An Open Letter to Comcast and Every cable/Telco on P2P – updated

I’m not a Comcast customer. I happen to get service from Verizon, ATT and Time Warner at various locations where I pay for internet service.

If I was a Comcast customer, I would tell them, as I am now telling all the services I am a customer of:

BLOCK P2P TRAFFIC , PLEASE

As a consumer, I want my internet experience to be as fast as possible. The last thing I want slowing my internet service down are P2P freeloaders. Thats right, P2P content distributors are nothing more than freeloaders. The only person/organization that benefits from P2P usage are those that are trying to distribute content and want to distribute it on someone else’s bandwidth dime.

Does anyone really think its free ? That all the bandwidth consumed with content being distributed by P2P isn’t being paid for by someone ? That bandwidth is being paid for by consumers. Consumers who pay for personal, not commercial applications. When consumers provide their bandwidth to assist commercial applications, they are subsidizing those commercial applications which if it isn’t already, should be against an ISPs terms of service.

Thats not to say there isnt a place for P2P. There is. P2P is probably the least efficient means of distributing content in the last mile. Comcast, Time Warner, etc should charge a premium to those users who want to act as a seed and relay for P2P traffic. After all, that is why P2P is used, right ? For content distributors to avoid significant bandwidth and hosting charges. That makes it commercial traffic far more often than not. So make them pay commercial rates.

That will stop P2P dead in its tracks. P2P isnt so good that people will use it when they have to pay for all the bandwidth it consumes. It will die a quick death. That will speed up my internet connection.

thats a good thing.

So hang in there Comcast

Update: I wanted to offer the best alternative to P2P for audio and video….. Google Video. If you are trying to do distribution of audio or video, why in the world would you use P2P when Google Video will host and distribute it very efficiently and for free ?

To help those of you who cant understand how to distribute audio on Google Video, here is a hint: Re encode it with a little video, a couple pictures, whatever. Then it it wont be an audio file, it will be a video file.. Ta da . You get distribution by the best distribution network on the planet, for free.

m

142 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Comcast and Every cable/Telco on P2P – updated

  1. In another vein, it would appear that Mark Cuban learned business rules at the same school as the last dial up ISP I used before moving on to broadband. First they offered \”Unlimited Service at 56k (dial up standard) for $19.95 a month, then they informed me that I would have to reduce my usage because I was spending too much time online. So I switched to another carrier, after informing them that they must have attended a strange school indeed, on that has an alternate definition of the term \”unlimited\”!

    Comment by Muzik Dinle -

  2. You must have been smokin\’ that bad stuff again!

    Comment by iPhoneKaynak -

  3. thnx

    Comment by fatihh -

  4. thank you bilgin ajans

    Comment by haber -

  5. In another vein, it would appear that Mark Cuban learned business rules at the same school as the last dial up ISP I used before moving on to broadband. First they offered \”Unlimited Service at 56k (dial up standard) for $19.95 a month, then they informed me that I would have to reduce my usage because I was spending too much time online. So I switched to another carrier, after informing them that they must have attended a strange school indeed, on that has an alternate definition of the term \”unlimited\”!

    Comment by dingil -

  6. Dead on Mark…simply dead on. Those who oppose your view are out to fulfill their own selfish interests. Comcast will continue to block the freeloaders because they abuse their privledges. My motorcycle has 145 MPH on the speedometer and I paid for a bike that will do every bit of that and more. However, society has decided, legally I might add, to restrict my speed administratively. It\’s \”their\” ballgame and \”they\” make the rules. Comcast does the same.

    So to you freeloaders and miscreants who oppose this point of view, I say bring it on brother. I do love to see the selfish and abusive individuals squirm. And, well, you;re the ones crying……not me and mark. And to me that is so comical.

    Comment by Doug -

  7. Should I feel sorry for Comcast when I P2P? Hell no. Ask Comcast why there is no bandwidth issue on my node near the NW side of Chicago. It\’s because Time Warner invested in a fiber backbone here, just before being bought out by the big C. Had Comcast been investing in fiber elswhere early on (as opposed to the cheaper upgrades performed), they wouldn\’t be faced (again) with that upgrade delemma.

    Comment by vitamins -

  8. Mark,

    Whatever yours and mine pains are for internet access, carriers like ATT, Comcast have no business messing around user traffic unless required for legal reasons. There are different solutions for P2P traffic like caching etc. BTW, Google Video has a huge OPEX which can almost sound like an entry barrier to other startups. So everyone uses Google video is not the solution :)

    Medhavi.

    Comment by Medhavi -

  9. Mr.Cuban,u have done almost every thing from softwares 2 mediatec business,y dont u try \”The Indian Real Estate Market\”(specially Gujarat).U will make trice the money as u make now.
    -Sunil S Gulabani.

    Comment by Sunil S Gulabani -

  10. You must have been smokin\’ that bad stuff again!

    If somepays for bandwidth, they should be the ones to decide how they use it–NOT YOU!!

    Do us all a favor and keep you very STUPID opinion to yourself. Don\’t give those jerks any ideas that real thinking internet users might agree with you–THEY DON\’T.

    The problem is oversold–undelivered–bandwidth. The problem is NOT how any group of users choses how to use the bandwidth the have contracted.

    Do use all a favor, and don\’t get high before you write your next blog!

    Comment by Al -

  11. I don\’t mean to be rude or anything….but you\’re an idiot Mark. P2P is just another way to use the internet like streaming video or streaming online games. It is no less efficient than any other protocols out there. Here is a good article that will clear up your \”Bandwidth Issues\”.
    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20061226/100457.shtml

    Comment by Brian -

  12. As a driver, I want my travel experience to be as fast as possible. The alst thing I want are these freeloaders driving around aimlessly on non-important tasks, clogging up the roads. I have important places to go and these people going around on casual errands do noting but stop people who have real places to be. Highways certainly aren\’t free.

    So Traffic Department, I\’d like you to restrict people from driving unless they ahve something important to do, and I\’d like you to use my view as to what\’s important, so my driving will be unimpeeded by these freeloaders.

    Comment by Lets not stop there -

  13. Mark,

    If you really cared about bandwidth, you would go after spam, which is using up somewhere north of 90% of all email traffic. That is 90% of over 20 TRILLION messages a year.

    bob

    Comment by bob -

  14. What a whack job!
    Do you read back your posts, or just hit that send button without thinking about it. Oh I know…it\’s the latter.
    With 100% negative comments so far, are you going to realize the absolute stupidity of your blog and retract them? No? Didn\’t think so.
    Like many posters, I too pay for a certain bandwidth each month and I want to use all of it thank you. I DON\’T want other internet users deciding how I use MY bandwidth. I never use emails – so all email accounts should be banned! That\’ll stop the spammers won\’t it? But at what cost.
    Gee I wish people would think before posting such utter rubbish!

    Comment by Lovs2look -

  15. You post (mark) is so ignorant I am surprised you can even log on to a computer. When you take a stand, you should know what you are talking about.

    What the hell kinda websites are you surfing that broadband isn\’t fast enough for you? Ones with videos that stream? Is the porn not coming down the pipe fast enough?

    Sincerely,

    Mike

    Comment by Mike Scott -

  16. Blizzard Entertainment distributes software updates to their World of Warcraft game via P2P to approximately 8.5 million customers every couple months or so. These are typically 250mb+ downloads.

    They used to do this process without P2P and it caused extremely long download times and a generally unpleasant consumer experience. On days when a patch was released, you could count on the Blizzard servers going down. Now that they have switched to P2P the process is MUCH smoother.

    Why should Blizzard have to go back to hosting these software patches themselves and subjecting their customers to lengthy download times and server crashes, or why should 8.5m Warcraft players have to pay extra on their Comcast bill just to get software updates?

    This is just an example of where P2P software is necessary IMO to be used on a relatively large scale. (You seem to not see any business reason why it should be used on a large scale.)

    Comment by Brad Russell -

  17. If ISP’s block P2P traffic, they’ll be blocking legitimate use too. Many sites offer downloads via P2P. These include stores that sell content for 3D programs, and some movie sites and independent producers.

    P2P is a protocol, not a content. Protocols like IRC, FTP, and HTTP are also used by people to download and upload pirated material. Blocking the delivery method won’t destroy the content. Pirates will find other ways to access and deliver pirated content.

    Mark Cuban doesn’t understand the difference between a protocol and content.

    from mc. actually, i have understood the difference since i installed my first lan in 1983…read my posts.. really read them.

    Comment by Frank -

  18. In another vein, it would appear that Mark Cuban learned business rules at the same school as the last dial up ISP I used before moving on to broadband. First they offered \”Unlimited Service at 56k (dial up standard) for $19.95 a month, then they informed me that I would have to reduce my usage because I was spending too much time online. So I switched to another carrier, after informing them that they must have attended a strange school indeed, on that has an alternate definition of the term \”unlimited\”!

