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Vuze Petitions FCC on Comcast's Traffic Management
November 16, 2007
Thomas Mennecke
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P2P Blog, one of the best "unknown" P2P news sites, has just published an article regarding Vuze's (formerly Azurues) petition for rule making to the FCC. The petition assails Comcast's alleged traffic management techniques, which has caused some BitTorrent uses to experience degradation in upload performance. This is actually more problematic to content distributors such as Vuze, as the userbase could always migrate to a different network to share on. Vuze has considerably more than an inconvenience on the line.

At present, bandwidth management of the BitTorrent protocol hasn't quite reached the crisis level some fear it might achieve. The situation is relatively confined in pockets, as there are many more users who experience unmitigated performance than those who suffer under traffic shaping. Yet those under Comcast's alleged throttling appear to be growing in number, and becoming more vocal about their situation.

Vuze has offered very little to help quell the situation. Believing it is entitled to reasonable traffic management, Comcast does not look at their policy as blocking, rather they refer to it as "delaying". This ploy actively requires Comcast's "delaying" technology to interfere with a BitTorrent transmission by communicating to the client to stop uploading. Such a policy has advocates such as Vuze rekindling the Net Neutrality wildfire.

Vuze has managed to successfully carve out its own niche in the legitimate BitTorrent market. Although it faces stiff competition from BitTorrent, Inc., Vuze has what many consider an exceptional file-sharing client coupled with an online store that equals the BEN (BitTorrent Entertainment Network.) With just as much at stake as BitTorrent, Inc. or any other content distributor, Vuze yesterday submitted a petition to the FCC asking the commission to "adopt regulations preventing arbitrary interference by broadband network operators with peer-to-peer (P2P) network traffic carried over their networks."

Vuze's petition at one point focuses on several questionable practices of ISPs not only throttling bandwidth, but free speech as well. Their petition brings up several cases where ISPs have purportedly levied their influence on the political landscape, such as the alleged AT&T censoring of criticism against President Bush during a webcast of a Perl Jam concert. Such influence is a subject of deep concern, Vuze contends, as is inconsistent with the nature of Net Neutrality and the First Amendment.

"...independent content creators who happen to be Comcast subscribers are not able to easily upload content to Vuze via the Comcast broadband network, frustrating their ability to distribute and possibly monetize their content. Comcast’s actions thereby limit the amount and diversity of content available to consumers and the opportunity for innovation, creativity and free speech for content publishers."

BitTorrent’s accepted legitimacy might have some impact on the FCC’s governing of Net Neutrality. Like BitTorrent, Inc., Vuze is a justifiable business with a lot on the line. Comcast’s current policy may give an unfair advantage to other similar entities, and if the FCC realizes this, may eventually lead to ruling in Vuze's favor.

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
BitTorrent :: BitTorrent Community

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