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BT caves in on peer-to-peer

Peer-to-peer revolutionaries still fighting...
Written by Ben King, Contributor

Peer-to-peer revolutionaries still fighting...

BT has backed down on its controversial decision to choke the bandwidth available to heavy users of peer-to-peer applications. The company had originally denied that any such restrictions were in place, but finally admitted that they had been cutting the bandwidth available to people who were downloading massive files through peer-to-peer file sharing applications such as KaZaA and eDonkey. The decision was originally justified on the basis that heavy users were hogging bandwidth available to other people. But that no longer seems to apply, as the company has emailed users announcing that it has backed down. An email posted in various chatrooms reads: "A number of customers have complained about restrictions of service on peer-to-peer networking. This followed the posting to a newsgroup of a BTopenworld response to a specific query from a customer." "We realise that our action may have caused inconvenience to some of our
customers and may have been incorrectly communicated to them. We apologise
for this." Why the u-turn? Perhaps the company realised that it was potentially in violation of the terms and conditions of its service, maybe it just realised that it had handled the affair badly, and landed itself with another PR disaster. Either way, it's not likely to be the last time this happens. The email continues: "Naturally, we do need to retain the right to manage bandwidth, from time to time, in order to maintain the integrity of the network. If BTopenworld is in a position where it needs to take such action it will provide customers with notice." BT did not return our requests for comment.
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