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Comcast's New Terms of Service Disclose Traffic Management 302

Posted by Soulskill
from the thanks-for-the-retroactive-heads-up dept.
cremou brings us word that Comcast has changed its Terms of Service to include policies on traffic management. This comes after the FCC's recent decision to investigate Comcast's P2P throttling. The language in the updated Terms of Service, according to Ars Technica, mirrors the FCC's 2005 Internet Policy Statement[PDF]. "According to Section III of the revised ToS, Comcast 'uses reasonable network management practices that are consistent with industry standards.' The company points out that it is not alone in the practice, saying that 'all major' ISPs engage in some form of traffic shaping. Comcast does it to keep its subscribers from suffering the heartaches of 'spam, viruses, security attacks, network congestion, and other risks and degradations of service' and to 'deliver the best possible Internet experience to all of its customers.'"
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Comcast's New Terms of Service Disclose Traffic Management

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  • So... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Adradis (1160201)
    So... Comcast is saying that 5% of its customers aren't customers at all?

    They did say ALL afterall.
    • Re:So... (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 07, 2008 @10:19PM (#22343920)
      As long as you're only sending email - you'll have a great comcast experience.
      • Re:So... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by arth1 (260657) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @11:00PM (#22344282) Homepage Journal

        As long as you're only sending email - you'll have a great comcast experience.

        No, you won't. They block port 25, forcing you to use them for mail relays. This affects those who don't want Comcast to see their mails, and where the recipient can't receive encrypted email but is behind a mail server that supports TLS, so the emails will be sent encrypted over the internet. That won't work -- Comcast forces you to relay through them, and they get to copy and read your outgoing mail (and hand it over to who knows).
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by afidel (530433)
          Uh, doesn't basically every TLS enabled mail server support SSL/TLS on a port other than 25?
        • Re:So... (Score:4, Informative)

          by rabbit994 (686936) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @11:38PM (#22344610)
          As they should. 587/TCP Port has been set up for SMTP Submission which is open on Comcast network. Port 25 is basically now reserved for Server to Server transmission.
        • Heh, interesting conspiracy theory. Though it doesn't quite jive with the local sendmail instance I use for outgoing mail which connects directly to appropriate relay servers (on 25); or the fact that I sometimes send through gmail, and have in the past used my own Qmail installation on a remote server...
          • Re:So... (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Curunir_wolf (588405) on Friday February 08, 2008 @09:07AM (#22347394) Homepage Journal

            Heh, interesting conspiracy theory. Though it doesn't quite jive with the local sendmail instance I use for outgoing mail which connects directly to appropriate relay servers (on 25); or the fact that I sometimes send through gmail, and have in the past used my own Qmail installation on a remote server...

            Give it time - they'll get to you.

            I used to do the same thing (using exim instead of sendmail), until I got this letter from Comcast claiming that I was sending spam. They claimed to have proof:

            We have confirmed that your computer has been involved in transmitting unsolicited email, an activity that is in violation of the Comcast Terms of Service Agreement. The reporting parties have provided email header information, which identifies the IP address of the computer that was transmitting the email. The IP address listed was one that was assigned to your computer at the date and time in question.
            I knew this to be bogus, as there is only one way out of my home network and every email is logged. Despite this, they stuck to their guns and refused to unblock port 25, and refused to even discuss the possibility of sending me the proof they claimed to have, or even reveal anything about the email, the IP in question, etc.

            The worst part of this was not the block on outgoing. I just had to use a different port and authenticate each time, which was a pretty simple configuration change in Exim. A lot of ISPs refused email directly from me anyway, indicating that they don't accept email from a network unless it's from an "official" email relay on that network. The list of host names that I had to send through Comcast was getting rather long.

            The worst part was that they also blocked port 25 for all incoming traffic. What is that supposed to do for anybody? How is it even justified? But of course their TOS already prohibits "servers", so they felt justified to block mail from reaching me. I had to set up a RollerNet account to get around it. Very annoying.

            Yea, yea, I know "switch providers if they treat you like that" you say. Well my only other option is Verizon FIOS (can't even get DSL), and they block 25 by default as well as any incoming port 80 traffic. So that's just a non-starter.

    • So... Comcast is saying that 5% of its customers aren't customers at all?

