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Virgin Media will block BitTorrent

While Comcast was forced to back off of BitTorrent throttling, UK cable provider Virgin Media is diving into to doing just that.

Suddenly, it's OK for cable companies to step on BitTorrent. In the U.S., Comcast was forced to adopt a protocol-agnostic approach to managing traffic after its throttling of BitTorrent was exposed. But in the U.K., Virgin Media, which had previously adopted agnostic approaches, slowing down heavy users across all applications, is now going after BitTorrent, The Register reports.

The details and timing of the new application-based restrictions are still being developed, Virgin Media's Kiwi CEO Neil Berkett said in an interview on Monday following the launch of his firm's new 50Mbit/s service. They will come into force around the middle of next year, he added.

The British are a lot less squeamish about such things. British Telecom and Carphone Warehouse use deep packet inspection to monitor what applications are running over their networks. Virgin recently purchased DPI technology from Israeli company Allot but at the time denied it intended to use it to target torrents.

Meanwhile, BT is rolling out a Phorm-based behavioral advertising program.

"There will now be a period of joint analysis of the results. Following the successful completion of analysis, both of the trial results and of any changes required for expansion, BT has informed the Company that it expects to move towards deployment," Phorm told investors yesterday.