Comcast Ceases Throttling Traffic After Negative AP Story?

Last week, Comcast got positively busted by the AP for disrupting users who use a popular file-sharing method called BitTorrent. Now Reader Brandon in the DC area says:

I’ve found that Comcast isn’t throttling traffic now that they’ve been exposed. I’d been throttled for the few days prior to the story, then two days after bam, I was downloading. I downloaded 2 gigs of music.

Comcast is probably just going into hiding so other outlets can’t issue confirmation reports of the AP story, then after the news forgets about it, they’ll go right back to it. But not the internet. The internet never forgets. Especially when you’re trying to stop the internet from internetting.

Comcast: “We Throttle Traffic To Help Other Users; Besides, It’s Not Permanent”
Comcast Impersonates Users’ Computers To Meddle With Internet Traffic


Edit Your Comment

  1. Geekybiker says:

    Trouble is there is often no other game in town than comcast. :( I live smack in the middle of the chicago burbs and I still have extremely limited broadband choice.

  2. Segars says:

    I will definitely give Halo 3 and see if the problem exists.

  3. bradym80 says:

    I am in the exact same situation. I am in Oak Park and we too do not have any other choice when it comes to broadband. I plan to goto a village hall meeting and request that Oak Park not renew any contracts with Comcast. That is the only way prices will go down, if the monopoly is broken and the town is open to competition.

  4. m0unds says:

    Personally, I’ve never experienced any kind of throttling of P2P traffic here in Albuquerque. I’m not sure that they deployed it on all markets or what, but I’ve never had a problem seeding Ubuntu and OpenSuSE torrents.

  5. robdew2 says:

    This headlines is based on a single anecdote?

  6. JustAGuy2 says:


    You have no internet choice? Very surprising, you’re in an urban area in AT&T territory, are you saying that you can’t get DSL?

  7. ShadowFalls says:

    DSL in most areas really isn’t a choice. It is like comparing apples and carrots when concerning available speed for price.

  8. Hopefully Ted was downloading music lawfully shared with BitTorrent. Because copoyright infringement isn’t “sharing” anymore than Comcast’s bandwidth throttling is honest.

  9. Ikki says:

    Oh, Consumerist, hath thou turnt to sensationalism as well? Downloading wasn’t affected that much by Comcast; it was really seeding that attracted criticism due to the reset packets. I’m actually surprised that you guys didn’t even fact check; your linked article even says,

    Comcast subscribers can download BitTorrent files without hindrance. Only uploads of complete files are blocked or delayed by the company, as indicated by AP tests.

    Ted just probably got lucky when he finally connected to a non-Comcast uploader to get his music.

  10. Shadowfire says:

    @ShadowFalls: But most people don’t need the speed that cable gives… I’d be perfectly happy with DSL if it was actually available in my area.

  11. vr4z06gt says:

    @Ikki: i dunno im in the same boat, for the last few months i would average 5kbps up to about 30, now all of a sudden im at 200-300kbps…maybe a coincidence maybe not….

  12. Time to test this theory out after Comcast called their story utter bollocks.


  13. IndyJaws says:

    Unfortunately, Usenet downloads are still capped at 6 Mbps.

  14. Buran says:

    @CaliforniaCajun: You do realize that BitTorrent isn’t just about sharing music right? Worked great for downloading Ubuntu 7.10.

  15. gnubian says:

    IMHO, no they haven’t .. may have gotten worse. I wasn’t seeing any fluctuations in my upload speeds a week ago .. today, they have been horrendous. Until today, I have been able to maintain a constant speed on any upload (set to 50k, it stays at 50k .. set to 60k, it stays at 60k .. give or take a small amount). All day long, I spike up to my max set speed, drop to 0 .. spike up, drop to zero. I download 4 things per week .. I’ve been downloading the same 4 things for a few years, so I know what they are supposed to be doing .. I’m guessing, since all else I do works great, that this is the filtering at its finest ..

