Policy + charging

University Study Takes Comcast to Task

Just when the heat on Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s traffic management policies seems to be cooling down after the MSO announced a collaboration with BitTorrent Inc. last month, newly published data from four University of Colorado student researchers and associate professors may rekindle the flames a bit. (See Comcast Caves In to P2P Pressure.)

Comcast has already been under fire for how it manages upstream P2P traffic, but the CU researchers claim that the MSO's traffic shaping is now "aimed at any new TCP connection regardless of the application-level protocol."

Based on synthetically generated "traces," the researchers found that Comcast Internet users "may find it extremely difficult to establish new TCP connections while using any application that has a relatively high rate of TCP connection establishment on a Comcast link."

A Comcast spokesman confirmed an earlier report that the CU study findings have nothing to do with the forthcoming "protocol agnostic" system. And the MSO has a few questions for the researchers themselves.

"I can confirm that we have not made any shift in our network management policy yet and have not implemented the protocol agnostic approach that we announced two weeks ago," Comcast spokesman Charlie Douglas said, via email. "At that time, we said we would migrate to this new system before the end of the year. We are currently attempting to contact the PhD students and associate professors at the University of Colorado to better understand their analysis."

According to a posting of the study, the researchers synthetically generated the packets and collected data from "multiple Comcast accounts, all within close geographical proximity."

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 3:43:59 PM
re: University Study Takes Comcast to Task We'll have more on this soon, but looks like the Univ. of Colo. folks have agreed to reassess their findings:

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 3:43:58 PM
re: University Study Takes Comcast to Task Just another quick update on this: The Univ. of Colo. group has now removed the analysis and replaced with a new message. http://systems.cs.colorado.edu...
Sign In