      It sure feels that way doesn't it? I just can't grasp why it's so hard to publish their transfer limits.
      • Re:So... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by cloricus (691063) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @11:03PM (#22344312)
        Now that your ISPs have started going down this route there isn't much you'll be able to do. When this happened in Australia around 2000-01 a single user of one of the ISPs that lead the charge towards download limits and limited speeds started a small site, as the industry fell into worse condition (from the consumers point of view) that site basically turned into the independent industry watchdog. www.whirlpool.net.au became a very important staging ground for consumers to fight back, even if that meant mass organised exodus from misbehaving companies. Hopefully for your internet use sake some thing similar pops up in the US and gets wide attention.

        Of course there is at least one up side to this all and that is once you have defined download limits you the consumer are directly paying for x amount of bandwidth. Opponents to net neutrality find their arguments fail completely because people en mass start to understand that it means they'd be paying for the same bandwidth twice. So far in Australia any attempts to start the debate on net neutrality have fallen on deaf ears and even out rage.
        • Re:So... (Score:4, Informative)

          by sortius_nod (1080919) on Friday February 08, 2008 @12:05AM (#22344792) Homepage
          Apart from the fact whirlpool is a troll platform more than a consumer watchdog now. You raise an issue on the forums and fanboys troll you to no end.

          Either way, it's a shit site for fighting back. The only avenue of dispute is, AND ALWAYS WILL BE, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman. I have, over the past 12 months, lodged a total of 3 complaints with the TIO. 2 of them didn't even make it to Level 1 complaint before the ISP changed their policy/dropped charges. The 3rd case is currently at Level 3, which is the final level before the case is refered to the Austrlian Communications & Media Authority. Once it reaches them, fines & possible revoking of communications lisence/trading rights can ensue.

          All my complaints on whirlpool.net.au have done is serve to fuel trolling, not serve to be an open forum where you can stage a consumer "fight back". So yes, stop smoking crack and get with the real world, Australia has VERY strict laws with regards to communication - it's just ISPs & Telcos decide to try and blindside customers with illegitimate T&Cs.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by palegray.net (1195047)
      I'm sure glad I'm not one of their customers. If their moves piss off enough of their customers, they'll either (1) start getting crushed with support issues related to customers frustrated with their service, or (2) start losing customers to ISPs who don't screw with their customers connections constantly. I've seen and heard enough negative PR about Comcast that I actively engage in the practice of telling people to avoid their service at all costs.
      • Re:So... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by mrxak (727974) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @10:54PM (#22344228)
        So does one, so will another. If you think the other cable companies won't follow suit eventually, you're dreaming.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by palegray.net (1195047)
          Right, and when enough people get pissed some new guy comes along with more reasonable service terms, and lots of people switch over to the new company. It's these little things called "competition", "economics", and "technological progress." These same games were played in the 90s over dialup access, albeit in a different form. Didn't work then, won't work now, at least not long term.
          • Re:So... (Score:4, Insightful)

            by spirit of reason (989882) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @11:49PM (#22344696)
            I'd like to know where this "competition" is. Comcast is the only broadband provider for my residence.
        • No, someone will have a "better" way of doing it. Just how it was for Dial-Up you got charged for the hour, now that broadband is doing the same thing, there is going to be another better way of connecting (fiber anyone?) that won't suffer from this attack of freedom.
      • by cloricus (691063)
        Of course this will only effect 5% of all customers and if those customers leave it saves Comcast money and allows them to fill their network with more users who don't download much. Furthermore it tends to keep new customers who would download a lot away from the company...It's effectively win:win for Comcast and there simply isn't anything you can do about it.
        • Furthermore it tends to keep new customers who would download a lot away from the company...It's effectively win:win for Comcast and there simply isn't anything you can do about it.

          But really, when Comcast is trying to get the best download speeds available, who else would it attract then people who download a lot? When it is more expensive then dial-up and DSL service that takes out most casual customers there and it leaves those who have a need for speed such as people who download a lot. So no, it is eating into Comcast's customer base and makes more people less likely to get Comcast service, not a win:win, its a lose:lose situation.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mrchaotica (681592) *

        ...start losing customers to ISPs who don't screw with their customers connections constantly.

        Name one. No, seriously. Name a broadband ISP in Atlanta that doesn't screw with their customers' connections. I dare you!

      • by quanticle (843097)

        (2) start losing customers to ISPs who don't screw with their customers connections constantly.