    Comment by Jon Weiss -

  19. Apparently I got here late, but I want to add to/ confirm what has already been said. As the former administrator of a small ISP, I can tell you that ISP\’s pay for a pipe. We, for instance paid for 3 T1\’s. We had all of that bandwidth available for whatever our clients needed it for. Our service packages always included the phrase \”Up To xxxMbps\” for the very reason that we realized that we were selling part of the pipe, and it could become overloaded during peak periods or if some users took advantage of their available bandwidth and used it to the fullest. If you look at your ISP Contract, you will see similar wording. They sell you \”Up To 6Mbps\” or whatever your ISP\’s max speed is. The issue is that the ISP\’s minimize the \”Up To\” part so that you think you should get your full allotment of what they have available. If you want guaranteed up/down speeds, you need to buy yourself a T1/T3, whatever you can afford (What CAN\’T you afford). As a software developer and avid OSS supporter, I know that I prefer to download Linux Distributions, Software Updates, and anything else (perfectly legal) that I can using bittorrent. Not only is it faster, but it consumes LESS bandwidth than a direct download. If you want to get the intellectual public behind you, I would avoid posts like this that are not only misinformed, but obviously opinionated and alienating. I have been a Cuban fan since you bought the Mavs, but this has really turned me off. I hope that you get a chance to rethink and retract this article before the entire IT community disowns you. I am sure this was a post made in the heat of the moment, and you were experiencing slow service at the time. Still, you should consider the fans, and do some research before you start bitching about a minority that doesn\’t even affect you.

    Idol Handzz
    aka Christopher Shoemaker
    Tyler, TX

    Comment by Idol Handzz -

  20. You have GOT to be kidding me.
    How about grounding yourself in REALITY and technology (or at least be knowledgeable of societal use of technology).
    Just another reason why the world (specifically the U.S.) will be better off when the baby boomers are all dead: Then a generation who UNDERSTANDS technology will be in power.
    What a rube!

    Comment by Joseph Bloe -

  21. Spot on, bro. The majority of P2P file sharers are not only bandwidth hogs and freeloaders, they are pirates, law breakers, and contributors to the breakdown of a functioning market for commercially viable entertainment content. Illegal P2P file sharing must be stopped. 3 people can go together and get an all-you-can-eat subscription to 5mm tracks on Napster for $15 ($5 each). Is that too much to ask for the best music experience known to man? Come on people. The \”something for nothing\” economic model doesn\’t work.

    Comment by wyly -

  22. Here\’s my analogy: I used to be on Verizon\’s wireless service but left recently for AT&T\’s rollover minutes. I\’m paying for a certain number of minutes, why shouldn\’t I get a credit if I don\’t use them all up? Bandwidth is no different. I pay Comcast $42 per month for internet access, I\’m going to use up my bandwidth.

    Comment by seo yarmas -

  23. This is just about the stupidest idea I have ever heard, do you not realise how efficient P2P networks are?
    They actually increase the speed that you can connect at by reducing bottlenecks on the internet.

    Comment by Daniel Mclaughlin -

  24. Mark,

    You are way off on this one. If Comcast, AT&T et al. would spend as much time, effort and money trying to provide the best Internet pipe possible, instead of trying to monetize EVERYTHING their subs do online, we would all have great BW. Fact is, the big ISPs spend on content portals and useless Internet destinations like \”The Fan\”. These guys have forgotten what early ISPs knew–they are providing access to a free and open Internet. That is what we are paying them for.

    @Rodney Giles — I just have to comment. Before you ignorantly blame P2P for your download woes. There are dozens of reasons why you might not be getting the advertised 6 Mbps. Do some research before you demonstrate your ignorance to the rest of us. If AT&T would focus on its own access network you might get that 6 Mbps they sold you.

    Comment by Ryan -

  25. Hey asshole, EVERYBODY IS PAYING FOR THEIR INTERNET – who the hell are you in your greedy ignorance to dictate what others should do! Next it will be Bush who dictates only people who agree with him should be allowed to use the next – but I guess you\’d like that, wouldn\’t you.

    Comment by PJ -

  26. Mark,

    Do these companies sound familiar?

    Grokster
    Red Swoosh (didn\’t you invest and make money off of them after they were aquired by Akamai)

    That doesn\’t strike you in the least bit hypocritcal?

    Comment by Luke -

  27. What i do with my bandwidth doesnt make you pay more for anything. Also how would using google video do anything to \”help\” with your problem, it would just be shoving the data elsewhere. Also you fail to notice that it was P2Pers who nurtured the internet into the place it is today. Without P2Pers you would not have this blog..

    Comment by Proud2P2P -

  28. Great point!! I hear your supposed to be smart, maybe you are and this is to kick up a fuss in order to stop interferring with traffic. If not and you believe this your heads up your arse.

    Thinks, how do I put this clearly so that comcast can understand.

    I pay for a broadband service. Others do to. More ppl are going to. More ppl are going to use broadband. I pay a premium for it. For my money, I am assured I can have a 6MB connection. I pay extra for that. I don\’t pay for a 1.5MB connection. I don\’t pay for dial up, or a DSL lite connection or a turbo charged connection. I pay for an unlimited 6MB connection as source fed to me through TV and internet adds.

    Now If im paying for this why can\’t I get it? oh says you because of P2P. Yeah right. No it\’s because companies are selling stuff and making promises they can\’t back up. If someone is paying for a service, cash up front then they should expect the service they are paying for. It\’s not up to me to prove their promises right or wrong, it\’s up to the companies to prove their promises right. After all Im footing the bill, their not losing their money their losing mine.

    So. if I agree to pay for it, at the price they offer. I have no complaint. As long as I get what I paid for. What or how I chose to use bandwidth I pay for, is of no concern to the company. Unless, what I do is illegal.

    So if if sit here, and type, while someone downloads 50MP3\’s, while paying the same price, thats fine by me. They paid for it. The company accepted their money. These are the same companies btw that go on the nickle and dime whims of the out of touch CEO\’s worth billions. the billions, come from your pocket and mine. Having been a CEO you know this already.

    What I don\’t forgive is Comcast or any other ISP, telling me and including in the contract, the ability to charge me for a service they obigliate themseleves not to provide. If I pay for 6MB I want my 6MB. If someone that downloads a lot pays for and wants their 6MB, they should have it also. They pay for it and have that right. It\’s their money, not the CEO\’s by default. If the company can\’t provide the services it\’s selling, then it needs to be shut down, as a default provider of services. The person that pays for the service, is not in default for using what he/she has paid for. The company is, and it is the company that has to prove that it is worthy of the task of providing the services it sells. Not the consumer that buys the service.

    ISP providers along with others are being beguiled by their own charm. The same ISP\’s are stumbling along aroad to reality. The reality being that people pay from their own pocket, and that people drive the internet. People pay for the internet. That in the case of the internet, it is consumer driven, and that at launch, it had savay users. That PPV is dead, DRM is dead, that the sway they had to enforce laws, is now being reduced to spin doctoring even in court cases.

    At its most basic consumer element, they forget, if you want people to give you money, you have to give service, or else they will go away.

    Comment by DaAngel -

  29. Wow, just found out about Cuban\’s participation in Redacted! I\’ve been a Mavericks fan since 1980, had season tickets for over ten years, been to many, many games, watch on TV, wear the clothes BUT unfortunately I will not do it any longer!
    I\’m reacting to Redacted!!!!!!
    What a shame!!!

    Comment by Mike Moran -

  30. Nice one fucktard, and how do you think Linux distros will be delivered efficiently to those that have high speed connections? HTTP mirrors are expensive… I\’ll use my internet how I want, feel free to filter your traffic, but I personally don\’t want to. How can you think that just blocking P2P will speedd up your connection? You\’re a selfish bastard.

    Comment by Neonkoala -

  31. Yes, because we all know its the P2P PROTOCOL that is causing your connection to run slow, and definetly not that fact that ISP\’s grossly oversell their Internet access capabilities and 6Mbit is hardly ever that. I think it\’s also necessary to point out that you are not the only person in the world, and your connection being slow hardly demands nationwide ISP action. Sadly, you are just as important as regular people like me. Furthermore, I find it laughable that you are grossly confusing the ACT of bandwidth sharing with P2P, a PROTOCOL.

    But, all that aside, lets pretend for a moment the universe DOES revolve around you AND P2P IS slowing down your connection (which it isn\’t). You are the bloody owner of the bloody Dallas Mavericks. Surely you can afford T1 or T3 pipe, and I seriously doubt filesharing would slow down that.

    Quite frankly, you ignorant when it comes to technology, and a big baby who thinks the world revolves around him, so please do us all a favor and stop talking.

