Comcast and Vonage, new best friends

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Comcast and Vonage have promised to never fight again and to work together to balance “network congestion” with “ensuring that over-the-top VoIP services like Vonage work well for consumers.”

Wow, does that mean Comcast is promising to stop blocking services like Vonage from running on its network? How sweet!

Vonage Chief Technology Officer Louis Mamakos said in a statement: “This agreement helps Vonage to ensure that customers have the best possible Internet experience. Although we’re competitors with Comcast, this understanding helps our two companies work together to balance the needs of network management with consumers’ ability to freely access the services, applications and content of their choice.”

Comcast also wanted you to know that this is only its “latest” in a series of announcements that “demonstrate the company’s commitment to ensure that its customers’ ability to use any application or access any content they choose while avoiding network congestion situations that could affect the consumer experience.”

Comcast Corporation and Vonage Holdings Corporation announced today a collaborative agreement to address the reasonable network management of Internet services. Comcast committed to work together with Vonage to ensure that network management techniques are chosen that effectively balance the need to avoid network congestion with the need to ensure that over-the-top VoIP services like Vonage work well for consumers.

“This agreement helps Vonage to ensure that customers have the best possible Internet experience,” said Louis Mamakos, Vonage Chief Technology Officer. “Although we’re competitors with Comcast, this understanding helps our two companies work together to balance the needs of network management with consumers’ ability to freely access the services, applications and content of their choice.”

“This collaboration with Vonage, and our outreach to many key participants in the Internet community, demonstrate that we are committed to provide network management solutions that benefit consumers and competition” said Tony Werner, Comcast Chief Technology Officer.

This is the latest in a series of announcements related to Comcast’s network management practices that demonstrate the company’s commitment to ensure that its customers’ ability to use any application or access any content they choose while avoiding network congestion situations that could affect the consumer experience. In March, Comcast announced it would move to a protocol-agnostic network management approach by the end of 2008, and tests on this approach have already begun. Comcast has announced other collaborations with BitTorrent, Inc. and Pando Networks, as well as participation in the P4P Working Group organized by the Distributed Computing Industry Association (DCIA). Comcast has also participated in the IETF Workshop on P2P Infrastructure, and will continue to collaborate in the IETF with other ISPs, P2P providers, and others on technologies related to network management and P2P application development.

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