  16. micahd says:

    I’ve noticed similar things with my comcast connection, a few days after the negative press I was able to upload torrents again. I was always getting decent download speeds (and uploads while download the same torrent) but once I had download the file I was totally unable to seed it was always stuck at 0 peers and 0k/sec.

    However, today it appears to be back to normal.

  17. louisb3 says:

    @micahd: Is “normal” throttled or non-throttled?

  18. azntg says:

    @Buran: To add, some games/applications use Bittorrent or a similar protocol for updates too. If they are games, they can have quite huge filesizes!

    On a slightly different note: Hey Verizon, if you can read this… take note of this incident! Don’t you even dare think about going down the same road!

  19. @Buran: Go back and read Ted’s quote.

    “….then two days after bam, I was downloading. I downloaded 2 gigs of music.

  20. Trai_Dep says:

    Sigh. Consumerist guys, Ben in particular, you should know better. Comcast throttled the UPloading of torrents, not the downloading. Which would break the back of P2P protocols if everyone did it. So your annecdotal source, and you, have completely missed the point.

    And, for the sake of the children, at least find someone that’s not (probably) downloading copyrighted material? It’s the sort of thing the RIAA would luuuuv to print out and distribute to their lobbyists the next time Consumerist is in the middle of a fracas for consumers.

  21. aikoto says:


    He never said he downloaded COPYRIGHTED music.

  22. weave says:

    Look, the headline *DOES* have a question mark on it. Sort of like when Fox News posts a banner like “Is Hillary Clinton the Anti-Christ?” A claim is not being made in either case!

  23. Sidecutter says:

    @Ikki: Ted just probably got lucky when he finally connected to a non-Comcast uploader to get his music.

    It doesn’t matter who the uploader is at all, it looks like. Seems that Comcast basically says “Oh, a torrent”, then steps into the middle and interrupts both ends with false stop messages. Doesn’t seem to matter what network the uploader is on.

  24. kylere says:

    This is simply not true, I pulled Ubuntu last week and there are over 200 leechers, I am not using Peerguardian or any other blocklist as I only torrent legit files and I cannot seed to people. The pattern is that it starts to up, runs to 20-25kB/s up then the RST hits and it dies. This has not changed at all in the last 168 hours. Encryption does not help, nor does any of the other ideas put forth by the technically challenged.

    In addition, this RST process occurs randomly to when I stupid enough to use Comcast’s pathetic DNS servers. Odds are that is part of the testing for the lack of net neutrality coming.

    I have an appointment for DSL installation on the 8th, and am dropping my entire Comcast package. Anyone that stays on Comcast is contributing to the problem.

  25. swalve says:

    I noticed that with google too the last couple days.

  26. axiomatic says:

    Ben you have it correct, Comcast is most likely “laying low” right now until the consumer anger subsides. We are all kidding ourselves thinking that Comcast will just stop using the VERY EXPENSIVE Sandvine software doing the “shaping” of bittorrent uploads. They pretty much have to use the software or that divisions financial report will suffer. This is a business people, and we consumers are apparently not part of that equation.

    If Comcast were not my only option in my neighborhood I would leave them in an instant.

  27. theblackdog says:

    I heard about the throttling 3 months ago (and experienced it as well), only now it’s hitting the mainstream?

    I dropped Comcast’s sorry ass anyway.

  28. Geekybiker says:

    No, I can’t get DSL. CO distance is too great. Pretty sad for a major metropolitan area.

  29. TradeYouselfIn says:

    So a single user reports that he can DOWNLOAD music and you guys write an article about it? First of all Comcast was only shaping upload traffic so it wouldn’t matter if he downloaded 2TB of music since he would upload very little if any.

    For anybody actually interested in uploading, you can get around COmcast’s throttling by changing your DNS servers to something like OpenDNS.

    PS. I saw a Yeti at my local Walmart, can you write an article about me?

  30. Theory Tested: Comcast still fuckin with my connection.

  31. Can’t even get a damn Fedora Core DVD ISO…