    Comment by Chris -

  32. Good or bad, but it is stupid. Author is technically illiterate.

    Do you suppose to close the TCP ports? Analyze the traffic? Simple encryption and change protocols every month – technically you can\’t close it.
    ISPs will need expensive servers to check all traffic, to parse all data and define that \”this content is P2P\”, and a more expensive software.

    Maybe ISPs will add the restrictions to the user agreement, disconnect users and sue them, hire security service who will investigate users with high traffic? Hehe :)

    Providers sell the bandwidth. If they worry about consumption they can switch to per-GB packages at any time. But competitors will not :)

    Good or bad, but it\’s not providers who can close P2Ps.

    Comment by Grigori Kochanov -

  33. While we\’re at it, we probably ought to ban taxi drivers from re-selling access to the roads, as well. It\’ll be a lot easier to get around Manhattan with all those taxi cabs out of the way.

    Comment by JohnA -

  34. \”I wanted to offer the best alternative to P2P for audio and video….. Google Video. If you are trying to do distribution of audio or video, why in the world would you use P2P when Google Video will host and distribute it very efficiently and for free ?\”

    Because Google Video quality is atrocious, and watching anything but short videos inside a browser window hasn\’t been acceptable since Broadcast.com was around.

    Comment by Matthew -

  35. Such \’grease oil\’! But what better twisted way of not having to spend money, by blaming those nasty, evil-doing, p2p\’ers that every \’law-abiding\’ citizen would surely have no problem over the restriction of services and then going on to making them pay over the odds. Perhaps he would also be willing to \’blow-hard\’ over why our internet speeds are zipping along at a shoddy 8-20mb/s (if we\’re lucky) when many other countries are speeding their way up to 50+mb/s?

    Comment by Peter -

  36. Eh, one last thing. Just more absolute proof positive that you can be a really, really, really, really, really rich guy and still be a damn idiot.

    Comment by yttrx -

  37. Hey, glad you\’re not the only consumer in the world because I as a consumer want to be able to run any damn protocol I want. The internet is not simply about running a web browser and nothing else, it\’s about being able to use any utility/program I want and not what YOU want. I don\’t DO the same things with the internet that you do . . . . how bout we send an open letter to McDonald\’s requiring them to only put onions on their hamburgers? There is many more things that the net is capable of than just being the Intarweb.

    Let\’s not squash the next potential innovation for the sake of Kontrol.

    Comment by Bill Rogers -

  38. What argument is being made here? P2P traffic is increasing the cost of using the internet? P2P is making the net slower? I usually agree with everything you say but this isn\’t one of them. The net needs to not be regulated (particularly by a private US corp). Rules need to also be embraced internationally. Making ISP the police of the net do more harm than good.

    Comment by blaine -

  39. Right on Mark! Totally agree!!

    Comment by Jeb -

  40. Here\’s my metaphor. Mark runs a business which flies sales people all over the place. Recently, he\’s found that his salesmen often get to the airport and find that despite having bought a ticket there\’s no room on the plane for them after all, and they get bumped. He asks the airline why his salesmen aren\’t getting to their destinations quickly. The airline tells him that there are lots of people who aren\’t traveling to or from businesses, but just visiting other people and that those are the problem. He writes an angry blog post about all these \”person to person\” travelers who are just going to see other people instead of businesses. When they visit other people, they\’re going to sometimes stay in hotels and rent cars and eat out, so really their travels should be considered business travels too. They\’re using their consumer seats to subsidize these businesses. All these person to person travelers are crowding out his business travelers and even though they\’re paying the same ticket prices that he is, that\’s not fair because they\’re less \”efficient\”. So the airlines should ban the person to person travelers so that his salesmen will always get their seats. Or at least that\’s his take on it.

    Of course, the rest of us recognize that the problem is that the airline is selling tickets that it can\’t fill and choosing a convenient scapegoat and that maybe he should be mad at them for not having enough seats on the plane or enough planes in the sky to satisfy the demand.

    In case it isn\’t clear to anyone, in this metaphor, the airline plays the role of the ISP and the people represent packets.

    But to talk beyond the metaphor for a moment, Mark\’s post is simply factually incorrect. He asserts that if the major ISPs started blocking peer-to-peer traffic that p2p would dry up and go away. p2p is responsible for about 3/4 of the traffic on the internet. If the ISPs started blocking it, people would go to other ISPs. Most people don\’t want their ISP to dictate what programs they are and are not allowed to run and are perfectly willing to vote on that with their money.

    Honestly, too, this whole idea that people shouldn\’t be allowed to use their \”consumer\” packets to supplement someone else\’s business since they haven\’t paid for business class service is stupid. Packets are packets. They don\’t get marked with the price you paid for them. When the internet started, it wasn\’t a business venture. But now businesses feel that they\’re the important part of the internet and that if you\’re not using a business to do things that you\’re doing it wrong. Well sorry, I\’m going to run my own web server, not pay someone else to host my pages for me. I\’m going to run my own mail server because I don\’t want someone else to be able to read my email. And I\’m going to use bittorrent to distribute my own video blog, not put it on Google Video because I don\’t want my service to be able to be yanked at someone else\’s whim.

    Here\’s a deal for Make: I\’ll start using Google Video to distribute my video blog when you start using it to distribute HDNet. If you really think it\’s the best distribution net on the planet, then use it. Until then, I\’m going to stick with a model which doesn\’t depend on someone else hosting my video.

    Keith Irwin

    Comment by Keith Irwin -

  41. Wow Mark, you use to be a great guy but it appears you have lost a few marbles. What the hell is up with you? Really? It seems you have some deep personal issues. Deal with them and stay out of the public till you are sane again.

    Mark Cuban a washed up has been…

    Comment by John Skrotzki -

  42. I think the update says a lot. You want to make free Google Video advertising. New service just released needs to be pushed a little buy some people for some money in exchange for a little scratch on their reputation.

    Comment by Liviu Balan -

  43. OK, now this really steams my boat. Your internet is fast, Mark Cuban, if it isn\’t then you are getting shafted by your ISP. P2P from users on your network doesn\’t slow your bandwidth anymore than games, iTunes or Google Video. If I act as a seed or relay for P2P traffic, then that is my choice of what to do with MY bandwidth. If I choose to host a dedicated server for an online game using MY bandwidth, thats my choice. If I want to run Apache and mirror my favorite open source projects from my computer, that uses MY bandwidth – not yours, not my neighbor\’s – mine. If you\’re right about this, of course, then I would like to ask Comcast and every cable/Telco to block your internet access because I feel you browse so much that my experience is diminished – please, stop using the Internet.

    Comment by Zak Owen -

  44. Are you actually being serious? One perfect example of a legitimate use of P2P is distributing non commercial Linux distributions. Many of the free Linux distributions would have to close up shop if P2P was barred at the ISP level. Whats even worse is that you are blaming other users of your ISP for slowing down your internet connection. Your ISP is most likely feeding you with false advertisement. \”Unlimited Broadband etc etc\” – the users you are complaining about are simply taking them up on their offer. If they feel like saturating their internet connection 24hours a day 7 days a week they are perfectly entitled to, even if they are distrusting commercial content – they have most likely received a better price on the content they bought but downloading and sharing via P2P. If you feel your internet connection is too slow upgrade or even better – encourage your ISP to lower the contention ratio.

    Did you actually think this post through before u hit save?

    See also:
    http://www.bit-tech.net/news/2007/08/02/uk_isps_under_fire_for_false_advertising/1

    http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/06/10/0645232

    Comment by Kiall -

  45. Mark,

    I have always thought you were a smart guy but the logic of your argument eludes me. Clearly you have a personal interest in destroying \”P2P\” and are attempting to spin an argument around the idea of benefiting consumers.

    You should note that the Internet as a whole is designed to be a P2P network. Each entity pays for their own bandwidth and connection and there exists no clear distinction between consumers and producers. Anyone and everyone can be a producer.

    I agree that ISPs should factor in \”usage\” into their offerings. People who use more bandwidth should pay a higher fee. However, the type of traffic is irrelevant. The fact that ISPs choose not to charge for traffic and offer \”unlimited\” service is a business decision likely predicated on clear marketing. Nobody forced them to adopt that business model.

    P.S. Honestly Mark, (as a consumer) I think you can afford a fast connection to the internet.

