Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Warning: Comcast is Now Throttling Broadband

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 103 comments

Comcast subscribers can now sit back and enjoy Internet throttling at its finest.

And so it begins: the Internet is one step closer to a controlled environment thanks to Comcast. Based on information provided by a new FCC notice (PDF), Comcast has already implemented a new traffic throttling system into its broadband service. The new practice replaces the company's stricter traffic block of peer-to-peer uploading. However, Comcast said that there will still be traffic blocks, but only in extreme cases.

According to the document, Comcast's throttling with have two trigger conditions. The first is activated when using more than 70-percent of a subscriber's maximum upstream or upstream bandwidth in a 15 minute span. The second trigger kicks in when the neighborhood Cable Modem Termination System becomes severely congested and evidence indicates that the cause stems from the offending subscriber.

Internet throttling begins when either triggers are tripped, forcing bandwidth traffic to throttle down. The effect endures for at least 15 minutes, or until the average bandwidth utilization rate drops below 50-percent for 15 minutes. Comcast said that certain traffic won't be throttled: low-priority traffic will still zip through uncongested nodes at close-to-normal speeds.

To provide a better understanding, Comcast threw in a bus analogy to explain the two-tier traffic throttling scenario. "If there is no congestion, packets from a user in a BE state should have little trouble getting on the bus when they arrive at the bus stop," the company said. "If, on the other hand, there is congestion in a particular instance, the bus may become filled by packets in a PBE state before any BE packets can get on. In that situation, the BE packets would have to wait for the next bus that is not filled by PBE packets."

Discuss
Ask a Category Expert

Create a new thread in the Audio forum about this subject

Example: Notebook, Android, SSD hard drive

This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 25 Hide
    doomtomb , November 6, 2009 4:26 PM
    So you pay for X Mbps but if you use up more than 70% for 15 mins you get throttled. What a bunch of bullshit, we shouldn't have to put up with this.
  • 24 Hide
    Montezuma , November 6, 2009 4:24 PM
    I am canceling my service with them today. Fuck you Comcast.
  • 24 Hide
    ominous prime , November 6, 2009 4:19 PM
    (expletive) YOU COMCAST! Now sit back and watch as your subscribers leave.
Other Comments
    Display all 103 comments.
  • 21 Hide
    sstym , November 6, 2009 4:08 PM
    So if you enable throttling in your peer-to-peer application to limit the upstream bandwidth to 65%, they won't do anything?

    It's kind of funny to see an ISP implement a measure that is both a PR disaster and completely ineffective.
    It's kind of a bummer to have so little competition in bandwidth providers that you can't make the worst offender pay for that kind of behavior.
  • 22 Hide
    liquidblue , November 6, 2009 4:17 PM
    This just in: "Comcast and their overpriced and shitty service is now being limited for an all time low!"
  • 6 Hide
    leetoranges , November 6, 2009 4:18 PM
    Sigh time to lower my upload speeds D: sigh if only internet was like in korea, or Japan, i dont think they have any problems there with throttleing their customers, and i think that over there, they have alot more freedom on the internet rather than us.
  • 24 Hide
    ominous prime , November 6, 2009 4:19 PM
    (expletive) YOU COMCAST! Now sit back and watch as your subscribers leave.
  • 24 Hide
    Montezuma , November 6, 2009 4:24 PM
    I am canceling my service with them today. Fuck you Comcast.
  • 7 Hide
    tester24 , November 6, 2009 4:26 PM
    That's why I'm glad I live in NY, they can't limit your bandwidth if they are the only carrier in the area because then it's considered a monopoly.