        Too bad then, that Comcast and form a duopoly in my area. I e-mailed the Qwest representative (they're the local Baby Bell) recently, and they said that they would only promise 2 megabits per second download and 1 megabit per second upload to my house. Comcast, despite all of their despicable practices delivers 5 megabits per second download (though I'm promised 8 megabits per second). Both services are comparable in price. Which choice would you make? Principles, or double bandwidth?

    • by Akaihiryuu (786040) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @11:30PM (#22344556)
      Comcast's policies on traffic shaping are fine. There's nothing wrong with what they SAY they are doing. There is nothing wrong with prioritizing traffic based on traffic type (as long as it doesn't differentiate by source). Indeed, running a network without this type of traffic shaping would be foolish. However, this is NOT what Comcast is doing to bittorrent connections. They are actively disrupting them by doing a man-in-the-middle attack and impersonating one of the parties in the connection. This is not only immoral, but also probably illegal.
  • by djupedal (584558) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @10:19PM (#22343924)
    I'm with Comcast and I don't see anXXXXnX XXong wXXX my serXXXe.
    • by unlametheweak (1102159) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @10:34PM (#22344082)

      'all major' ISPs engage in some form of traffic shaping.
      Perhaps it's time people stopped using major ISPs.

      I have never used a major ISP, and to this day my bandwidth is not shaped (unless I exceed a soft limit of 100 GB of bandwidth per month); something that was introduce long after the major ISPs started to secretly introduced bandwidth shaping. Spam controls and firewalls, etc are most effective on the client side, not the server side. Yes there are arguments for the latter, but the downsides of letting an outside agency control your connection outweigh the upsides of users having control of what type of email they accept, or the trojens they so naively install. As with everything good comes bad; let people learn from their experiences and keep the Nanny out of my bandwidth.

      And no please don't ask me what my ISP is; it's small and regional and not much use to most ppl here.
      • Re:In other news... (Score:5, Informative)

        by Scutter (18425) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @10:41PM (#22344148) Journal
        Perhaps it's time people stopped using major ISPs.

        I have never used a major ISP


        Unfortunately, most people in the U.S. don't have the luxury of a choice in internet providers. They generally have one or maybe two options (if they're lucky). I have three "options", myself. I can either get Comcast (see story above), Covad DSL (resold by a number of companies, but limited to 512k and never cheaper than $100/month), or SBC DSL at 6Mb.
        • by TubeSteak (669689)

          Unfortunately, most people in the U.S. don't have the luxury of a choice in internet providers.
          Don't you mean broadband internet providers?

          Because you left satellite and dial-up off your list of options.
          There's also those wireless internet cards you can get from the cell phone companies.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by rucs_hack (784150)
            There's also those wireless internet cards you can get from the cell phone companies.

            Internet access from mobile phone companies is a joke. They charge absurdly high rates.
            • Re:In other news... (Score:4, Informative)

              by ethanms (319039) on Friday February 08, 2008 @08:48AM (#22347270)
              I get 1.5Mb/s from my Sprint EVDO RevA card, uploads in the neighborhood of 200-300kbps.

              It may not be 8-10Mb you can get from cable or FiOS, but it's certainly comparable to many ADSL offerings.

              The price is certainly higher at about $65/mo, probably about $20/mo higher then I pay for a 10Mb/s cable modem connection from my local provider (not comcast) ... then again I can take that 1.5Mb connection with me just about anywhere I go, that's worth the extra $20.
      • by Kingrames (858416)
        Agreed. Why, Just yesterday I built my own internet using a bunch of spare twisties in a kitchen drawer.

        Why pay some big corporation a fistful of chump change when you can make something yourself and it only costs you years of effort and puts your health at risk?
        • by unlametheweak (1102159) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @11:01PM (#22344286)
          I can presume you are American. If so then you need to tell your politicians to re-introduce the law that forced the backbone providers to wholesale bandwidth to anybody who wants to get into the ISP business. Legislation can go a long ways to curbing monopolistic practices.

          And btw, you forgot to post anonymously ;)
          • by rpillala (583965)

            The problem with your suggestion is the republican (small r) form of government. Once these guys are elected, they don't have to listen to shit. Actually I guess the real problem is an uninformed populace that allows candidates to get them fired up on hot button issues and win that way. So it's easy for industry to get their puppets elected and easy for the incumbents to stay in office.

