Report sucks Cox into net neutrality swamp

Thu, 05/15/2008 - 8:30am
Brian Santo

Yet another organization is accusing Comcast of blocking peer-to-peer (P2P) traffic, but this study also snares Cox Communications and Starhub of Singapore.

The Max Planck Institute for Software Systems ran a worldwide test to determine if BitTorrent traffic is being blocked. It determined that blocking was rampant only in the U.S. and Singapore.

Comcast has defended itself with the claim that it only blocks traffic during times of heavy traffic.

The Institute says its tests indicate that Comcast and Cox block traffic fairly consistently at all hours of the day.

It is unclear if other North American operators were included in the tests.

The Institute named its test tool Glasnost. The organization identified a number of hosts in each country, then calculated the number of blocked hosts.

The organization explained “our test sets up a series of BitTorrent flows between an end user's host and our Glasnost test servers. We collect the packet trace for each flow on the server side, and we closely monitor both end points for any error conditions that might cause a flow to be aborted. If a flow is aborted by a control (RST) packet that was not sent by either of the end points, we report the flow as being blocked by some ISP along its path.”

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