Turns out Comcast (CMCSA) isn’t the only U.S. Internet provider disrupting its subscribers’ file-sharing transfers. A worldwide study obtained by the AP shows that Cox Communications, the No. 4 U.S. ISP, is also interfering with its subscribers’ Internet activity.
Of the 788 Comcast subscribers who participated in the study, 491, or 62 per cent, had their connections blocked. At Cox, 82 out of 151 subscribers, or 54 per cent, were blocked, according to Krishna Gummadi at the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems in Saarbruecken, Germany.
The difference: While Comcast didn’t tell its subscribers their Internet access was getting interfered with — which is mostly what got the FCC so upset earlier this year — Cox mentions it in their subscriber agreement. (Not that anyone reads those.) AP:
At least since 2006, Cox’s subscriber agreement has noted that the company engages in “protocol filtering,” which means that it treats different types of Internet traffic, like Web surfing, e-mail and file-sharing, differently.
“To ensure the best possible online experience for our customers, Cox actively manages network traffic through a variety of methods including traffic prioritization and protocol filtering,” the company said it a written statement.
Later this year, Comcast will stop disrupting its subcribers’ BitTorrent transfers, and instead will slow down all Internet activity for heavy users during high-traffic periods. The cable giant is also reportedly considering capping bandwidth limits and charging hogs overage fees.