    Comment by Rajiv -

  46. In the above posts are users that are speaking. Big companies with same ideeas like you do not understand that pressure, lobbying and influencing high decision people (like yourself) has no result and also makes their reputation go more down. Posting in media a \”favorable\” opinion, to them that is, will never affect the clear mind of day to day usual citizen. Trying to brainwash and spread this propaganda war over all media channels makes any of us see the ISPs, RIAA and the associated music/movie industry as a bad entity. I come from a country were few years ago there were no copyright laws and DRM was in SF novels only at that time. However even if I downloaded music and movies at that time I would go to store and buy that original album that I like. Now, with all the DRM crap and hidden drivers that a CD/DVD installs when one inserts it in his/her computer I don\’t even want to hear about getting an original one. I want to stay away as much as I can from this. I do not download and I do not want to pay money either. And this is because I\’m discussed with all this. In the best case I listen to a radio song. About internet I would like to post a holiday movie and be able to share it with everyone. I would like to listen to someone singing who likes to be heard without any big companies interest in making money behind her back. All that requires bandwidth even if you like it or not. Companies try to censure. They try to steal away the freedom of posting online something that me or others want to share. There are p2p phone technologies, p2p home tv stations, p2p software code sharing projects. For such projects people would donate money because they know those money would get to source. Now trying to restrict that liberty of expression with a puerile reason won\’t make you look good in any way. You think your internet is slow. Phone to your ISP and ask them why. You should be paying for bandwidth with no restrictions and in case you don\’t get that start asking some privacy questions. Blaming other people because your internet prefers to invest its money in traffic analysis technologies than improving the data transmission channels should be penalized by users. Take a second though understanding the issue and look on which side you are because when basic liberties of expression are blocked, history teaches that things end bad in a way or another.

    Comment by Liviu Balan -

  47. Let me just say that you\’re missing the point entirely. The statistics vary drastically depending on where you go, but what you aren\’t realizing in your corporate musings of \”how can I screw my customers over more efficiently and make bigger profit\” is that 40% of all internet traffic is JUST bit torrent traffic. Legitimately used by a business or a user to distribute patches files, ISO\’s, updates, movies, music, or whatever, or not (aka piracy) bit torrent alone makes up 40% of all internet traffic at the very least. Bear in mind this does NOT include other forms of P2P traffic. What you\’re telling us basically is to shove off, that the internet service we pay for is not ours to use as we see fit. We get advertised 6Mbps down and 1.0Mbps up with comcast, and you\’re telling us not to use it? Fat chance. If comcast didn\’t want us using P2P traffic to begin with, they should have put that in their TOS. What they\’re doing now is not only illegal according to the FCC\’s laws of internet service, and Illegal in the sense that they\’re impersonating client computers to eliminate connections, it violates their terms of service.

    ..and what pray tell is your response? \”use google video.\” what the hell kind of a response is that? google video is not a be all end all for file sharing. You can\’t share music. you can\’t share documents. you can share patch files. you can\’t share ISO images. Not to mention that some videos aren\’t agreeable with google video\’s/youtube\’s TOS either.

    ..You\’re not very bright, are you? you\’re telling 40% of the internet (not including edonkey, gnutella, and lotus notes users that comcast is blocking as well) to \”fuck off\”. When a company advertises services and it can\’t deliver, it\’s their problem to fix, and since I pay for my service, it should NOT affect me or the services I choose to run under the TOS, regardless of how much of the bandwidth I\’m entitled to is used.

    Comment by Godhand667 -

  48. You\’re way off, Mark.

    If someone pays for a certain upload/download speed of service, then they are entitled to make use of that service to the fullest extent. If they\’re slowing you down, then it\’s the ISP\’s fault for advertising speeds higher than what they can deliver. Call your ISP and complain to them, don\’t pass the buck to people simply using what they paid for.

    Comment by steve -

  49. I can\’t believe you\’re egging them on. This isn\’t about P2P. This is about free use of the internet. If they start with P2P, then they\’ll start blocking things like Voip. Then they\’ll start blocking content as well. Where does it stop? It needs to be free so that companies don\’t become full of themselves and begin to throttle other types of traffic like Google video. They\’re already full of themselves as it is. Here\’s an example…AT&T may bring Google video to a standstill where it takes 2 hours for a 10 minute video to load, but then they offer a \”convenient\” alternative like AT&T Blueroom with their own filtered content that has tons of their ads posted all over it. I know P2P has a lot to negative press, but there are some good uses for it. And the real problem is the fact that networks don\’t plan for enough bandwidth as it is. They need to upgrade no matter what, and giving them an inch of freedom on this issue will destroy the internet as we know it.

    Comment by Dave -

  50. This is satire, right Mark?

    Right?

    \”Last mile\” bandwidth is paid for by consumers. Why shouldn\’t they be able to use their bandwidth however they want? If a consumer wants to use their bandwidth to support a commercial or non-commercial interest – from WoW patches to SETI distributed computing projects – why shouldn\’t they? It seems akin to offering your car as a volunteer package delivery service an organization you support. Like driving a group of schoolkids to a field trip. Why should Ford care what you do with their car, as long as it\’s bought and paid for?

    Your argument seems to be:

    1) consumer internet services, using P2P technology, can provide competitive data transfer to commercial internet services.
    2) therefore, consumer internet customers who wish to use P2P should be charged equivalent rates to commercial internet customers.

    The reasoning is flawed: P2P does not make an individual consumer grade connection equivalent to a commercial one. Rather, it makes a GROUP of consumer grade connections equivalent to a single commercial one. It takes 50 or 100 seeders to make your equation work.

    So you could make a perfectly valid argument that P2P users should be charged a rate proportional to their ability to help a P2P network equate a commercial connection. It\’s not as difficult as it seems – the term for one connection\’s ability to help a P2P network is \”bandwidth\”. You just have to have companies charge consumers rates proportional to the bandwidth they receive.

    Oh wait. That\’s what companies do already.

    With all due respect, if you\’re having trouble with your internet speed, it\’s your ISP\’s fault. They\’re the ones who promise you a connection at a certain rate, and they\’re the ones who seem unable to meet the bandwidth demands of their own customers. If an ISP is oversaturating it\’s own network, it is not the consumers who need to change their behavior. They\’re paying for the service, same as you. It\’s the ISP who needs to either change their promises, or upgrade their network to meet them.

    Comment by Campbell -

  51. Heh heh heh! Nothing like a slashdotting to send dozens of angry geeks to your blog, eh?

    Maybe you should spend a little more time figuring out how to get Dirk Nowitzki to produce some points in crunch time, and a little less time telling other folks how to use their bandwidth.

    Comment by Greg DeKoenigsberg -

  52. what will it take FOR THIS ASSHOLE TO STFU ONCE AND FOR ALL?
    at least Ted Stevens is amusing.

    i hope this dude stops spreading hypocritical lies, halftruths, and most of all, stupidity once and for all, and lets hope for that to happen it wont have to be by force.
    we get it, u got lucky and made a buck, now shove it up your cocky ass, coz no one with brains is interested in your ignorance u piece of corporate shit.

    Comment by cuban, the paris hilton of tech -

  53. I heard about this blog from a Belgian news site…
    To be honnest, I thought (and hoped) that this was some kind of joke >_>
    It\’s very simple, if you think that P2P is a less efficient form of data distribution than HTTP or FTP, your bonkers >_>
    Some time ago, someone asked basically the same question to the Dattebayo staff:

    Subject: download

    hello,
    i was wondering why you guys don\’t have a http download server it would be so much faster…
    have a nice day
    keuleers wouter

    Reply:

    No, it would not. An http download server is limited by its max upload. Let\’s say that we had a server on a connection with a 10mbit/s upload. 10mbit = 1.25 megabytes/s or 1280 kb/s. That\’s 1280 kb/s divided by ALL THE PEOPLE WHO ARE TRYING TO DOWNLOAD. Let\’s assume that 2000 people are trying to download the episode at the same time (which is an extremely low estimate), that means each person is downloading at about 0.64kb/s, which, I think you will agree, is not so fast. We could fix this problem by limiting the number of connections to our hypothetical server, but then only a few people would be able to download at a time, which would still be an impossibly slow distribution system.

    Conversely, BitTorrent actually gets FASTER when more people download, assuming there\’s a reasonable number of seeds, which our files always have shortly after they are released.

    Hope this improves your understanding,
    lafnear

    So you see, you\’re deadwrong. It is true that Google has a seriously beefed up network that can distribute files at a very respectable rate. But here\’s the catch: not everyone or every company has the money to build a server park like Google has.
    Instead of whining that P2P is cluttering your internet, why don\’t you write an open letter to incite ISP\’s to make their bloody networks faster.
    Seriously, you should read up on basic internet principles before posting something like this. I think quite a few people all over the world are rolling their eyes and shaking their heads at this one, probably for more reasons than the one I\’ve mentioned above.

    Comment by Soliber -

  54. Hey Mark,

    Get T1s in your houses and leave us alone.

    As Mark\’s logic goes, he\’d have all car owners pay more to drive the streets because the occupant/vehicle-size ratio is inefficient. This would fix the highway bandwidth.

    Well, Mark, flying around in your private Jet is an inefficient use of resources too.

    So unless you want to hop on South West, stop trying to segregate our bandwidth.

