Comcast to Target Internet Hogs
Comcast announced it will begin tests this week to limit bandwidth usage of heavy Internet users. Comcast has suffered intense criticism in the past when it was determined it was interfering with traffic using peer-to-peer file sharing protocols under the guise of 'traffic management'. Those practices eventually landed the company in hot water, not only with users, but with the FCC as well. Under the new plan, Comcast is to test limiting bandwidth for individual users instead of specific programs. During the tests to be conducted in markets in Virginia and Pennsylvania, users who utilize a lot of bandwidth over extended periods can find their bandwidth throttled during congested periods. This announcement comes on the heels of Time-Warner's testing of tiered Internet usage plan in Beaumont, Texas. In contrast to the shroud of secrecy surrounding practices in the past, Comcast seems to have learned a bitter lesson and is being much more open about the new plans by emailing customers in the test markets and posting notices on its web site. Comcast hopes to roll out the management technique nationwide by the end of the year.