Monday, October 6, 2008
ISP’s versus BitTorrents – The Battle Continues
Team member – B. Frost
In an article published in November 2007 on PCWorld.com, Comcast was accused of blocking or limiting the bandwidth resources available to users trying to use BitTorrent networks. Whereas there is no denying that most of the traffic through bitTorrent networks is for the illegal acquisition of music, movies, and games, BitTorrent, Inc., the developer of the technology, argues that “bitTorrent can be and is used for the legal sharing of files that aren't copyrighted and even offers the protocol/software as a legitimate service for businesses.” An example of BitTorrent’s business use is game manufacturer Blizzard’s use of the technology to distribute both patches and updates to their World of Warcraft game. Comcast denied the claim as to necessarily targeting the BitTorrent users; but stated that they will monitor traffic on their network and try to make a concerted effort to restrict users who consume too much bandwidth. This is done in an effort to provide adequate services to all users on their network.
Fast forward to February of this year.
In a research study conducted by The Max Planck Institute in Germany, both Comcast and Cox Communications were found to be throttling back Web traffic on their networks associated with BitTorrent; and not just during peak times of Internet usage. According to the study for the Cox subscribers, 54% of the tests indicated blocking. The image above plots geographic locations where the BitTorrent tests were run. The red dots are test locations where the BitTorrent transfers were blocked. How do you know if your ISP is allowing you full access to bitTorrent site? The Max Planck Institute has posted a link which allows users to test if their ISP is limiting their BitTorrent connections.
Information gathered from – PCWorld.com