A generally gushy article on the EFF and Comcast appears today in The Frisco Weekly, making one telling point:
A 2007 study by professors at Clemson University offered solid proof that as few as 15 BitTorrent users on a Comcast-like network could degrade downloads and uploads for everyone else, making streaming videos stutter, or causing other delays. The popularity of BitTorrent, combined with video-streaming sites like YouTube, now clogs up the Internet, Comcast says. That’s why the company says it performs “traffic management” to keep the lanes open for everyone.
Comcast has repeatedly denied that it can “block” BitTorrent traffic. Instead, a spokesman says all ISPs “manage” Net traffic to ensure all customers can receive e-mail and surf the Web. Peer-to-peer users of BitTorrent are a bandwidth-hungry minority, Comcast contends.
[BitTorrent creator Bram] Cohen agrees. In fact, it’s something he predicted when he first thought up BitTorrent. “My whole idea was, ‘Let’s use up a lot of bandwidth,'” he laughs. “I had a friend who said, ‘Well, ISPs won’t like that.’ And I said, ‘Why should I care?'”
Why indeed, as long as somebody else pays the bill?