non-time sensative would be upwards of 500 ms.


all it is QoS, noone's going to be waiting days to upgrade their security



Well, should have seen in coming... they are called COX!



I've been worried for the past year or two, since Comcast began screwing its customers' over. I'm now in Georgia using Cox, and wasn't surprised to see this post -- it's been a long time coming.

Although I don't know much about the technical limitations of
this method, yes, I'd imagine packet flags or what not could be changed
so certain data might get through. However, if too much of that
happened (and it was slowing down the time-sensitive stuff) I'm sure
they would result to more drastic measures to combat it, including some
of the invasive stuff Comcast is doing. So we'd all be worse off.

While I've never had a problem as it currently is here (I'm in the southeast and have downloaded up to 1.7MB/sec and uploaded up to 400KB/sec), and thus would prefer the system remained unrestricted, I don't see a big problem with this possible management as it's laid out. I want the bandwidth I pay for available all the time, but I'm willing to accept that gaming is more time-sensitive than my file downloading. If my download is slowed a little so my neighbor's latency in-game is acceptable, I'm willing to accept that, because I think my latency in-game is more important than his download speed.

While I expect the 15Mbit download speed cap to be always available to me - I'd rather some traffic be prioritized than the entire system slow down equally (big statement there). I would have expected everyone to accept that SOME type of data management scheme was coming to all our major ISPs -- especially wtih the US' internet backbone as dated as it's said to be. And all of this is FAR better than Comcast's methods thus far... I do NOT want to be capped on any monthly download limit, even if it's an insanely unreachable number like 5 TB/month or something. No caps!

To the author: if you can't wait a few extra (seconds - hours) for your "critical" security patch, you probably shouldn't be using that OS to begin with...



I've been wondering why usage caps seem to have won out over QoS lately? Perhaps it's just easier for the lazy and clueless. As a means to manage your network it seems much more reasonable. As long as a hard upper limit on the low priority traffic isn't used, i.e. during non-peak traffic you get to use all that spare bandwidth, I would expect the affect to be fairly limited. You may notice a slowdown on your .torrent downloads during peak usage, but once everyone goes to bed you're back in the saddle.

If bandwidth were unlimited we wouldn't have to worry, but even with DOCSIS 3.0 and fiber we're still a long way from everyone on a node being able to stream HD at the same time. So I'm willing to compromise on my .torrent downloads if it helps keep my hulu stream from getting choppy.

I make these comments without knowing any of the specifics about how Cox is implementing this. Speaking of which, why are they prioritizing email traffic? Especially these days when some ISPs claim that 60% of their overall traffic is SPAM (a back-of-the-envelope-calculation just for Gordon). Even at a lower priority email should come through quickly.



i agree about email, that should be moved to non time sensative.  Does it really matter if it takes 10 or 15 minutes for an email to come through?



This really doesn't sound too bad to me. It's just standard QoS directed packet shaping. I'd do the same thing on my network if it didn't bog the limited hardware of my router way down.  I don't know about you guys, but most of the time I care more about my browsing, games, and voip than whether it takes a bit longer for my download to finish. If none of those things are occuring, the low priority packets should be able to use just as much bandwidth as they would have if the packet shaping wasn't occuring.

It seems strange they have classified software updates as bulk traffic though. Although, I suppose when a new service pack comes out it would create a large surge of traffic that could disturb other services, better to smooth out the wave a bit, normal security updates should still get applied in a reasonable amount of time, most systems are configured to download them at a time when high priority traffic would be low anyway. I wonder whether they are even targeting updates specifically anyway, it might just be that they have classified ftp as bulk traffic and updates just so happen to come from ftp servers. It looks like all the low-priority classified traffic is all bulk data transfers, which are the least time sensitive things possible compared to everything else on the list.

Anyway, ideally there would be excessive bandwidth and no throttling would ever need be done, but this seems like the most rational way to do it for the best experience for all users.



But I don't like waiting on a download. If I downloading something directly I want it now not 10 hours from now. I know 10 hours is extreme but with cloud computing and digital software downloads at POS this does become a factor somewhere in the process. I thoguht about QoS but I was not sure if Cox was using the QoS flags or there own filters to determine things.  



Someone out there is going to devise a program to flag all outgoing packets as "Time sensitive".



Folks will start fidling with the TCP/IP flags or using alternate ports.

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