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Comcast busted for bagging BitTorrents (again)

'We manage, but we don't block.'

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New tests have confirmed that Comcast is throttling file-sharing traffic.

Citing tests run on machines across the US, The Associated Press reported today that the big-name internet service provider "actively interferes" with attempts to swap files over P2P networks like BitTorrent, eDonkey, and Gnutella.

The Reg first discussed this phenomenon in late August, after a post on the Dutch file-sharing blog TorrentFreak.

But claims of Comcast P2P throttling go all the way back to the late spring, when a independent tester named Robb Topolski told readers on DSLReports that the ISP was using a networking management tool called Sandvine to prevent BitTorrent users from "seeding" files - i.e. making them available to other users.

This afternoon, Comcast told us the much same thing it told us in August. "Comcast does not block access to any Websites or online applications, including peer-to-peer services like BitTorrent," reads the company's canned statement.

But no one is accusing the ISP of "blocking" access to web sites or applications. At issue is whether it's interfering with traffic. Later in the statement, Comcast does cop to "managing" traffic, but it says this is simply part of an effort to provide it's users with a really good time.

"Our customers use the Internet for downloading and uploading files, watching movies and videos, streaming music, sharing digital photos, accessing numerous peer-to-peer sites and thousands of applications online," the statement continues. "We have a responsibility to provide all of our customers with a good Internet experience and we use the latest technologies to manage our network so that they can continue to enjoy these applications." ®

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