Cox, Comcast Caught Red-Dotted

    May 15, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

Only two countries in the world have ISPs actively blocking or interfering with BitTorrent transmissions: Singapore and the United States. Only one kind of ISP in both countries, though, is doing the blocking: cable.

An independent test conducted by Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Software Systems showed that Comcast and Cox are both currently interfering with BitTorrent despite recent public and regulatory outrage.

Guess Comcast meant it when they said the FCC couldn’t do anything about it. They also said, though, that they only interfered during times of heavy traffic. According to Max Planck, that’s not really true. As shown by a test running between March and today, neither company cares which time of day they block BitTorrent. In fact, they do it all day every day.

Max Planck’s map of ISPs blocking BitTorrent traffic is disturbing. They mark where this occurs in red, which makes the US look decidedly bloody. Every other country in the world is without any scarlet markings, except for a spot or two way over in Singapore, where gum-chewing is prohibited and bamboo caning is an acceptable punishment for vandals.

"Consumers have no reason left to trust their cable company," said Benn Scott, policy director of Free Press, in a statement. He called the research "unimpeachable."

"This research proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that consumers, Congress and the FCC must urgently pursue the complaints against network providers. Now is the time to send a clear signal to the market that blocking consumers’ access to the lawful Internet content of their choice is out of bounds."