Comcast relents on BitTorrent limits

Comcast relents on BitTorrent limits

Companies sign truce on bandwidth use

Cable provider Comcast has reached an agreement to end its practice of limiting BitTorrent traffic.

The two firms announced a partnership in which both sides will work to solve the problem of bandwidth usage by the file-sharing service.

The truce marks a possible end to a saga that began last October, when reports surfaced that Comcast was limiting BitTorrent traffic.

Comcast remained silent on the issue until earlier this year, when it admitted in a filing that it deliberately restricted the amount of bandwidth available to BitTorrent.

The new agreement means that Comcast will end its policy of limiting the bandwidth during peak hours by the end of the year.

"We will have to rapidly reconfigure our network management systems, but the outcome will be a traffic management technique that is more appropriate for today's emerging internet trends," said Tony Werner, chief technology officer at Comcast.

"We have been discussing this migration and its effects with leaders in the internet community for several months, and we will refine, adjust and publish the technique based on feedback and initial trial results."

BitTorrent confessed to its role as a bandwidth hog. "We think there were other management techniques that could have been deployed, but we understand why Comcast and other ISPs adopted the approach that they did," said BitTorrent chief technology officer Eric Klinker.

"The web is richer and more bandwidth intensive than it has been, and we are pleased that Comcast understands these changing traffic patterns and wants to collaborate with us to migrate to techniques that the internet community will find more transparent."