Comcast Denied that It was Slowing Down BitTorrent Traffic on Its Network

A spokesperson for Comcast refuted rumors that the company was shaping or restricting BitTorrent’s transmissions.

Comcast’s Debunks the Assertions by BitTorrent

On Tuesday (August 2), Comcast shot against claims that it was throttling BitTorrent traffic on its network.

BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer file-sharing protocol for sharing essential data files, such as videos. The protocol has been commonly used to disseminate pirated movies online. The film industry has also targeted websites that follow the protocol to halt the unauthorized dissemination of copyrighted content.

Broadband firms are less thrilled about BitTorrent since the peer-to-peer technology may clog networks with huge files. TorrentFreak claims that ISPs have been throttling BitTorrent bandwidth for two years. The site also accused Comcast of restricting BitTorrent last week.

According to the site, some Comcast users experienced interrupted BitTorrent transfers and slowed downloads. These claims have been posted for days. 

As a response, Comcast’s Spokesman Charlie Douglas denied shaping or filtering network traffic. He stated the company doesn’t evaluate software or material downloaded across the network. 

Douglas didn’t give specific numbers but presented examples that may cause problems. Comcast may send a letter or call to someone who sends more than 13 million e-mails monthly, or 430,000 a day or 18,000 an hour. Sending 250,000 photographs or downloading 30,000 music monthly may raise the firm’s eyebrows.

He also said the company contacts consumers to address problems while enforcing its policy and does not censor or delay traffic.

The year-long Net Neutrality debate is about filtering traffic or banning applications. To ensure a certain level of service, broadband providers say they must be able to recognize traffic and set the quality of service. Consumer activists say a neutral network and unfettered bandwidth are needed to make all applications accessible.

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Comcast and Charter Struggle with Internet Growth

The two biggest cable providers in the US, Comcast, and Charter are struggling with internet expansion.

Over the previous ten years, as tens of millions of Americans dropped their cable TV service, the cable industry concentrated on the more lucrative sale of broadband internet.

As a result of both providers reporting residential broadband decreases in the second quarter, the number of American homes paying Comcast and Charter for high-speed internet is declining for the first time. Comcast said losing 10,000 residential subscribers and another 30,000 in July. Charter lost 42,000 customers.

The chief executives of Comcast, Brian Roberts, and Charter, Tom Rutledge, attributed the losses primarily to macroeconomic factors and higher-than-average gains during the epidemic. Comcast expressly cited fewer individuals relocating as the primary cause of decreasing connections.

During Comcast’s earnings conference call last month, Roberts said that “moves throughout our footprint have dramatically slowed down.” He observed that the firm gained roughly 50% more clients in the first year of the epidemic than it had in the previous year.

Comcast and Charter investors are now trading at two-year lows and are very concerned about the sudden halt to the broadband growth run. Comcast’s stock has lost around 25% of its value this year, 2022, while Charter has lost nearly 33%.

Roberts noted in the results conference that increased competition was a factor in the broadband decline, even if pandemic and macroeconomic trends could decrease over time.

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