            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              Once these guys are elected, they don't have to listen to shit.
              The problem is the wrong people are being nominated as presidential candidates. Has anybody nominated CmdrTaco? I'm sure if we combined our powers we could slashdot him into the White House.
              • "Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job." - Douglas Adams
          • If so then you need to tell your politicians to re-introduce the law that forced the backbone providers to wholesale bandwidth to anybody who wants to get into the ISP business

            Why should backbone providers be forced to sell bandwidth at wholesale prices? For the most part, I already think most of them do. (How else do they stay in business, I'm a little ignorant on the issue). The problem is not the availability of bandwidth, the problem is exclusive franchise agreements with towns which lock out competitor
            • Even if there is no lock-out deal with the Government, you're not ever going to see two companies laying two different networks of underground fiber. That would mean tearing up the roads over and over again for each city-wide network.

              Monopoly or not, you're only going to have one or two cable internet providers at the most in a city unless someone is forced to share.

              You'll have better luck with DSL.
            • The problem is not the availability of bandwidth, the problem is exclusive franchise agreements with towns which lock out competitors.
              My understanding is that before high-speed Internet de-regulation, these issues were not a problem. ISPs (nor anybody) could not lock out competitors.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by DimmO (1179765)
        So, what ISP are you with?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by a_nonamiss (743253)

        my bandwidth is not shaped (unless I exceed a soft limit of 100 GB of bandwidth per month)
        In North Korea, freedom of speech is not limited, unless you say disparaging comments about the great and glorious leader.

        [/analogy]
    • Shouldn't that be [No Carrier] at the end? Or was it transcribe over VoIP? :]

      Anyhow, even if they call this 'reasonable network management' in order to mirror the language of the FCC policy, that doesn't actually make it 'reasonable' ...
  • Traffic Shaping (Score:5, Insightful)

    by greenbird (859670) * on Thursday February 07, 2008 @10:22PM (#22343956)

    So now forging TCP packets is called traffic shaping and is an industry standard. Yeah right, maybe for the Russian mafia.

  • Yeah whatever (Score:5, Interesting)

    by afidel (530433) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @10:22PM (#22343960)
    Comcast does it to keep its subscribers from suffering the heartaches of 'spam, viruses, security attacks, network congestion, and other risks and degradations of service' and to 'deliver the best possible Internet experience to all of its customers.'"

    I would call throttling the hell out of my connection to be a degradation of my service so obviously they aren't supplying the best possible experience to ALL of their customer, possibly most but certainly not all.
  • Translation - (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 07, 2008 @10:23PM (#22343970)
    "Hey, in light of that whole FCC investigation thing, we just thought we should let you know that we're fucking you out of the service and bandwidth you've been paying for. No hard feelings, just clearing things up. It's alright, you can use your internet just as long as you don't use much of it; You know, like most of what you're entitled to in your service plan. Oh, and in case you were wondering, everybody does this, so that makes it cool, alright? Glad we could get this sorted out."
  • by sweet_petunias_full_ (1091547) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @10:25PM (#22343980)
    Does this include dropping packets, dropping connections, or what? Wasn't traffic shaping originally supposed to only *delay* some packets in favor of others?

    Looks like they can call something "traffic shaping" and then do whatever they want with the traffic, including not meet any of their other commitments.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      You can, and in some cases must, drop packets to implement traffic shaping. That's fine. Every TCPIP implementation on the planet will notice and slow down the transmission of data. What Comcast has been doing is forging packets with reset flags to convince one of the end points of the connection (or both? I'm not sure) that the other end has closed the connection.
  • packet shaping is not all that bad. I do not mind if my bandwidth limit is different for web surfing and for streaming media or anything else for that matter. I makes sure that I can connect to the sites that I would like and keeps me from killing all of the network traffic for my local group. I would still like an explanation as to why my Linux torrents are still being reset.
  • by zappepcs (820751) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @10:29PM (#22344030) Journal
    Yes, all the right buzz words to arguably be trying to protect the unwashed masses of people that believe whatever the government, fox news, or their ISP tell them. I'm personally sorry that we didn't listen to Mr Orwell's nightmarish vision of the future. It's upon us now.

    By way of interpretation: We're going to blame the 5% percent of our customers who actually use the amount of bandwidth that they purchased. We know that if you had paid us only 50% of what we robb^H^H^H^H charge you, you would be happy with 1.5 Mbs download speed, but it sounds so much better if we promise you 3Mbs even though 90+ percent of you will never use it. This way we look like a super broadband provider to most of you, and to protect that false image, we're going to punish the few people who actually thought they were getting what they paid for.

