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UPDATE - Numerous Mediacom Customers Without P2P Access

Postby SlyckTom » Tue Oct 26, 2004 4:54 pm

Imagine an average day in the life of a typical P2P customer. You wake up, hop onto Azureus, your favorite BitTorrent client, and start trading information. This has been going on for the last four years, on one network or another with little or no disruption. Then imagine one day, virtually all connections to your favorite P2P networks suddenly vanishes.

Before calling tech support, you go through all the motions. You remove your router and directly connect, you verify your connection settings, unplug your cable modem for a few minutes then reconnect...nothing. Finally, after hours of torment you finally decide to hopelessly call tech support; perhaps it is the ISP's network that is to blame.

Many experienced computer users typically cut to the chase and simply ask if there are similar problems in the local area. This usually eliminates the annoying troubleshooting routine, as if somehow you changed your network settings.

In many cases, Mediacom customers are being told there is no problem with the network, and that somehow it is their personal equipment. This explination may hold more some weight if it were only one or two individuals experiencing the inability to access P2P networks. However, by traversing the Mediacom forum on <a href=http://www.dslreports.com/forum/mediacom target="_blank">BroadBandReports.com</a>, the enormity of the situation becomes obvious.

After only a few days of experiencing such problems, there are already 8 forum threads on the issue. In addition, at least 20 different individuals over a wide geographical area are experiencing an identical problem. Although Mediacom tech support does frequent the forums, they have been unable to identify the issue. Instead, they continue to push the notion that it is not Mediacom to blame. And this appear to be true.

Not only are many Mediacom customers experiencing the virtual disappearance of their P2P abilities, many <a href=http://www.dslreports.com/forum/insight target="_blank">Insight BroadBand</a> customers are experiencing virtually identical problems. On the BearShare forums, dozens of customers have expressed their inability to connect to the Gnutella network. Please read the BearShare threads <a href=http://www.bearshare.net/showthread.php?t=31503&highlight=insight target="_blank">here</a> and <a href=http://www.bearshare.net/showthread.php?p=240637 target="_blank">here</a>.

While it appears neither Mediacom nor InsightBB are directly to blame; they do have something in common. Both Mediacom and InsightBB use AT&T as their Tier 1 (backbone) provider.

To get a clearer understanding of the situation, we spoke with Mediacom Vice President of IP Communications, JR Walden.

"First, Mediacom does not provide blockage of P2P applications. We have received a lot of complaints out of southern Illinois and we are trying to figure it out."

In addition, JR Walden states that when Mediacom receives DMCA (Digital Mellenium Copyright Act) complaints, they notify the individual. If the individual is a repeat offender, they terminate the individual's account, and not brush such a wide stroke that would affect many.

"Also, not all P2P applications are being affected. For some, BitTorrent may not work, however FastTrack may work fine. What we are also seeing is that some people in the same geographical area experiencing no P2P problems."

Mr. JR Walden also points out that Mediacom uses AT&T as their Tier 1 (backbone) provider. Mediacom operates over a wide geographical area, and other segments of the network such as Iowa, Florida, Alabama and Missouri are operating normally. Mediacom is currently trouble shooting the issue, however is having some difficulty in replication. Mediacom has a "ticket" open with AT&T and hope to have the situation resolved soon.

Slyck has contacted AT&T regarding this issue. A representative of AT&T stated they would notify us when they have more information.

<b>UPDATE:</b> Slyck has been in contact with AT&T's media relations personnel Robert Nersesian. While we thought we might be able to get a clearer explanation, this unfortunately is not the case. The following is a statement issued from AT&T:

"We have no evidence of any problem on our network. We've also had no complaints from Mediacom on this matter and have no open tickets or alarms for the facility that serves this area."

When asked if they were blocking P2P traffic, we were answered, "No."

Slyck will continue to research this increasingly bizarre situation.

Slyck would like to extend our thanks to Cory Higgins, a joint writer for Slyck and <a href=http://www.p2pforums.com target="_blank">P2P Forums</a> for his extensive assistance on this article.
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Postby JiMiThInG » Tue Oct 26, 2004 6:17 pm

I think its AT&T, and in fact was told by a mediacom tech guy that AT&T was some how limiting these ports in certain areas. I asked what areas, and he told me that it was areas the RIAA had told AT&T where high in illegal file sharing (funny enough a town with a college campus seems to be the most effected by this, carbondale, IL home of S.I.U) I had a second different tech guy tell me it was also AT&T somehow effecting P2P traffic in these areas. Funny that two tech guys would just "make" this up. I do beleve my ISP mediacom when they say its not them. But I have yet to be able to find one person in my town who has a mediacom cable connection that is able to use a fileshaing application.
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Postby Mel_Smiley_VIP » Tue Oct 26, 2004 6:33 pm

Man this is bad news! Lets hope this gets solved. With out P2P I'll cancel my broadband account.
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Postby rogue1021 » Tue Oct 26, 2004 6:43 pm

Mel_Smiley_VIP wrote:Man this is bad news! Lets hope this gets solved. With out P2P I'll cancel my broadband account.


