Comcast is the reason your downloads take forever


By Steven Musil, CNET Mon Jul 28, 1:00 AM ET

The Federal Communications Commission is expected to announce this week that Comcast wrongly interfered with file-sharing traffic, according to a report Sunday night on The Wall Street Journal's Web site.

The commission is due to issue a ruling Friday that the cable giant violated federal law when it prevented some customers from swapping videos on file-swapping service BitTorrent, according to the report. Comcast has admitted "delaying" traffic to file-sharing sites. At a public hearing in February, Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen said, "Comcast may on a limited basis temporarily delay certain P2P traffic when that traffic has or is projected to have an adverse effect on other customers' use of the service."

Late last week, three of the five FCC commissioners voted in favor of an item saying Comcast violated federal policy by dialing down peer-to-peer traffic over its network. The ruling, which won't include a fine, will require Comcast to stop blocking or slowing traffic to peer-to-peer sites like BitTorrent, explain to consumers and the commission how it has blocked such traffic in the past, and publicly disclose how it plans to manage its network in the future.

Comcast, the largest cable provider in the U.S., has been under fire for months after it was discovered the company had been slowing down peer-to-peer traffic on its network. The company claimed it had singled out peer-to-peer, file-sharing traffic, because it was eating up an inordinate amount of bandwidth, which caused degradation across the rest of its customers.

Consumer groups were incensed by the tactic, and the FCC investigation ensued over whether Comcast had violated any of its Net neutrality principles.