Data: Comcast Has Stopped Throttling Bit Torrent (But Other ISPs Persist)

After Comcast was caught throttling Bit Torrent traffic on its networks in 2007, the company caught quite a lot of heat and voluntarily stopped doing so. The practice, which was then ruled by the FCC to be illegal, struck at the heart of the ongoing and contentious issue of net neutrality.

True to its word, Comcast has indeed backed off from throttling Bit Torrent traffic, as new data from Measurement Lab demonstrates. Three years ago, the company interfered with about half of all Bit Torrent traffic on its networks. Today, that number is down to 3%.

Most other American ISPs are largely steering clear of the practice as well, for the most part. The most egregious offender in the data set was Clearwire, who was found to be throttling about 17% of Bit Torrent traffic in the first quarter of 2010.

This type of network traffic management is apparently much more common in Canada, where most major ISPs do it, sometimes blocking as much as 78% of the traffic, which is far more than Comcast was ever caught doing. In Britain, things are a bit more mixed. BT Group throttled about 27% of Bit Torrent traffic, while another big ISP, BSkyB, only blocked 3% of it.

ISPs in France and Sweden allow their customers to exchange files via Bit Torrent without limitations.

The compete data set, complete with interactive charts is available for your curious perusal here.

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