Comcast, Pando Call For P2P Bill Of Rights, Responsibilities - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Mobile // Mobile Devices
News
4/16/2008
03:27 PM
50%
50%

Comcast, Pando Call For P2P Bill Of Rights, Responsibilities

Despite the cable provider's plans to work with BitTorrent and other ISPs, critics say companies should not create consumer protection plans.

Comcast and Pando Networks want to create a "P2P Bill of Rights and Responsibilities."

The companies announced this week that they plan to lead an effort to create industry standards for peer-to-peer users and ISPs. They plan to recruit industry experts, ISPs, P2P companies, content providers, and others to establish best practices.

The companies said they want to clarify the choices and controls consumers should have when using P2P applications, as well as the processes and ISPs should employ to manage P2P applications on their networks.

"At Pando, we have always believed that good P2P applications give users control," Robert Levitan, CEO of Pando, said in a news announcement. "Now we are committing to lead the industry in codifying that."

The companies also said they plan to test Pando Network Aware P2P technology on Comcast's network to analyze data flows from downloads through Pando's P2P application. The test is one of several that Pando plans to conduct on ISP networks, including cable, DSL, fiber and wireless. The tests will measure performance, speed, distance, geography, and bandwidth consumption impacts on ISPs.

"We need more data and analysis of how P2P applications deliver content over a variety of different networks," Levitan said. "By sharing the test methodology and results, all P2P companies and ISPs can learn how to more efficiently deliver legal content. This will ultimately benefit consumers who are relying on P2P programs as well as content providers who are interested in delivering their content to consumers where and how they want it."

Several groups have criticized Comcast, alleging the company's network management practices blocked peer-to-peer file sharing and discriminated against BitTorrent. The Federal Communications Commission recently held related hearings and launched an investigation into Comcast's network management practices. Comcast admitted to delaying file transfers during peak traffic times in order to protect some users from delays caused by people transferring massive files over the Internet.

Groups promoting network neutrality cried foul, saying that Comcast and other Internet service providers should not be able to slow traffic based on content.

Last month, Comcast announced plans to work with BitTorrent and other ISPs to examine how rich media content affects network capacity and how to best manage file-sharing traffic management.

Pando has been working on methods to ease network congestion and speed content delivery over cable, DSL, and fiber broadband networks.

The companies said that Pando's test will help Comcast develop protocol-agnostic network management methods by year's end.

And, they touted the plans as examples of how businesses can resolve issues without government intervention.

Critics, including Free Press and Public Knowledge, have blasted Comcast's plans again.

Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge, said the agreement is "another way for Comcast to try to evade punishment for its blocking and degrading of peer-to-peer services for its customers." Sohn said the agreements with Pando and BitTorrent are "long on rhetoric and short on detail," and a way of "pretending to solve the problems of the Internet that it helped to cause."

"The fact that Comcast is trying to come up with a Bill of Rights for customers is ludicrous," Sohn said. "This is the company that not only lied for a year about the workings of its Internet service, but also created such ill will among its cable subscribers that one elderly woman busted up a customer service office with a hammer because she and her husband were kept waiting for hours in the heat."

Free Press issued a statement echoing those words and saying the entire situation shows a need for government to ensure network neutrality.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Slideshows
11 Ways DevOps Is Evolving
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  2/18/2021
Commentary
Graph-Based AI Enters the Enterprise Mainstream
James Kobielus, Tech Analyst, Consultant and Author,  2/16/2021
News
What Comes Next for AWS with Jassy to Become Amazon CEO
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  2/4/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you.
Slideshows
Flash Poll