    I don\’t even use P2P, I run a software business, but the thought of Ivory Tower wonks dictating memos to the masses just chaps my hide.

    Markus Diersbock
    SwingNote

    Comment by Markus Diersbock -

  55. The last time I used P2P (Bittorrent) I downloaded the Fedora 8 Linux distribution.

    I use blip.tv (better quality than YouTube) to distribute videos I make, but friends have also urged me to make Ogg or other formats that don\’t require proprietary software to watch via Bittorrent.

    For small-time videomakers who want to distributed their work either in non-proprietary format or as higher-quality downloads than offered by Google, P2P is currently the only financially rational alternative.

    I know, Mark, we non-rich people (and Linux users) are beneath your notice, but we pay ISP bills, too, same as everyone else.

    Comment by Robin \'Roblimo\' Miller -

  56. You, sir, are clueless. One of the best ways to speed up the internet is through P2P. Got a 100 MB software update to download? Gee, it would be nice if you could get parts of it simultaneously from the 10 people closest to you, cutting the download time from a half hour to about 5 minutes.

    Idiot.

    Comment by Invisible Pink Unicorn -

  57. We have this same problem in Iceland.
    That is, our ISP\’s (all of them) are limiting our bandwith in some protocols.
    Their excuse: HTTP needs higher priority.

    I run Linux. Doing an system update now takes couple of minutes as i\’m fetching the packages via FTP.

    According to them HTTP, VoIP and Online Gaming are nr1 priority.

    I\’m paying them for my 12Mbit, i\’m paying their staff to decide how i use the internet.

    Comment by Ptur Myrkvi -

  58. While you\’re at it, ask them to ban those annoying pop up flash advertisements that clutter up MY internet experience. I\’m sure my browsing experience would be greatly improved if all these greedy advertisement based services weren\’t around anymore. Who do they think they are anyway? Sure they \’pay\’ for access to serve that content, but they are essentially stealing my downstream bandwidth by providing me with content I don\’t care about.

    Love the senseless analogy\’s Mark. Please keep it up, you\’re only going to discredit yourself in the long run.

    Comment by Jesse Raleigh -

  59. Hey Mark,

    What, your 2.7 Billion can\’t buy you a fast enough internet connection that you have to go and start whining about P2P traffic. Maybe someone should shove a basketball up your ass.

    What a dick.

    Comment by John Dough -

  60. As opposed to just giving more bandwidth so everyone can have speed? Welcome to irrelevance, Mark.

    Comment by Pete -

  61. Do us all a favor and STFU. You obviously don\’t have a clue about the shit you\’re babbling about. The world certainly does not need another \”expert\” in this field. I\’ll tell you what the problem is. People like yourself who support these monopolies. If these companies gave a damn, they would simply upgrade the infrastructure to keep up with the demand. It\’s as simple as that. Maybe then, poor old Comcast will be forced to sell the Philly Flyers, and I\’ll finally be able to watch their road games in HD.

    Comment by Andrzej -

  62. You recommend the use of Google Video for P2P audio & video. OK, what about non-video uses of P2P that are 100% legal and legitimate? I regularly download different versions of linux using bittorrent because it\’s much faster and less of a strain on parts of the internet than trying to download ISO\’s directly from an ftp server half way around the world. More and more network-enabled games make use of P2P to distribute content and software patches. Are you going to find some alternative way that the game companies can use if they can\’t use P2P technologies? And don\’t forget that there have been reports that the way Comcast was blocking (filtering, whatever) bittorrent traffic was also adversely impacting business applications like Lotus Notes. It would be virtually impossible for an ISP to accurately target only one type of traffic without inadvertently degrading or blocking some other traffic as well. Do you really want them to do this? How would you like it if you had a VPN to connect to your office from home that locked up randomly due to your ISP\’s P2P filtering attempts?

    Oh yeah, one other thing to keep in mind is that there\’s virtually no way that an ISP will be able to block P2P traffic indefinitely. More and more people are relying on encryption to mask their P2P activities. If a data stream is encrypted how can an ISP know what it is? Ask Comcast if they would be able to determine whether I am using scp (\”secure copy\”, an encrypted file copy utility used daily by systems administrators around the world) to copy a large data file from my computer at home to my computer at work, versus an encrypted P2P connection that\’s downloading a CD image of a linux distrobution, versus an encrypted connection used by programs like Lotus Notes or Microsoft Exchange, or even a straight VPN connection?

    There are millions of talented programmers around the world. If ISP\’s continue doing what Comcast did and block protocols like bittorrent then these programmers will just improve upon P2P protocols and create new ones that will look to the ISP\’s much more like scp, VPN\’s, Lotus Notes, etc. so that the ISP filters won\’t recognize it.

    P2P filtering is a no-win situation. It\’s here to stay. There are hundreds of legitimate uses of the technology, and attempting to filter it is just as big a waste as the movie industries attempts to encrypt DVD\’s. Tools will always be developed to give the end user the ability to do what they want.

    Comment by Iphtashu Fitz -

  63. I\’d have to disagree with blocking P2P traffic myself. Even though I think there are probably better ways to do such things as I myself don\’t use P2P networks, it\’s really the backbone provided by ISP\’s that needs the upgrade.

    I\’m a Linux System Administrator myself and knowing what\’s used on the backend having seen some of the hardware and software used, the internet could use a little upgrade. It\’s the ISP\’s that aren\’t keeping up with the times by ignoring such critical upgrades to keep up with bandwidth demands. I worked at Time Warner a few years ago as well.

    It\’s just like in any other business, when demand goes up, production goes up. That means get off your butts (ISP\’s) and use some of the millions your making in profits to upgrade the infrastructure that has already paid for itself 4 times over or suffer the consequences by allowing more and more people to signup without you upgrading the backend to support such users.

    Comment by Drew -

  64. Young budding software companies depend on P2P technology to share their software with the public. It\’s not just illegal audio and video on those P2P networks. Killing P2P kills the young software companies along with it. There\’s already a problem getting young people into computer science programs, this will make it worse.

    Would you like it if your mavs games didn\’t sell out because no one wanted the shitty seats? Everyone believes they should have the \’best\’ view?

    Comment by Jason -

  65. \”To help those of you who cant understand how to distribute audio on Google Video, here is a hint: Re encode it with a little video, a couple pictures, whatever. Then it it wont be an audio file, it will be a video file.. Ta da .\”

    That has to be one of the \”most knowledgeable\” comments I\’ve read in a while. So you want to reduce internet traffic by turning audio in to video… riiiiggghhhht! That\’s the equivalent of posting this comment as a word document instead of plain text!

    Comment by Haydn -

  66. It\’s not P2P traffic that is the problem. It is your ISP\’s lack of balancing internet traffic across its users.

    Here in Atlantic Canada they offer 2Mbit, 5Mbit and 15Mbit available connections to home users. I\’ve used all three and can say that I have no had any sort of problems.

    When I used to be on DSL I had tons of problems with speed.

    And P2P != piracy. There are many programs that use P2P that are legit.

    Comment by Jamie Archibald -

  67. You want your internet experience to be \”as fast as possible\”. Well what make you so much more important than others. The people who use P2P software (and there ARE legitimate reasons to use it) are using the internet so why shouldn\’t their internet experience also be as fast as possible? Blocking P2P software ruins their internet experience, all for what? A page that loads a millisecond faster for you? I don\’t think so buddy.

    Comment by chiefbutz -

  68. I thought this was a joke when I first read about it on another news site. I\’m still a little stunned that someone has seriously suggested this. Do we advocate blocking FTP? VPN perhaps? POP3? Luckily this proposal is as unrealistic as it is radical. Let Comcast block all p2p traffic. All it takes is one DSL provider to not block p2p traffic and the market will choose them. Mass migration from providers that subscribe to such nonsense would follow, as would an eventual lifting of p2p blocking.

    One last gripe. The buffet analogy is flawed. It would be more accurate to say that I took food from the buffet and *gave* it to someone. P2P users do not charge money for data they give, they do not profit from it monetarily.

    Basically this is just a thinly veiled swipe at network neutrality.

    Comment by R. Anthony -

  69. Hi, you\’re kind of an idiot, and it\’s not surprising that you\’re the CEO of a doomed media company.

    P2P traffic, and traffic like it does indeed eat a lot of bandwidth. And without it, we absolutely, positively, would not have the amazingly high bandwidth at the shockingly low price we currently do—that is, you would not have an HDNet, because the internet\’s infrastructure would not be able to support if it it hadn\’t met the needs of P2P traffic already.

    How do I know?

    Because I\’m one of the poor schmucks who built your internet for you over the last twenty years. I know precisely how it all works and why it\’s all there, and how it all came to be. And all of it–its size, its speed, its ease of accessability can be boiled down to the needs associated with exactly two things:

    porn, and warez. (that is, sex and piracy. Yar.)