    It's not that we, Comcast, think our customers are fucking idiots, it's just that we know the damned good money we paid our congressional lobbyists is going to go a lot further than the whiney complaints of less than 5% of our consumer base.

    So, we at Comcast want to assure you we are protecting you from the people who want to rob you of bandwidth so they can have the actual bandwidth that they paid for. By protecting you from these greedy bastards you can rest assured that we are doing all we can to keep your cash falling into our pockets every month. Thank you for being a Comcast customer.
    • I also don't know exactly who's ass that 5% number was pulled from. I personally know a lot of people that got broadband simply because they wanted to download stuff they couldn't with dial-up. I suspect that Comcast's real problem is that there are far more than five percent of their user base that want to pull down forty or fifty gigabytes a month, and that's entirely Comcast's fault for not anticipating the market and reacting accordingly.
      • by zappepcs (820751)
        Yes, 5% is most likely based on customer churn related to bandwidth issues. They are reasonable to assume that this is the number of people that will actually complain about bandwidth limitations, forged packets, and traffic shaping that fosters a network usage favorable to Comcast.
    • by rpillala (583965)

      at first I was going to say that 1984 was a bit much for this situation, but damn if you didn't nail it with the newspeak

  • Ahh yes, how dare those other greedy customers try to use the entire amount of bandwidth they paid for!!! Don't they realize that the only way we can all pretend to have high speed connections is if Comcast is able to sign us all up under the banner of "high speed" without expanding their infrastructure accordingly?!?!
  • by RT Alec (608475) <.alec. .at. .slashdot.chuckle.com.> on Thursday February 07, 2008 @10:34PM (#22344080) Homepage Journal

    Remember office environments a few years ago... with a T1 (ideally) or xDSL (better than ISDN)?

    And you would track down the one or two users that consumed the entire pipe 24/7? And no matter where, there was always one or two of 'em?

    ...and maybe you were one of 'em ;)

    Comcast oversold their capacity. They did not count on the number of subscribers who would exceed their ill-prepared estimates. Now they want to deny service to those subscribers... induce them to find another provider. They can do what they want, you can always choose to not do business with them.

    Take their bait. Comcast is at best a reasonable solution to light users (or maybe people who swallow the entire Comcast pill-- VIOP + web hosting + email hosting, etc?). Get Fios if you can, or even a fast DSL. It is "better" access.

    • Get Fios if you can, or even a fast DSL.

      And if FIOS isn't available, and you don't have a landline? What then?

  • by JensenDied (1009293) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @10:46PM (#22344174)
    Snip..
    I. Prohibited Uses and Activities What uses and activities does Comcast prohibit? [...]

    Conduct and information restrictions

    • undertake or accomplish any unlawful purpose. This includes, but is not limited to, posting, storing, transmitting or disseminating information, data or material which is libelous, obscene, unlawful, threatening or defamatory, or which infringes the intellectual property rights of any person or entity, or which in any way constitutes or encourages conduct that would constitute a criminal offense, or otherwise violate any local, state, federal, or non-U.S. law, order, or regulation;
    • post, store, send, transmit, or disseminate any information or material which a reasonable person could deem to be indecent, pornographic, harassing, threatening, hateful, or intimidating;

    .. Snip
    • by peipas (809350) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @11:59PM (#22344748)
      "Hi, I'm Angela, how may I help you today?"

      "Hi Angela. I was looking through the terms of service and wanted to make sure I am not in violation of my agreement. Is it true that I'm not allowed to view or download pornographic material?"

      "Uhmm..."

      "I have downloaded a LOT of porn through the Comcast service. Everything is legal-- everyone over 18, and amateur material only rather than pirated commercial material. I prefer the amateur work anyway, it's more real, you know? Have you viewed or published anything pornographic using Comcast service? I'd feel a little more comfortable if I knew I was in good company. Also, do you want to trade?"
  • by stmfreak (230369) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `kaerfmts'> on Thursday February 07, 2008 @10:47PM (#22344190) Journal
    I have hated comcast for their customer service and service quality since I first subscribed to cable back in the very early 90s. Thank the gods for DirecTV introducing competition to this market of city and county sponsored monopolies.

