Cox Cable will block P2P traffic as it sees fit

Forget Comcast, Cox lays out its discrimination plans. Google, meanwhile, will rollout tools to identify who's messing with traffic.
Written by Richard Koman, Contributor

Dong Ngo at CNET reports that Cox – the U.S.'s third largest ISP – will start "discriminating" against certain kinds of traffic – big downloads, mostly. Cox says: All the traffic on the Cox network will be divided into two categories: time-sensitive and non-time-sensitive. When the network is congested, time-sensitive traffic – applications or uses that are naturally intolerant of delay (loading web pages, instant messages, voice calls, email and gaming) -- continues as usual. During that period, less time-sensitive traffic – applications which are tolerant of some delay -- such as file uploads, peer-to-peer and Usenet newsgroups – may be momentarily slowed, but only until the local congestion clears up.

So why is this OK, when Comcast ran afoul of the FCC? Perhaps just because they're telling you exactly what's going to happen.

Only what if they're not? Or other ISPs aren't quite as forthright? Google has an answer, Reuters reports.

Google will provide academic researchers with 36 servers in 12 locations in the United States and Europe to analyze data, said its chief Internet guru, Vint Cerf, known as the "father of the Internet."

"When an Internet application doesn't work as expected or your connection seems flaky, how can you tell whether there is a problem caused by your broadband ISP (Internet service provider), the application, your PC (personal computer), or something else?" Cerf wrote in a blog post.

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