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Optical/IP

Comcast Fires Back

Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) EVP David Cohen took umbrage at the statement Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman and perpetual cable thorn Kevin Martin issued after the MSO announced it is collaborating with BitTorrent Inc. (and several others, apparently) and planning to deploy a new "protocol agnostic" system, amid mounting pressure about how Comcast throttles P2P traffic. (See Comcast Caves In to P2P Pressure.)

In a letter sent to Martin on March 28, Cohen wrote: "Your response was perplexing; it repeated erroneous characterizations of Comcast's network management practices and disclosure policies that we have taken great pains to clarify on multiple occasions."

In part, Cohen is upset about Martin's assertion that Comcast "arbitrarily block[s] certain application on its network."

Comcast, of course, has been adamant that it does not block any applications and services, but acknowledges that its present network management system delays some P2P uploads in order to prevent network congestion. (See Comcast Defends P2P Management .)

Comcast hasn't gone into too much detail yet about how its new system will be different, but I'll admit I did a double take when I read Cynthia Brumfield's blog about it on this very special day.

Martin also called on Comcast to commit to when it will move away from its current P2P management system. (See FCC Chair to Comcast: Set a Date.)

But Comcast isn't taking the bait. "We just cannot turn off our current system overnight and put our customers at risk of network congestion. For the benefit of all of our customers, it is essential that migration be appropriately timed, a reality that BitTorrrent and numerous commentators acknowledge," he wrote.

As I've been told multiple times by multiple people who are following this closely: At least the people who are debating the issue aren't all that passionate about it or anything.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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