You and about 60 million other people.
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Northern Indiana too

Postby tgt » Tue Oct 26, 2004 8:13 pm

I have found quite a few people from the northern Indiana area including myself hit with this problem at the exact same time as the people in Illinois. I am also getting the exact same issues as everyone with this problem and have yet to be able to connect with my normal P2P programs. I have been using multiple programs through multiple servers, all with same results. And considering the distance between the people having issues in northern Indiana and southern Illinois, I don't see how northern indiana and southern Illinois could be effected if it is just "geographically" isolated. This might be helpfull to mediacom and At&t if someone could forward this information. I have contacted Mediacom myself about this and they have....of course....said that it is probably my computer and/or software.

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Postby rvdmark » Tue Oct 26, 2004 8:26 pm

I live in Kentucky and I too am experiencing it.
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Postby Mel_Smiley_VIP » Tue Oct 26, 2004 8:56 pm

Oh crap, it seems to be spreading! WTF is going down?
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Postby rvdmark » Tue Oct 26, 2004 9:22 pm

I'm just glad the newsgroups are still running strong. :D
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Numerous Mediacom Customers Without P2P Access

Postby SlyckChuck » Tue Oct 26, 2004 9:27 pm

Seeing this makes a person think the industry spams that their witch hunt is a successis more than misleading. If it is soo successful then why the secretive manuever with an isp? The opinion is the industry feels helpess. They cannot get laws passed because it is opposed by tech companies. Now safe to assume they are resorting to dirty tricks like this. Should anyone really be surprised?
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Postby Mel_Smiley_VIP » Tue Oct 26, 2004 9:44 pm

I'm not really surprised but I am very concerned. So far it seems very successful in blocking traffic. The people effected must take action. I'm sure they are tired of trying to resolve this over the phone. Its time to start terminating their accounts. Also, how can they be doing this?


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Postby Mel_Smiley_VIP » Tue Oct 26, 2004 11:24 pm

Something just struck me as odd. I had not really put 2 and 2 together until I was going back and reading some old news.

Does it not seem strange that this is starting right on the verge of the RIAA rolling out their own P2P service? Can it be connected somehow?
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Numerous Mediacom Customers Without P2P Access

Postby SlyckChuck » Tue Oct 26, 2004 11:50 pm

Weirdness is abound. The RIAA rolling out its own p2p? It is not too much of a stretch. Every time I see this it makes me laugh. Those who trade files freely are proclaimed thieves yet they undermine the isp as shown above and now want to copy the p2p model and call it legit. The outrage should be heard as high as the Oval Office. This is plainly seen to be the best example of antitrust or monopolistic practices ever seen. May this industry burn for their lack of participation and persecuting the very people that buy the media along with downloading files. :idea:

The consumer is made to be the scapegoat for the industry. They forgot the customer is always right!!
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Postby Mel_Smiley_VIP » Tue Oct 26, 2004 11:56 pm

http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,65414,00.html




WASHINGTON -- Amid the recent collapse of talks over the Induce Act in Congress, record labels are closing in on deals to enable several new peer-to-peer services to emerge -- with the sanction of major record labels that have so far derided P2P as a haven for piracy.

At a panel held Wednesday by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington, at least one record industry representative predicted that such sanctioned P2P services will start to proliferate in the next several months

We are going to see three or four of these in the very, very near future," said Mitch Glazier, senior vice president of government relations and legislative counsel at the Recording Industry Association of America.

Glazier said the new services will be consumer-friendly and enable the portability that digital music consumers demand, all without running afoul of copyright law. "P2P technology is great," Glazier said. "It can be harnessed for good or harnessed for bad."
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Postby johngalt » Tue Oct 26, 2004 11:58 pm

OK, so who is going to join in on a class action lawsuit against the RIAA if the allegations that they are developing their own P2P app / network is true? After all, even if they make it for pay, it is still going to be a violation of IP somehow, in the essence that P2P was not developed by them and thus they need to pay out royalties to the original developers of P2P and file - sharing apps.

I saw this needs to be investigated immediately to either verify or discredit the allegations.

EDIT: Added the following:

Well, I guess the above post seems to support the theory. So, will the RIAA still continue to crackdown on sharing?

You bet! Why?

