Comcast Should Adopt Behavior-Based Shaping to Stay out of Trouble

Well it finally happened…

As reported by the NY times :

SAN FRANCISCO — Comcast, the country’s largest residential Internet provider, said on Thursday that it would take a more equitable approach toward managing the ever-expanding flow of Web traffic on its network.

The cable company, based in Philadelphia, has been under relentless pressure from the Federal Communications Commission and public interest groups after media reports last year that it was blocking some Internet traffic of customers who used online software based on the popular peer-to-peer BitTorrent protocol.

As many of our ISP customers already know, we have been proselytizing that using layer-7 packet shaping is a slippery slope for any provider and it was only a matter of time before a large provider such as Comcast would be forced to change their ways.

Note: Layer-7 shaping involves looking at data to determine what it is. A technique commonly used to identify bit torrent traffic.

The NetEqualizer methodology for application shaping has been agnostic with respect to type of data for quite some time. We have shown through our thousands of customers that you can effectively control and give priority to Internet traffic based on behavior. We did not feel comfortable with our layer-7 application shaping techniques and hence we ceased to support that methodology almost two years ago. We now manage traffic as a resource much the same way a municipality would/should ration water if there was a shortage.

Customers understand this. For example, if you simply tell somebody they must share a resource such as water, the Internet, or butter (as in WWII), and that they may periodically get a reduced amount, they will likely agree that sharing the resource is better than one person getting all of the resource while others suffer. Well, that is exactly what a NetEqualizer does with Internet resources, albeit in real time. Internet bandwidth is very spiky. It comes and goes in milliseconds and there is no time for a quorum.

We’ll keep an eye on this for you. If you are interested in learning more about how our technology differs from application-based shaping, the following link is very useful:

2 Responses to “Comcast Should Adopt Behavior-Based Shaping to Stay out of Trouble”

  1. Jason Says:

    The growing need for bandwidth will continue to cause ISP’s to re-evaluate their business practices and technologies in order to provide what the customers need and to stay competitive. I agree that the philosophy and technology behind the Netequalizer can help ISP’s and other business move towards a more balanced approach to bandwidth management. Targeting Bittorrent traffic will only lead to more encypted Bittorrent traffic or to an entirely new P2P technology which may be even harder for a layer 7 device to control.

  2. FCC to Rule Comcast Can’t Block Web Videos « NetEqualizer News Blog Says:

    […] Posts About the NetEqualizer…Comcast Should Adopt Behavior-Based Shaping to Stay out of TroubleA Detailed Case Study of Packet Shaper and NetEqualizerName-Based Shaping Is Now Available!Why […]

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