Friday, August 22, 2008

Hah! Take that, Comcast

So Comcast has a few questions to answer. The FCC appears to be slightly peeved at Comcast for changing their stories (if not out-and-out lying) about their connection throttling shenanigans.

And they should be. Yes, bittorrents (which are the issue here) are associated with piracy right now. That makes sense: hackers and pirates tend to employ whatever they can get their hands on, not being encumbered by things like patents and copyrights and whatnot. But that doesn't mean it's inherently a pirate technology; as companies like Blizzard and now EA have realized, it's an inexpensive and speedy way of updating stuff.

But, of course, it creates a problem, in that it requires people to actually use their internet connections. And the telecoms never wanted that, oh no they didn't. They don't want that at all. They want you surfing, which only needs to be fast for a very brief time, and then stays blissfully static whilst you read whatever it is you have on your browser. Or gaming, which is a constant connection, but a pretty low-impact one. It needs low latency, but it requires relatively little bandwidth. Or maybe even downloading music from single servers; it soaks up bandwidth, but it's all downstream, which is much easier to apply than upstream.

But bittorrenting? A system which rewards you handsomely for actually using that upstream you're paying for? HEAVENS no! It must be stopped! Using the bandwidth you paid for would force them to actually give you a connection that fits their promises! They might have to use that money the government gave them to give fibre to everybody for something other than mergers, branding, and buying expensive endorsement deals! What are they paying all those politicians lobbyists for, anyway?

So, uh, consider me somewhat flabbergasted that the FCC is actually doing its job. Sic 'em.

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