P2P site calls for ISP rules

Torrent of criticism?

Comcast's decision to work with BitTorrent Inc to ease criticism over their

controversial traffic-shaping

has stirred up debate from other peer to peer (P2P) providers, with the CEO of


telling TechRadar that wider-reaching talks are necessary.

Comcast have ducked some of the ongoing ire at their 'traffic management', restructuring their system for restricting heavy users and blocking certain high-bandwidth sites and services.

One of the things 'managed' was P2P, and Comcast announced that it would work with BitTorrent to provide a better model for the US market.

UK repercussions

In the UK, traffic-shaping is a practice commonly adopted by ISPs, and Vuze, a fast growing open-source video P2P site built on the popular Azureus Torrent, believes Britain should be watching the developments with interest.

"The issue of traffic-shaping and its impact on the viewers of P2P video is rapidly becoming a real issue in the UK, much as it has done in the US. This announcement from Comcast and BitTorrent Inc in the US is promising, but might not lead to meaningful industry cooperation or any real consumer benefits," said Vuze CEO Gilles BianRosa.

"Comcast does not represent all ISPs, just as BitTorrent Inc does not speak for the scores of BitTorrent-based applications or the millions of people who use them everyday. Any agreement between two companies is limited by its very nature. The agreement does nothing about the numerous other internet network operators across the world. Assurances of good faith and commercial agreements are no longer enough.

"What we want to see now are enforceable rules in the UK, the US and internationally, which protect all consumers against these throttling tactics that threaten the ability to consume rich media. Ultimately, only the rule of law will compel network operators to stay on the straight and narrow. We will therefore continue to urge the Federal Communications Commission to adopt such rules."

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.