    Your incredibly short-sighted wish would mean skyrocketing prices for diminishingly low bandwidth for all of us. I know YOU can afford it—but the vast majority of us cannot. So back off and go do do something you know how to do. Like watching football.

    Comment by yttrx -

  70. So your traffic is more important and legitimate than mine uh ?
    By the way google video is being shutdown by google since its replace by youtube.

    Comment by bleh -

  71. The problem with what you\’re suggesting is that there are many legitimate uses for p2p. Comcast should not bother to filter any specific traffic but charge for all. Maybe a charge of $0.01 per MB either uploaded or downloaded would be more fair? Or you could adjust a price structure that affects p2p more — All the download you want, and 0.05/mb uploaded. Of course up includes requests for web pages, filling out forms, etc.

    The thing is, if this were lucrative, Comcast would have done it by now. The market can take care of itself on things like this. I can guarantee that if Comcast went to \”less than unlimited\” access to the internet, Verizon DSL and FIOS would see an ENORMOUS jump in traffic.

    If you\’re going to attack traffic on the internet, be prepared to attack VOIP, gaming and video conferencing, because they too are significantly impacting your bandwidth.

    Fortunately for you Mark, you are in a position to test your theory. Open up an ISP in Dallas that specificly blocks P2P. See how it does. If it\’s as good a business model as you suggest, I suspect, you quickly be a wealthy man. :)

    Go Mavs!

    Comment by Dan -

  72. So he\’s saying that the bandwidth I pay for, isn\’t really mine to use how I want? Interesting…

    Wonder where this guy parks his car – well, not really his car, is it? Won\’t mind if I go for a ride I\’m sure..

    Comment by Thomas -

  73. Mark, there\’s one thing you\’re missing about the buffet. P2P applications, including BitTorrent (which for disclosure I have become involved with but I thought this long before then) make use of the upstream bandwidth of a user. The downstream is used in much the same ways as it would if the user is downloading from Google Video, as you recommend.

    But in the Google video example, what is happening with the upstream? Well, largely nothing at most ISPs. Because before P2P most users did mostly download and not too much upload. The ISP may have a hosting division which makes use of its outgoing bandwidth, and where it may in fact have Akamai or similar servers providing data to its customers and others.

    But within the ISP\’s internal cloud, and to some extent to the outside world, the upstream bandwidth is there doing nothing. DSL ISPs, the upstream to the DSLAM is a dedicated channel. Do nothing with it and it\’s wasted. P2P tools make use of it.

    In particular let\’s envision a world with very heavy P2P use, and P2P tools that are even better at picking local peers. (Even today, because most P2P systems favour peers that provide the best service, they try to prefer them. However, the more popular P2P is the more of them there will be.)

    In this case the users are feeding data out their unused upstream over the the ISP local network to another peer on the same ISP. Compare this to your centralized approach, where both users are downloading the same stream, thus bringing it in twice. Which is better for the ISP? Which is better for the ISP users?

    Comment by Brad Templeton -

  74. Mark dude, let the people do what ever the fuck they want with their bandwidth. Everybody pays for their own Internet access, and that\’s none of your damn business. Besides, who to fuck do you think you are to judge anyone? Want fast connection, get urself something like 100 Mbps and stop bithing about other people. Biatch!

    Comment by Walter -

  75. Either way Mark Cuban is a poor stupid or a rich smart-aleck

    Comment by Findeton -

  76. i have more to say. i\’m a cub\’s fan and i\’ve gone to thousands of games at wrigley field. if you ever buy them out, i swear to god that i\’ll never go to another cub\’s game again. are you really too dumb to realize that p2p is used for legal purposes? how do you think linux distributions distribute their software? i\’m sorry, you probably dont even know what linux is. it\’s what runs most of the internet. that\’s right, the software that runs most of the websites in the world would not be able to distribute itself if not for p2p. also, guess what visiting a website entails? p2p. you\’re viewing a website for free from a server. that server is giving your browser the code to display that site. so, with your logic, you shouldnt be able to visit any web sites. are you realizing how ignorant you are? speak about what you know, not about what you think you know. i dont claim to know anything about the stock market or real estate, so i dont speak about about it. you should do the same.

    Comment by Marcos Pinto -

  77. you\’re an ignorant fool. does anyone think it\’s free? no. we think it\’s WHAT WE PAY FOR when we pay our monthly isp fees. if you knew anything about real life, you\’d get it. instead you\’re a fucking pumpass ass who thinks everything is about you and making YOUR internet faster. it\’s not. welcome to the real world…not like you\’ve ever known what the real world was like. fuck you

    Comment by Marcos Pinto -

  78. I sense some clumsy ambush at getting P2P users to admit they use it for illegal purposes (camouflaged as \”protecting\” customer bandwidth), but I think you\’ve been tripped up by your own trap.

    I do admit though that if people were forced to pay for P2P, it\’d end. What I can\’t figure out is how you benefit. Again, I don\’t buy your cover story of wanting to speed up internet connections.

    Comment by DML -

  79. Recommending Google Video (YouTube for all intents and purposes)? I thought you were ticked about their policy of adhering to the DMCA and requiring a take down notice before removing allegedly infringing material. It\’s starts with a premium for P2P, then what? Online gaming, VoIP, or maybe even online video like YouTube. I know I can rack up a few gigabytes in a night just downloading from Stage6. Point is, you don\’t need P2P to be a bandwidth hog. Blame the ISPs for selling 8Mbps but not having the bandwidth to back it up.

    Comment by patrick -

  80. I\’m confused. If I\’m subscribing to Comcast, their contract (or at least their website) says I would have 6 mbps down and ~350 kbps up speeds at the lowest tier. Why can\’t I use the bandwidth I\’m paying for however I want again? If their network can\’t support the use they said I was allowed to use, then that is their problem, not mine.

    Everyone else on the P2P network is paying for the bandwidth that they use to help me distribute my album/movie/comedy tape/audio book or whatever. Not one of them is using more than the transfer rate their provider let\’s them use.

    Also, google video is great for watching a guy fall off a roof… but if I want people to listen to my song in a playlist or on an mp3 player, or watch my video in high definition, or not have to sit at a computer for 5 hours while listening to my book, P2P — or distributed distribution — is more convinient for everyone.

    Comment by Gunnar -

  81. hope this was a joke :)
    *cross my fingers*
    – imma

    Comment by imma -

  82. Amazing how something can sound so right – and yet be so completely off the mark. A major lack of understanding is made up for by strong opinion – as all too often…

    Comment by Robert -

  83. Hello Mark,

    As you have no doubt noticed from the testy responses, you seem to have struck a chord here…

    I\’d go with the suggestions made that if you do not have the technical understanding of how the Internet works, and how P2P works, then perhaps you might be a little more cautious in proposing wholesale blocking of something which you *PERCEIVE* to be affecting your access speeds.

    You\’re a man of obvious influence … that influence brings certain responsibilities. The first and most important of these is that of understanding your own limitations. As has been pointed out (I think Lauren Weinstein did this), people (rightly or wrongly) will listen to what you say, often ahead of what less influential (and sometimes even better informed) people may say.

    There are many technical solutions to P2P traffic \’hogging bandwidth\’ – some have been outlined in previous posts here – but none of them require the killing of P2P traffic.

    I share your frustrations with occasional traffic issues on the Internet, but \”Big Brother\” solutions are not the way to go.

    Comment by Paul Rodda -

  84. The RIAA and MPAA aren\’t government organizations. The RIAA and MPAA are private organizations. They don\’t own anything, nor hold rights to anything traded over P2P. They\’re attorneys and litigators who are sue-happy.

    The moment the general public realizes that these organizations are no longer the 900lb gorilla in the corner, P2P traffic will increase 700%.

    Comment by Norris -

  85. …and how much are the ISP\’s paying you? Your argument defies any kind of real world logic. Thank you very much, but I (yes I) will chose how and where I wish to use my internet connection. As long as I am within the TOS screw you and anyone else who says otherwise…so I ask, how much are they paying you to sound like such an idiot?

    Comment by Scott Pressman -

  86. If the protocol causes crime, then spoons make Rosie O\’Donnel fat.

    Comment by Irish John -

  87. P2P content providers are freeloaders?

    I think not. The content providers pay their hosting companies for the bandwidth they use. And pay them quite well, I might add.

    The freeloaders I would penalize are professional sports content providers (e.g., pro sports teams like, yes, thats right, the Mavericks.)

    We have all these whiny pro sports teams that seem to think its their God given right to demand public tax dollars to support their profit-making enterprises. Demands for stadium improvements, tax-breaks, new stadiums the list goes on and on.

