Comcast will be running a month-long trial in certain areas of Pennsylvania and Virginia, which “will result in delayed response times for Internet traffic only for those customers who are using more than their fair share of available Internet resources at the time.”
The basic idea is that when the network gets clogged up, those who are downloading a bunch of stuff will have their speeds reduced until the network becomes unclogged.
It seems like a fair idea in theory, but some people are probably going to go ape-shit about this. I think the concept is sound — much better than just putting data usage caps on everyone like Time Warner’s trying to do.
My problem, however, is that Comcast gets to decide who’s “using more than their fare share” of resources. For all we know, that could be half the users on the network, although Comcast claims that “network management will only affect a small percentage of users during periods of network congestion.”
The trial started two days ago on June 2nd and will run for the next thirty days in Chambersburg, PA and Warrenton, VA. More details here.