    Unfortunately, I recently moved back under comcast's umbrella and had no other options for internet within my budget. And now I'm suffering latencies as high as three seconds whenever I download a torrent. As soon as I stop torrent downloads, my latency returns to 25ms.

    This is not traffic shaping. This is crap.

    Shaping involves prioritizing and queing packets so that every process gets fed, regardless of what's running. You can also force downloads like BT, FTP, and even HTTP to take the slow path, moving icmp and ssh to the front of the line. This is quite easy with tc and other professional tools.

    However, what comcastic seems to be doing is more akin to load leveling back in the days of mainframes. In those situations, you find that a user is hogging the resource and you would load level ALL of that users processes, regardless of function. As a result, if I'm downloading a torrent, my ssh sessions take 30 seconds to establish and keystroke confirmation lags three seconds behind my typing. Since I type about 60 words per minute, that's about three words or more behind my fingers. Wow.

    Nice way to show your colors comcast. Once again, you are guaranteeing that:

    1. as soon as I can, I'm dumping you.
    2. I'm already telling EVERYONE to avoid you
    3. I will go out of my way to starve you of customers
    4. I will seek out and endorse your competitors

    Good luck. May you soon die a well deserved and early death.
    • by DragonTHC (208439)
      I whole-heartedly agree with you.

      Comcast is unlikely to get shut out though any time soon.

      They just have too much infrastructure and too many subscribers.

      so if we actively seek to harm their business, can we be sued?

      On a grass roots level, I think it would be difficult at best.
  • by Seakip18 (1106315) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @10:53PM (#22344224) Journal

    post, store, send, transmit, or disseminate any information or material which a reasonable person could deem to be indecent, pornographic, harassing, threatening, hateful, or intimidating;
    Man. Does that mean comcast is going to start going after trolls for us? Additionally, I don't want to know how they'll determine what porno is to "reasonable person"

    initiate, perpetuate, or in any way participate in any pyramid or other illegal scheme;
    be aware all you would-be ponzi-scheme runners in Eve or WoW.

    impersonate any person or entity, engage in sender address falsification, forge anyone else's digital or manual signature, or perform any other similar fraudulent activity (for example, "phishing"
    There goes my not-very-famous George Dubya Impersonations.

    use or distribute tools or devices designed or used for compromising security, such as password guessing programs, decoders, password gatherers, unauthorized keystroke loggers, analyzers, cracking tools, packet sniffers, encryption circumvention devices, or Trojan Horse programs. Unauthorized port scanning is strictly prohibited;
    No Nmapping your own computer or another to make it secure!!!!

    copy, distribute, or sublicense any software provided in connection with the Service by Comcast or any third party, except that you may make one copy of each software program for back-up purposes only;
    They don't care if it IS free. Only one for you!

    use or run dedicated, stand-alone equipment or servers from the Premises that provide network content or any other services to anyone outside of your Premises local area network ("Premises LAN"), also commonly referred to as public services or servers. Examples of prohibited equipment and servers include, but are not limited to, e-mail, Web hosting, file sharing, and proxy services and servers;
    Call me a stickler but isn't a ROUTER considered a stand-alone piece of equipment that allows outside access?

    # restrict, inhibit, or otherwise interfere with the ability of any other person, regardless of intent, purpose or knowledge, to use or enjoy the Service, including, without limitation, posting or transmitting any information or software which contains a worm, virus, or other harmful feature, or generating levels of traffic sufficient to impede others' ability to use, send, or retrieve information;
    # restrict, inhibit, interfere with, or otherwise disrupt or cause a performance degradation, regardless of intent, purpose or knowledge, to the Service or any Comcast (or Comcast supplier) host, server, backbone network, node or service, or otherwise cause a performance degradation to any Comcast (or Comcast supplier) facilities used to deliver the Service;
    So, if I generate any traffic that might lower the download speed of another, I'm in violation or if I run into a telecommunication pole, I'm in violation?

    This and even more fun @ http://www6.comcast.net/terms/use/ [comcast.net],the linked article
  • They are putting words into their competition's mouths by stating that they shape traffic as well. That can be pretty much slammed as libel and slander in a court of law.