    And if you dont give us what we want, well move the team to (fill in the blank)

    Its inherent bad public policy to subsidize pro sports teams with public tax dollars through subsidized stadiums, tax breaks or whatever. The great majority of the public will never benefit in any way shape or form from these subsidies.

    The whole rationale for public subsidies of these teams seems to be based on an archaic notion of civic honor (Dallas could never be a first-rate city without a pro football team).

    I call bullshit. Why should I pay dollar one just so you can rake in millions?

    Hooked on feeding from the public trough, Mr. Cuban? Why should my tax dollars subsidize you? Why? What good does it do me?

    If were going to start doing away with freeloaders, Id start with you!

    Comment by Michael Pellegrini -

  88. \”That bandwidth is being paid for by consumers.\”

    It sure is! The P2P users are consumers. They are paying for their bandwidth, on each side of the pipe, just like you are.

    I would have expected a dotcom billionaire to have at least a basic understanding of internet economics and technology. The reason bandwidth is slow is because there is no competition and ATT has no motivation to shift money from the bottom line into infrastructure. They won\’t provide you with a decent product, since you already have no choice but to pay top dollar for an inferior product and they have an obligation to shareholders to squeeze us as hard as possible.

    I didn\’t know Cuban was this clueless.

    Comment by Alex -

  89. If these telcos/cablecos had half a brain they\’d work with P2P providers to route the traffic so that it all stays inside their networks. They don\’t pay for any of that traffic. Pirates aren\’t going to go away, but at least they (or we) shouldn\’t have to pay for them.

    Comment by Justin Day -

  90. Hi Mark,

    You\’re a great owner and generally have interesting opinions, but this argument is completely off-base. Let\’s follow this here…
    1. Comcast promises a certain level of bandwidth up and down
    2. Some users utilize the upper limits of the promised bandwidth
    3. Your internet connection suffers because Comcast has oversold bandwidth
    4. You blog about it and… blame other users and content providers.

    I suppose when you get bumped from an oversold flight you blame the families that your fellow travelers are visiting.

    Comment by Ian -

  91. pffffft google video you gotta be effing kidding me. Have fun with your low rez crap while I watch 720p.x264.HDTV rips

    Comment by Mookey -

  92. Ever play on line games. On line games release patches. Some of them use P2P to distribute those patches. Look at WOW (World of Warcraft) These non day to day network demands distort your true peak network demands. Why should a company like Blizzard pay for extra bandwidth capacity that goes unused most of the time when there is a viable option of P2P.

    The cable companies made their decision over 10 years ago not to invest in the infrastructure in a way that they could handle the bandwidth of todays Internet and High Definition video. They chose to use their excess cash flow to do mergers and acquisitions.

    You are now seeing the results of these decisions. The cable companies have been using smoke and mirrors for the last five years to disguise the fact that they have mis spent their money, and have invested unwisely. All the cable companies have done is put a fresh coat of paint on a technology that has been around for 40 years. The cable industry as consistently made short term decisions on fixing their growing list of issues. They have abused their local monopoly status, mispent their profits, and are now reaping the woes.

    Comment by Breed -

  93. Mark,

    Your comments are not a completely off base as some suggest, but a bit misguided. The issue is not p2p at all. This real issue is the situation created by the telcos/cablecos/ISPs whereby there is a constant percieved shortage of bandwidth. This is completely uneccessary. It\’s been noted for the longest time that there\’s a ton of dark fibre that\’s been laid and remains unused or underused. You want faster internet access…just make them offer it.

    Cost is not really the factor here, it\’s short term thinking about ROI. Why should AT&T provider faster service when it can generate acceptable profits right now? Why build out new network technologies if they don\’t have to? They\’re already proven with U-Verse that they don\’t need to build fibre-to-the-home as Verizon did for FIOS.

    No, I\’m afraid that p2p is not the culprit. It\’s your provider(s). Give someone a reason to offer more bandwidth and they will. I had great hopes for WiMax as a potential solution to spur genuine competition. There is truly no real competition at the moment. Sadly, with our current crop of ISPs there\’s about no hope unless the federal government (FCC) forces the issue. But that seems unlikely anytime soon, since they still consider 256 kbps \”broadband.\”

    I am reminded of a bumper sticker I saw recently, it said, \”Invest in America. Buy a congressman.\”

    Comment by Michael Graves -

  94. You know that completely legal things go over P2P, like World of Worcraft patch distribution, and a lately a lot of online updates and such.
    People like that it is faster, easier and convenient. It\’s a working service for them.

    Comment by Roland Hesz -

  95. I think blocking all P2P traffic would be extreme given there are some legitimate services using the technology. As well, I think cablecos are doing a pretty good of throttling P2P traffic – offering a small country road to P2P users, and a highway for people surfing the web, using e-mail, etc.

    Comment by Mark Evans -

  96. Want some cheese to go with that….

    Say Mark and I are neighbors and we both pay for 1Mbps internet connections.

    And at some point while Mark is streaming NBA highlights his connection begins to sputter.

    At that very moment I am seeding the latest Ubuntu distribution because I just downloaded it from others and am giving back by acting like a seed for those who do not yet have it.

    Now after some techno-wizardry we determine that his internet stream is stuttering because of my seeding Ubuntu.

    So am I responsible for interrupting Mark\’s NBA highlights? Or would the ISP be fairly blamed for allowing that to happen?

    In other words, we both paid for 1Mbps and one of us is receiving that and perhaps more and the other is not. Is Mark\’s problem with me or the ISP for which he has a contract with for a given amount of bandwidth?

    This is a problem with the inability of the ISP to segment and provide the services for which they are contracted to provide. Regardless of how I use 1Mbps…if I use it for 20 minutes a day or 24/7 never stop, that is my choice. I paid my $20/month for that bandwidth. And if I choose to subsidize Ubuntu…good for me.

    If Mark\’s connection is sputtering, he mustn\’t attack his neighbors…rather the company ripping him off.

    Instead, he writes an open letter to the ISPs crying about P2P slowing his internet connection and doesn\’t question why the ISP is not providing him with what he is supposed to have paid for.

    Sad really…

    >||;]

    p2p peer / futureprogress.net

    Comment by Gabriel Kent -

  97. Good grief Man are you out of nappies yet ? Grow up ! Lets take the road analogy – if everyone suddenly got into their car and decided to drive = road grid lock. If everyone suddenly decided to use their mobile what\’s going to happen ? Yes that\’s right the network will be on its knees. This list can go on and on and on. Ever heard of Adam Smith and market forces ? Supply and demand ? If it is worth while for a teleco to increase the network size and see an increased return on the investment then that will happen. If it is more lucrative to restrict supply and charge a premium then that will happen. You get what you pay for in life, obviously you have not learned that lesson yet. So get your hand in your pocket and pay for a better contended service or stop sobbing like a baby

    Comment by Common Sense -

  98. Wait, so… you\’re all for paying for something and not being able to use it? If I pay AT&T for 5mB of upstream and 2mB of downstream and they can\’t provide it to me because someone else is using the 5mB up and 2mB down that they\’re paying for then who is wrong here? The other person for using what they\’re buying? Or AT&T for selling the same thing to 2 people? I\’d prefer to think that if you sell two people the same slide on a playground and they meet up trying to use it at the same time that you\’re sure as hell gonna be mad at the seller, not the the other guy. If comcast can\’t back up their words, then they have no business falsely advertising their speeds.

    Comment by Jeff -

  99. mark, you\’re way off base in this post. it\’s obvious you are biased against p2p for unknown reasons (it\’s not like you lose money because of it, it is?!?! haha).

    personally, if you want me to buy all the movies and music I watch and listen to then you need to start fighting poverty. there is no way at all that i could pay for all the movies and music i enjoy, plain and simple. i live in one of the nations poorest counties. you act like if i cant download things for free that i will pay for them instead!! lol… no way. i would just do without the movies/music if it comes to paying for it all… it\’s not even an option… no one i know could afford it either. get a clue.

    Comment by eddie -

  100. Mark, others have said it better already. I just wanted to let you know that I agree that you are WAY OFF THE MARK on this one. I pay for a X MBit connection…let me decide how to use it…Torrents…VOIP…whatever. That\’s what I PAY FOR.

    Comment by Danny Rego -

  101. I\’m disappointed that you fell into the \”P2P IS BAD!\” trap, Mark; been talking to Gene Simmons lately?

    P2P isn\’t just anime otaku downloading entire seasons of their favourite shows. There are too many legitimate uses for the protocols that have been already mentioned – Skype (and it\’s open source cousin Gizmo), Bittorrent, etc. – to just blame it on the pirates. Last I checked, \”TEH PIRATEZ OH NOES\” was the excuse that the MAFIAA was using to put the clamps down on legitimate users, and you KNOW this.

