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Jon M. Peha Carnegie Mellon University Associate Director, Center for Wireless & Broadband Networking Professor of Electrical Engineering and Public Policy www.ece.cmu.edu/~peha Views expressed are those of the presenter alone. Not affiliated with any major actor in this debate.

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Jon M. Peha Carnegie Mellon University

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Jon m peha carnegie mellon university

Jon M. Peha

Carnegie Mellon University

Associate Director, Center for Wireless & Broadband Networking

Professor of Electrical Engineering and Public Policy

www.ece.cmu.edu/~peha

Views expressed are those of the presenter alone.

Not affiliated with any major actor in this debate


Just the facts

Incorrect to say Comcast merely “delays” P2P

They terminate P2P TCP sessions, block P2P traffic

Comcast practices are “discriminatory”

Unless they’ve blocked traffic from all applications

Incorrect to say Comcast “does not degrade P2P”

Service degraded for senders, recipients, & originators

Incorrect to say Comcast targets P2P because P2P has an adverse effect on other applications.

All traffic contributes to congestion, not just P2P.

Comcast polices implicitly give them the right to selectively block based on any criteria

Just The Facts


The comcast case

The Comcast Case

  • It was reported that Comcast promised not to block, degrade, interfere with, or discriminate against P2P.

    • Customer expectations were violated.

  • If these reports were accurate, Comcast is guilty of false advertising and probably fraud.

  • But what does this mean for network neutrality?

    • about transparency

    • about discriminatory practices


Misinformation and transparency

Misinformation and Transparency

  • Misinformation about Comcast practices did harm

    • Users of Lotus notes lacked information needed to diagnose problems with their system.

    • Users of closed P2P network might be fooled into thinking that there was a server problem

    • Users who fear secret measures may take countermeasures

  • Providers may profit through misinformation about congestion and how it is handled

    • Info may convince consumers to switch providers

    • If all ISPs provide enough info, consumers can choose


Harmful and beneficial discrimination

Harmful and Beneficial Discrimination

  • Discriminatory blocking can harm consumers

    • Example: Cable company blocks dissemination of 30-minute videos to protect legacy service

  • Discriminatory blocking can benefit consumers

    • Example: ISP blocks denial of service attack

  • Congestion is a legitimate problem

    • ISPs need some flexibility to address congestion

    • Discrimination can be useful for congestion.

      • There are good reasons to treat P2P differently from VOIP

    • FCC should not mandate “protocol-agnostic” approaches


Future policy on discrimination

Future Policy on Discrimination

  • FCC should

    • continue oversight of discriminatory practices

    • further clarify policies to support intervention in egregious cases

    • be cautious about adopting overly broad limitations.


Jon m peha carnegie mellon university

Carnegie Mellon University

For more info, see

Misstatements on Comcast P2P Practices, and Implications for Network Neutrality

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/prod/ecfs/retrieve.cgi?native_or_pdf=pdf&id_document=6519870758

Jon M. Peha

Carnegie Mellon University

Associate Director, Center for Wireless & Broadband Networking

Professor of Electrical Engineering and Public Policy

www.ece.cmu.edu/~peha

Testimony before FCC En Banc Hearing, April 17, 2008


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