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Comcast ISP - blocking traffic

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by thumperr, Oct 19, 2007.

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  1. mchaney

    mchaney Godfather

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    Aug 17, 2006
    The DVR is nothing more than a computer. How is DirecTV's VOD any different than when you sign up for a paid online video service like some of the online TV services or even a premium YouTube account. If you pay for internet service, you should be getting what you paid for.

    Mike
     
  2. oakwcj

    oakwcj Lower Echelon

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    The problem is that you don't know what you paid for, because of all the calculated ambiguities and loopholes in the user agreements that are imposed on you.
     
  3. MikeR

    MikeR Hall Of Fame

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    :D True.

    Bottom line is that I do not believe Comcast will do anything to improve their services without additional competition. I also do not believe it will be limited to P2P or uploads. They will continue to add subscribers, raise rates, and "manage thier network" with minimal capital investment on the internet side.

    Look at the HD rollout.....did you see Comcast taking a market leadership role?

    Not unless Directv or other competitor starts taking customers ($$$$$) from them. Right now as a comparison, the investments in their network go in any area that has Fios (and only if Fios is available).

    Netflix to join in the internet downloading of movies.
     
  4. gcisko

    gcisko I am Iron Man!

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    Because they use their own cable system for their own Video On Demand service. It is kind of offensive that anyone would try to use someone elses cable system solution for their Video On Demand solution. How much is D* charging to use VOD on someone elses internet service?
     
  5. gcisko

    gcisko I am Iron Man!

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    Does comcast offer Vodeo On Demand? Why yes it does. Does D* offer it? Why yes it does. However you must use your internet connection. So if comcast offers a service why should they allow someone to offer the same service on their lines for free?
     
  6. orinth

    orinth AllStar

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  7. oakwcj

    oakwcj Lower Echelon

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    Sep 28, 2006
    Is it similarly "offensive" for me to use Skype on an AT&T DSL service? This is precisely why we need net neutrality. Comcast is a so-called "natural" or regulated monopoly. There's only one cable system in each area. It's dangerous in the extreme to allow it to block content that is in competition with one or more of its many services or to treat that usage differently from any other. That's what's really offensive.
     
  8. houskamp

    houskamp New Member

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    Sep 14, 2006
    Free? I pay for my internet line....
     
  9. mchaney

    mchaney Godfather

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    Aug 17, 2006
    It's not free. It's part of your internet service that YOU pay for! If DirecTV offered a way to watch streaming movies off their web site and you used your computer to access their web site and watch movies from your computer, you'd have no problem with that, right? Now replace your computer with the HR20. No difference! For you to be right, Comcast would have to have a stipulation in their contract that says you could be cut off or bandwidth limited for watching streaming video or downloading videos off the internet, because that's all the HR20 is doing. In this case, the HR20 is nothing more than a media server.

    Mike
     
  10. jjohns

    jjohns Godfather

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    Sep 15, 2007
    I haven't read anything about them "blocking" content. Just regulating it.
     
  11. mchaney

    mchaney Godfather

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    Aug 17, 2006
    Depends on how you define "blocking". If you paid for a 10 Mbps pipe and Comcast is limiting you to 5 Mbps, technically they are "blocking" half your bandwidth.

    Mike
     
  12. dbmaven

    dbmaven Icon

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    May 29, 2004
    They're forging packets, which terminates transfers. That's blocking.
    Read:
    http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r18323368-Comcast-is-using-Sandvine-to-manage-P2P-Connections


    Additionally, if you happen to live in a "busy" area, and you exceed some mystical/magical/unspecified limit (reputed to be between 200 and 300 GB in some further undefined time period) of download activity, your service may be completely shut off. That's more than regulating - in fact, it may be the ultimate form of blocking.
    Comcast Account Suspended: http://www.dslreports.com/forum/remark,7970996
     
  13. jjohns

    jjohns Godfather

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    Sep 15, 2007

    "It's dangerous in the extreme to allow it to block content that is in competition with one or more of its many services or to treat that usage differently from any other."


    I thought in this use of "block content" it was being implied that Comcast was not allowing content that was in competition with it. My bad.
     