Of course, it comes down to 'revenue' - and the fact that they are not getting any from individual sharers.
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Postby JiMiThInG » Wed Oct 27, 2004 12:29 am

I just got off the phone with mediacom tech support yet again. Between all the threads at DSLreports, and this story they are fianlly admitting there is something wrong. And in fact we earger to take whatever information they could get from me about it. I have found the tech support they have on latter at night tend to be much more "in the know" and willing to help. I honestly believe that Mediacom is tring to fix this, and that they really honestly didn't know about this until the complaints begain to come in loud enough. Thanks to slyck.com for helping bring this to attention. Also if you are one of the customers being effected by this, make regular calls to mediacom letting them hear about it, and maybe even post over at the dlsreports forums. Let them know your exact town. Also if you know other people in the town with the same ISP goto there machines and see if they are doing the samething. Its much more effective if you can prove its a town wide thing. I have checked over a dozen pc's connected with mediacom here in Pontiac, IL and not one will work with P2P.
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Postby DepecheNode » Wed Oct 27, 2004 1:54 am

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Postby mpfenton » Wed Oct 27, 2004 4:09 am

Just speculation but maybe Microsoft is behind this.

It's well known that BitTorrent is the tool of choice for Linux distro and Linux is kicking Microsoft's ass. Microsoft is suspect number one on my list.
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Will E-mail that displeases them be the next thing?

Postby nevertobee » Wed Oct 27, 2004 5:26 am

This sounds disturbing! Im not affected (not US based), but I am concerned any way because if the ISP are starting to filter content then where will it stop?
When and where will it spread?

Will E-mail that displeases them be the next thing? Im sorry to say but people in the USA are getting a little tilted view of the world and the internet in one source of getting the information right / wrong depending on your view.
Nobody can say that the Newspapers and cabel networks don´t select what to print/send.
(if something big happened look at CNN/BBC/Sky News/arabnews, you will get 4 different angels and 4 different explanations)

Internet should be free for any one and for any thing, no one should decide what to do on the net, if its illegal then it´s the user that are responsible not the NET it self.
If they are stopping p2p they will stop me from chatting and sharing with my brothers and we are not doing anything illegal, is that the right way to go?
Next step.. are we not to be able to send E-mail that contain the wrong word? Im afraid where this is going? Are USA the next China (blocking inappropriate traffic)?
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Postby Mel_Smiley_VIP » Wed Oct 27, 2004 5:49 am

Internet should be free for any one and for any thing


But not child porn. Somethings just aint right


But lets get back on track. I don't think Microsoft would be behind this or everyone would have woke up to find their internet screwed. Plus, it more than likely would have been done by an update. Its AT&T and the RIAA behind this for sure.
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Postby poullos » Wed Oct 27, 2004 6:02 am

mpfenton wrote:Just speculation but maybe Microsoft is behind this.
Just ask linux users if they experience the same problem.

I haven't experienced anything here in Cyprus(South-Eastern Europe). I'm using windows os, but I disabled updates long time ago.
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Postby JaKo30 » Wed Oct 27, 2004 9:08 am

hang in there guys, surely this issue will be resolved soon. No doubt you will get the answers sooner than later to what the hell is going on! :)
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Postby Drake » Wed Oct 27, 2004 10:46 am

Writing this article was a very good idea. Great research guys, the links to the threads on the Bearshare forum proves that AT&T is using software which renders P2P apps unusable. We should have all picked up on this sooner since the people at Bearshare knew about this months ago, but at least we know now.

This is a huge blow to P2P and I don't think there's anything we can do about it. However, it's very important that everyone who has been affected by this call their ISP (several times a day if necessary) and voice their extreme displeasure. If they will not or can not fix this you need to cancel your account with them.

If you stay with Mediacom, Insight or any other ISP that is not allowing P2P apps to run properly you are basically telling them that you are accepting this and that you are willing to continue to pay big bucks for service without P2P. This can not happen.

If other ISP's witness that Mediacom and Insight are not losing customers, they will jump on the wagon and decide to ban P2P as well since they will have come to the conclusion that they will not lose customers ($$) and will be able to save money on bandwidth.

We have to make our voices heard and I hope that this story will not die in a few weeks. We need to get the word out to as many people as possible that these ISP's are not allowing p2p apps to run. Whether or not the ISP is to blame is irrelevant. If they lose enough customers the ISP's will do something about this! Hopefully, they'll find an alternative to AT&T.
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Postby ToM » Wed Oct 27, 2004 11:03 am

I couldn't agree with you more Drake! No one who has a subcription to an ISP who uses AT&T as their backbone should sit back and allow this to happen.
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Postby RyanThaDude29 » Wed Oct 27, 2004 11:19 am

ToM wrote:I couldn't agree with you more Drake! No one who has a subcription to an ISP who uses AT&T as their backbone should sit back and allow this to happen.
You can believe me I'm not letting it happen! I'm one of those who is affected.
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Postby RyanThaDude29 » Wed Oct 27, 2004 3:13 pm

Don't wanna jump the gun, but so far seems like it's been fixed.

/me knocks on wood :lol:
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