Comcast and Cox Caught Blocking BitTorrent All Day, All Night

Contact Info: 
Contact: Jen Howard, Free Press, (202) 265-1490, x22 or (703) 517-6273

WASHINGTON -- The Max Planck Institute in Germany released a study today showing that both Comcast and Cox Communications are blocking Web traffic over their networks throughout all hours of the day.

This independent study of network management used Web-based tools to detect if Internet service providers in the United States are treating peer-to-peer traffic differently than other types of data.

Previous testing by the Associated Press and the Electronic Frontier Foundation exposed Comcast for cutting off customers' access to legal peer-to-peer applications such as BitTorrent. In response to petitions filed by Free Press and members of the SavetheInternet.com Coalition, the Federal Communications Commission is conducting an investigation, which has included public hearings at Harvard and Stanford universities.

Ben Scott, policy director of Free Press, issued the following statement:

"Consumers have no reason left to trust their cable company. This independent study confirms that Comcast is still blocking its customers from using popular applications -- despite the FCC's investigation and widespread public outrage. And worse, the harmful practice appears to be spreading through the marketplace. Unimpeachable research from network engineers in Germany now demonstrates that Cox Communications is also blocking Internet content, lining up right behind Comcast.

"These Internet experts have also unequivocally demonstrated that blocking is not limited to times of supposed congestion. Their sophisticated testing shows that Comcast and Cox block BitTorrent applications at all times of the day -- not just at times of peak traffic.

"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."

Read the Max Planck Institute study: http://broadband.mpi-sws.mpg.de/transparency/results/

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