The recent Netflix wackiness may have sent some subscribers running, but it wasn’t enough to keep Netflix from gobbling up the Net’s bandwidth for yet another quarter. A new report says the streaming media powerhouse accounted for roughly 33 percent of all peak downsteam traffic in that time frame – even after 800,000 subscribers left for greener pastures recently. As big a slice as that is, the number may only increase as ISPs bolster their series of tubes.
In a seemingly never ending battle with the FCC, Comcast is back on the offensive. The cable giant is looking to overturn the ruling reached on August 1st which found them in violation of the FCC’s network neutrality principles. Comcast was mandated to immediately cease any packet shaping initiatives and to publically disclose the full extent of its traffic blocking policies. Experts close to the case have chimed in on the issue and it would appear as though news of the appeal wasn’t all that surprising. Comcast has become famous in legal circles for appealing any decision it doesn’t agree with, and this case is no exception. Comcast firmly believes that packet shaping of peer-to-peer traffic is a legitimate and reasonable means of managing network traffic and intends to defend that contention to the bitter end. Despite the impending appeal, Comcast has agreed to abide by the FCC mandates until a new verdict is reached. Comcast’s packet shaping activities have been in the spotlight since late 2007 when the Associated Press revealed proof that Comcast was blocking P2P traffic during peak hours. The FCC case was seen as a test run help to determine if it could enforce its network neutrality principles. I’m sure most Maximum PC readers are rooting for the FCC, but since so little precedent in a case like this; the outcome of an appeal could still go either way.
The Federal Communications Commission is now going to reign in on Comcast’s controversial practice of hampering peer-to-peer internet traffic. Out of the five FCC commissioners, three have voted, thus far, on whether Comcast is liable for punishment for filtering internet traffic. And all of them want the cable company to be punished, but the punitive order will officially be executed once the remaining members have voted – a mere formality. The FCC doesn’t intend to fine Comcast but merely wants it to abstain from internet traffic filtering altogether.
Comcast has been in the eye of the “network neutrality” storm since August, 2007, when TorrentFreak revealed that the leading cable company was filtering internet traffic. It is rumored that the company utilizes Sandvine hardware for warding off P2P traffic but Comcast has not even acknowledged that it indulges in such practices. Comcast is currently busy defending itself in a class-action suit which alleges that the company’s actual services betray its promises, for it restricts internet access despite promising unshackled service.
This being such a contentious issue, that has invited intense reactions from all corners, you all are expected to set the comments section afire.
A report by network equipment manufacturer Sandvine has once again saddled P2P traffic with the blame for hogging most of the precious North American bandwidth. The report pegs P2P traffic’s share of internet bandwidth at 44% - up 3% from the preceding year.
The scales are heavily lopsided as web traffic comes a distant second with 27.3% followed by streaming media with 14.8% of internet bandwidth.
VoIP is expected to grow steadily over the coming few years but it currently consumes the least internet bandwidth, a paltry .2%. Although there has been no consistency in reports detailing bandwidth usage, P2P traffic is logically most bandwidth-intensive.