In the Matter of:
Broadband Industry Practices
WC Docket No. 07-52
[T]hey could readily set dynamic quotas for each user on the loop[,] … charge by usage, provide more bandwidth to all users, or actually offer high symmetric broadband speeds.With the exception of charging by network usage, all of the non-discriminatory alternatives Free Press et al. proffer would require massive investment in more network capacity and/or set-top boxes.
While network operators certainly should have the ability to engage in reasonable network management, without clear rules and greater transparency, Vuze and other content distribution companies will have no assurance that a redesigned distribution mechanism will be acceptable to network operators.Of course, nothing prevents Vuze from meeting with network operators to resolve questions collaboratively in advance. And if this were any other industry, that’s what they’d have to do. But since the Commission is apparently willing to consider invitations to micro-manage a fast-changing industry that it has a poor track record of predicting, companies like Vuze would be fools not to file them.
You have to understand that Comcast is playing a cat and mouse game with BitTorrent. And if you look into the details of how BitTorrent is engineered, it’s fairly obvious that concealment of BitTorrent streams from traffic shaping and admission control and other sorts of network management technologies is an explicit goal of the project. Every concealment method that you can think of is used by BitTorrent to escape detection by the kind of network management systems that people like Comcast have to run. So to the extent that Comcast is transparent, they’re simply making themselves vulnerable to a new version of BitTorrent that can escape whatever techniques they’re employing.The Commission must also consider whether there are similar implications for competition, law enforcement and national security. Petitioners ignore these obvious questions, and the Commission failed to ask them in the Public Notices.
Vuze has been required to modify its technical systems and alter the way it does business through implementation of a number of counter-measures. And while Vuze has been able to minimize any serious impact on its service, it has been forced to engage in constant guesswork – since the tactics are largely hidden – and to play a “cat and mouse” game with network operators in order to maintain superior service for consumers.Vuze repeats the unfounded claim, heard so often, that “network operators exert unfettered control over their users’ ability to communicate.” However, even if it can’t quite make the connection, the company acknowledges this isn’t true when it observes, “we have detected their efforts to interfere with the seeding process.”
[I]f intentionally “delaying” an application conformed to the Policy Statement, the Policy Statement would mean nothing. A network provider could “delay” applications until the year 2009, or 3009, without violating this principle of the Policy Statement.But Free Press et al.’s argument is rather absurd since no rational person would conclude such a delay is reasonable.
[T]he content they are degrading is likely perceived as a threat to their dominance in the market for electronic distribution of video content.Any commercial entity is free to file its own lawsuit or to contact the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice if it feels it’s a victim of anticompetitive behavior. If Vuze and other entities are concerned that antitrust enforcement is costly and uncertain, the Commission’s Enforcement Bureau already offers expedited complaint procedures not available in other industries.
Comcast has an economic incentive to undermine competitors to its cable video-programming distribution.