    Comcast has been overreaching and overselling their trunk for a long time now. And they figure that they can wring a few cents more out of their bulging tracks by screwing with packets. I say BUNK!
  • No Real Choices (Score:2, Informative)

    by phreakincool (975248)
    The sad truth is, in most cases, Comcast can do whatever they want and the customers are just stuck with their complaints. The reason is that there aren't any real choices. In my area, for broadband alternatives there is WOWWAY Broadband cable and AT&T DSL. I've used WOW's product, it was cheaper but the cable tv quality lacked and broadband speeds were not on par with what I was used to getting from Comcast. Everyone knows that DSL is not even in the same league as broadband cable, so AT&T is o
  • Pretty sure Verizon don't do this...or are they somehow not a major ISP?

    -uso.
    • Re:*All* ISPs? (Score:4, Informative)

      by FredFredrickson (1177871) * on Thursday February 07, 2008 @11:39PM (#22344614) Homepage Journal
      Yeah, I'm on verizon and loving it. Not sure what the issue is here- everybody here asserts that if you really had to you could revert back to DSL like it's something bad. My verizon dsl is 3 mbps, and comcast in the area is 4 mbps. My work has comcast and it's far slower than my home DSL connection. So I'm not sure why people ignore the obvious..
      • by Dutch Gun (899105)
        My understanding is that cable is essentially neighborhood-shared bandwidth, while DSL is not. And, generally speaking (you may be an exception) I think DSL tends to be slower than cable. As such, DSL may not be as impacted by "overuse" as cable is.

        But I know what you're saying - I've been pretty happy with my Verizon DSL service for going on 7 or 8 years now. I don't have a huge amount of bandwidth, but enough for gaming, with consistently decent ping times.
  • It's all fine then, since after all I have the option of simply terminating my internet service with Comcast if I don't like the new Terms of Service, which have been posted conveniently to Slashdot for my perusal.

    So I'll just have to go with my other option, AT & fucking T DSL, and I'm sure their much more civilised terms, eh?  You think that's what they've got, some decent terms of service?  Do you? 
  • by hyades1 (1149581)
    Let me see. How can I respond to Comcast's statements in a manner commensurate with their honour, forthrightness and basic corporate decency? Ah, I think I have it: When is somebody going to take these scummy, deceptive shitsacks to court? I think that captured it properly.
  • is did Comcast inform every customer in writing that they were changing the ToS/AUP?
    A previous discussion and reference
    http://yro.slashdot.org/yro/07/07/29/1747205.shtml [slashdot.org]
    seems to imply that's a no-no and a breach of contract if they did not.
  • They keep using those words. I don't think they mean what Comcast thinks they mean...
  • by cyberworm (710231) <cyberworm@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Friday February 08, 2008 @12:14AM (#22344842) Homepage
    I think this refers only to their "residential" service. I'm on a business account, and haven't really had many issues with them except for some technical issues (orders not being put in and adding static ip's for a couple of examples).

    This isn't to say "buy a higher tier service, or suck it," but perhaps comcast should just put hard speed caps in place and only advertise up to that speed, and not outrageous speed 'but only for what we approve.' Not only that, but where are a lot of their problems happening? Is it on the nodes in local areas or is it in their back end connection to the whole of the internet. I don't know much about the super technical workings of TCP/IP but isn't there a way that they could route p2p traffic between their customers inside their network and infrastructure without jamming up traffic to external sources with little to no impact to other services?

    One thing I'd like to know is, how are Comcast and other cable ISPs connected to the internet? Are they all networked together through a cable system with endpoints at telcos?
  • by shootTheMessenger (768396) on Friday February 08, 2008 @02:54AM (#22345658)
    ...when they turned off the torrents For I was not a torrent user...
  • by rossz (67331) <ogre AT geekbiker DOT net> on Friday February 08, 2008 @03:19AM (#22345752) Homepage Journal
    At Starbucks: "I'd like a grande latte". "here you go". "uhm, why is it in a thimble?" "what? You actually want a grande sized drink? You're ruining it for everybody else, you thief!"

    At Arco: "I got charged for a full tank of gas, but it only filled up half way." "You want a full tank? You're ruining it for everybody else, you thief!"

    At the record store .... On second thought, bad example.

    At H.R. at the office, "How come I only got half my pay?" "You want a full paycheck? You're ruining it for everybody else, you thief!"

    In other words, in what other industry are you treated like a thief when you expect what you pay for?

  • by kellyb9 (954229) on Friday February 08, 2008 @09:52AM (#22347694)
    If you download over a MB a day, they come to your house and hit you with a bat.

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