  14. mchaney

    mchaney Godfather

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    Aug 17, 2006
    This is all really very simple. With D* VOD, you are using a computer to download videos off the internet. Where in the Comcast contract does it say you are not allowed to download videos off the internet? Or that they'll limit your bandwidth to something less than what you paid for if they "sniff" you and discover that you are downloading too many videos off the internet? Or that you cannot access an internet site owned by DirecTV for this purpose? Or use a computer built by a company named "DirecTV" to do it?

    Mike
     
  15. gcisko

    gcisko I am Iron Man!

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    Sep 27, 2006
    Yes but if you used Comcast Video On Demand you would be paying extra on top of your internet connection. The money D* gets for VOD should go to the media provider if the content is gotten via broadband D* does not provide. You obviously have to understand this. So I am not sure what to make of your argument.
     
  16. gcisko

    gcisko I am Iron Man!

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    Sep 27, 2006
    OK you have a point with Skype. I guess I need to rethink this. But I guess my issue is that Comcast offers VOD. So I can see where they wouldnot someone else using their cable system to offer another VOD for television viewing. Perhaps I am looking at it more of a television service than an internet service.
     
  17. mchaney

    mchaney Godfather

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    Aug 17, 2006
    This logic simply makes no sense whatsoever. You already paid for the internet service once, to do whatever you wish with your connection, anything that is legal anyway. Now you want people to pay double because you are able to download videos off the internet and Comcast also offers videos? What's next? Comcast revokes your service because they find out you are using Vonage and they also offer VOIP? Or maybe they'll block the "watch full episodes" links on the network sites: why let you watch full episodes of shows from NBC, CBS, ABC, etc. when Comcast also offers the same shows? Should they be allowed to tell you exactly what you can do and where you can go on the internet? I don't think so!

    Mike
     
  18. dbmaven

    dbmaven Icon

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    May 29, 2004
    I understand your point - but disagree with it.

    Cable TV "signals" are in a completely different frequency range from Internet service provided by the same company. To the best of my knowledge (and I'll be more than happy to be corrected if wrong) - cable provider VOD content uses the 'cable TV' frequencies/bandwidth. And it's different - because it is truly "on-demand" - you're not downloading anything - merely telling a remote device to start streaming the content to you.

    Internet connections are like a "pipe within a pipe" on cable infrastructure. What happens within the ISP pipe, since it is a different frequency band than TV, does not have any impact - and vice-versa.

    I could choose to go to any number of places to get my "broadband video content" - including streaming video - and frankly it's none of the ISPs business where that comes from or who's providing it.

    Having said all that - I have no particular issue with some form(s) of traffic shaping - provided that they are publicly acknowledged, and specifically stated. Keeping the pipe 'unclogged' so that everyone gets some bandwidth seems reasonable to me - and if that means rate limiting people who are "hogging" tons of bandwidth during peak hours - then so be it - provided that they are above board and publicly state that this is what they're doing.

    Comcast is blocking certain types of traffic (see links provided earlier) including BitTorrent, and now it's impacting applications like Lotus Notes, and their limits are not publicly stated (for the 'big downloaders').

    I've specifically recommended that D* add "scheduling" to their DOD service - so that people can queue up a download for off-peak hours (2 AM - 6AM local time) - when there's less issue of lots of people trying to use that shared pipe - and I still think it would be a good idea for those who live in constrained areas.
     
  19. tiger2005

    tiger2005 Godfather

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    Sep 22, 2006
  20. oakwcj

    oakwcj Lower Echelon

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    Sep 28, 2006
    The point is that Comcast ISP is acting as a common carrier. It should have no more right to decide what packets it carries than the phone company should have to determine what calls you can make or receive. When the internet was first established --by the government, I should point out -- the decision was made that "a packet is a packet is a packet." It's a good rule. Otherwise, why can't Comcast just block everything coming from or going to DirecTV's website? I know that's an extreme hypothetical, but it's critical for understanding that an ISP is acting as a common carrier. It can establish user agreements with usage caps or higher rates for usage in excess of a published ceiling. But it must not be allowed into the business of deciding that some packets are more equal than others.
     
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