    Now here's the big question, what do they consider "extreme".
  • 25 Hide
    doomtomb , November 6, 2009 4:26 PM
    So you pay for X Mbps but if you use up more than 70% for 15 mins you get throttled. What a bunch of bullshit, we shouldn't have to put up with this.
  • 1 Hide
    papasmurf , November 6, 2009 4:28 PM
    this has been in effect since January, you ought to check your sources and read carefully. While this is not acceptable at all it is not new, the surprising thing is we didn't hear about it until just now. I've filed a complaint with the fcc and I suggest you all do so as well.
  • 7 Hide
    griffed88 , November 6, 2009 4:31 PM
    i wish i had another choice, but comcast is all that is available where i live as far as i know.
  • 4 Hide
    uh_no , November 6, 2009 4:31 PM
    doomtombSo you pay for X Mbps but if you use up more than 70% for 15 mins you get throttled. What a bunch of bullshit, we shouldn't have to put up with this.


    i was gonna say....if they throttle you when you're using less than the bandwith you paid for, they're asking for a lawsuit...netflix had the same issue with cutting you off from movies if you rented too many in a month and they lost that one....i see comcast facing the same battle soon
  • 6 Hide
    deadlockedworld , November 6, 2009 4:34 PM
    If they didnt have such a monopoly i would use a different company. If only we could open up cable like landline phone service.

    Also-- I agree its ludacris that we get penalized for using the volume purchased...
  • 8 Hide
    Anonymous , November 6, 2009 4:34 PM
    So if I read this correctly, I'm not allowed to use the bandwidth I have paid for ??..

    ooo.. class action suit coming...
  • -5 Hide
    Lord-Ilpolazzo , November 6, 2009 4:36 PM
    hillarymakesmecryI, for one, am glad I have comcast.Bandwidth throttling could be a good thing. If I'm trying to play some online games and the neighbors kid is slowing down my local internet down by up and downloading 1 tb or more a month and preventing me from playing my games on the connection I'm paying for. Then throttle away.I probably use 50gb a month.



    How on earth do you use 50Gb a month legally.. sounds like you're the one clogging up your local internet
  • 1 Hide
    sidran32 , November 6, 2009 4:36 PM
    I just read the PDF report. As they were previously using protocol specific throttling methods, which people were complaining adamantly about previously, I think this is a positive step. Congestion needs to be controlled. My only hope is that their threshold levels are correct. 70% seems a bit low to me, though the downstream is 80%. I also think that these should probably be more aggressively applied towards users who bought the higher tier services, as they would most likely be larger offenders of network congestion (though cumulatively, lower tier users can also be offenders, so they should not be exempt). Ultimately, though, they should work on upgrading their network so all users can have a better experience, without so much need for throttling.
  • 1 Hide
    wayneepalmer , November 6, 2009 4:37 PM
    Time Warner is also implementing something like this, too. I've noticed more and more dwell times on downloading video, a lot more website drops in the middle of streaming, hangups on opening pages, etc. As many pc's as it is happening on I know it isn't just something screwy on one system.

    I've seen it on Youtube, Hulu, video-linking off Facebook (accessing FB, too), and a whole lot of other places. You didn't see this a year ago and it seems to be getting worse.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , November 6, 2009 4:40 PM
    Wow, amazing how old news can still hurt a company.
    http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/Comcast-Slammed-For-NonExistent-Throttling-Changes-105380

    FYI, not from Comcast, I have to put up with TWC's RR.
  • 1 Hide
    thomasjm52 , November 6, 2009 4:40 PM
    homrqtleave to where?


    Good Point! We have Comcast or Qwest and why wld I pay the same amount for less speeds. Maybe I'm weird but I have never had any problems with comcast.
  • -2 Hide
    daft , November 6, 2009 4:42 PM
    ive noticed the throttling for about 2 weeks now. i don't like it at all. not one of my downloads has ever reached above 200KB/s during the last 2 weeks. parents refuse to change though
Display more comments
Tom’s guide in the world
  • Germany
  • France
  • Italy
  • Ireland
  • UK
Follow Tom’s guide
Subscribe to our newsletter
  • add to twitter
  • add to facebook
  • ajouter un flux RSS