    I\’m interested, Mark… are you a fan of Net Neutrality? I honestly don\’t know the answer to this question, and your answer would be interesting. Considering this post, I certainly hope you\’re against it, as if you\’re for it, then you\’re making your entire point moot.

    (full disclosure: I\’m against it, half because if I want a faster internet connection I expect to pay for it, and half because if they force a Socialist environment with everyone\’s internet connection, ISPs will just over-throttle everyone, and still charge a premium, blaming it all on Big Bad Congress. They hold us by the balls either way)

    Comment by Chris Bowen -

  102. I agree completely. Let Comcast block all they want, and while they are at it, let em charge premium services. On one condition. Consumers get more choice as to ISP like in Japan or Britain. Since we\’re all for free markets and capitalism, give users a choice.

    Let the people own the pipes, which are subsized by the government anyway, and let companies compete over providing services.

    Gosh, competition… What a concept.

    Comment by Tim H -

  103. The problem with your argument is that you forgot to qualify what kind of P2P you want to ban. Are we talking about P2P piracy, or P2P in general? Because if you start banning P2P traffic, you\’re shutting down Folding@Home, Linux distributions, and a whole host of other valuable and productive services.

    The simple truth is that you can\’t ban P2P. Moreover, attacking a particular service like BitTorrent (as Comcast is doing) is and even worse idea, because there are a lot of very legal and legitimate uses for it.

    I pay for bandwidth and service. I have the right to choose what to do with it.

    The solution is, as it always has been, investing in better networks. Start with the cities. New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, etc. Then move into the country. Blanket the country in WiFi. See how fast your internet is then.

    Comment by Adam -

  104. I normally agree with most of your opinions but, as others have said, this one stinks. There is zero difference bandwidth wise between running a P2P application, and firing up MLB.tv watch a Cubs game. Data is data, and I\’m paying for my 15/2\’s worth. With residential fiber on the horizon, this whole issue on bandwidth becomes a moot point soon enough anyway.

    Should I feel sorry for Comcast when I P2P? Hell no. Ask Comcast why there is no bandwidth issue on my node near the NW side of Chicago. It\’s because Time Warner invested in a fiber backbone here, just before being bought out by the big C. Had Comcast been investing in fiber elswhere early on (as opposed to the cheaper upgrades performed), they wouldn\’t be faced (again) with that upgrade delemma.

    With Japan comsumers enjoying reliable 100mps connections, there is no excuse as to why my 15mbps should be hurting anyone. It\’s their fault they can\’t deliver what I pay for, not mine. Theoretically a single strand of fiber can simultaniously deliver enough content into your home, that if you started channel surfing now you wouldnt repeat a channel for nearly 70 years. Why can\’t I veiw my single episode of low quality flash \”Dancing with the Stars\” without it buffering? Hmmmm? It isn\’t my neighbors kids downloading porn, it\’s my cable company\’s CEO downgrading my internet options.

    Please leave the internet argument up to people who know the internet. You sir have better things to worry about, Like buying a baseball team and tipping back an Old Style with a fellow bleacher bum.

    Comment by Tony -

  105. Do vegans get upset that meat eaters drive up the price and increase the lines at buffets?

    Mark, if you want the vegan buffet, then start a company that provides it. Don\’t sit around complaining that the buffet experience has been ruined for you.

    Where I live, fast internet costs either over $100 a month or it caps your monthly bandwidth. I happen to use about 10GB/month, and I pay about $50/month. If I wanted an unlimited plan, I\’d have to pay around $150 a month for unlimited cable internet and television, or I\’d have to endure a slow, unreliable DSL connection with no bandwidth cap. If ISPs do not have the infrastructure to provide quality service to its customers, they need to introduce tiered plans so that heavy users pay a higher price than casual users.

    Comment by Shane -

  106. Mostly, I would agree with your insights, but this one, I have to refute.

    Please do consider the many other functions of P2P
    - Skype uses a P2P based VOIP, and is very legit
    - Joost uses P2P to speed up video distribution, and power InternetTV
    - Blizzard uses P2P to cater for patch updates in WoW.
    - Many Linux distros, some big, and some barely starting, use P2P to distribute.

    P2P cuts costs for the distributor, some which are mere hobbyist trying to get their stuff out (Imagine where Linux would be without a proper P2P distro. Bandwidth costs would be huge)

    Also consider that, a hosted download, would normally be located in US or other states. And for myself and many others who live in Asia, the download slows down a very staggering notch when using direct download methods without a local mirror. P2P improves and speeds this up significantly. Google Video, and YouTube doesn\’t par. I can\’t stream online with my current connection (which is already the fastest my country can offer), and waiting for it to fully buffer is much slower than firing up Bittorrent. And some people would actually like to keep the videos or content instead of being forced to stream it often.

    What we pay for, is the bandwidth allocations. Should we actually be penalized of taking full use of it?

    Comment by Derek Wong -

  107. Sure Mark! Whatever you want.

    But first, you\’re going to need to stop Skype, Vuze, Joost, most im protocols and practically anything that provides decent video that\’s not Comcast or Cox. Sorry, but the apps make the internet, as your cable company sees fit to sell you, too slow. It\’s all your fault, of course, for daring to use the bandwidth you pay for. The problem is these blocking systems can\’t tell the difference between infringement and legitimate p2p traffic. It\’s p2p traffic so it get blocked no matter what.

    Where does it stop? Unpopular P2P protocols now; is voip that far behind? Would you like to see AT&T and Verzion block SIP traffic out of their network for fear that their now sustained, thanks to Vonage, voip patents are being infringed by their customers and other unnamed third parties?

    Comment by jamesn -

  108. Mark,

    While I respect you as a businessman, I think you\’ve missed the boat on this one.

    What\’s to stop them from blocking other services like VOIP once they get rid of P2P? Let\’s say that Time Warner or Comcast want to roll out their own VOIP, but want to charge more than $30 a month for it. How would they stop the competition? Block the VOIP traffic, organize a telemarketing campaign to call the consumers who use VOIP, offer to switch them to Comcast VOIP. Boom. Vonage and any other startup type VOIP company is done.

    Net Neutrality is that. You can\’t block traffic that you don\’t like. A swing and a miss this time Mark.

    Comment by Eric Ogunbase -

  109. huh?? I don\’t use P2P, but if your saying I can\’t use every bit of my connection that I paid for because other users are complaining about crappy performance is insane. Its MINE.
    Sounds like you need to search for a better provider.

    Whats going on with the Cubs sale?? Is the Donald slowing us down? I say we light our torches and go after him.

    Comment by Mike -

  110. I don\’t agree with your post but I think most of the commenters are getting the analogies wrong (and they\’re all rather superfluous, you know what you\’re talking about).

    The problem is not the users, the problem is the rediculous customer oversell ratio. Now I disagree with your suggestion of blocking P2P traffic but I do agree with an earlier suggestion of a \’high bandwidth user\’ tier (I believe you\’ve mentioned this before).

    But that still wouldn\’t fix the problems of an aging infrastructure. Wireless last-mile tech is getting better and while it doesn\’t offer a solution yet (WiMax is low bandwidth and WirelessN doesn\’t have the range), the next generation looks to be a significant improvement.

    But what\’ll happen then when people start exceeding their ISPs preferred bandwidth? With things like streaming HD content, uploading uncompressed family videos and interactive experiences. Do ISPs start implementing strict bandwidth tiers?

    And as for P2P being freeloading, I\’d disagree. Upload rates are throttled at around 256-384 kbps, it\’s not even close to being a commercial service.

    Comment by Adam -

  111. my letter to comcast would look nothing like yours… it\’d say, \”give me HDNET\”

    Comment by ben -

  112. Mark, long-time lurker, but I think this is a swing and a miss.

    The fact that the internet is an open and unrestricted network is what makes it so full of possibility. Your idea stifles innovation, period.

    As others have commented, the onus here lies with your IP for promising you bandwidth that they aren\’t delivering. Tell them by switching IPs, not by shifting the blame onto high-bandwidth users. I pay for every Mb of bandwidth I have, and I want to use it as I see fit, thank you.

    Comment by Aaron -

  113. Why don\’t you just demand that you internet service provider just dump their other subscribers and build shrines to worship you.

    Comment by David -

  114. So you think that cable networks should be more restrictive of the way people can use the bandwidth that those people paid for so that YOU will have a faster connection without having to pay more.

    Comment by David -

  115. Dude, you gave money to Grokster to fight MGM in the Supreme Court. It\’s just this sort of \”screw the customer\” approach that makes people want to steal from big business. And don\’t you have better things to do that hang out on the internet? Don\’t you have a $40 million dollar jet to fly around in?

    Comment by Tom -

  116. I\’m not so sure I agree…I had Comcast and Time Warner for years and something tells me that even if P2P were blocked…my bill would remain the same. I\’ve never…ever…seen a telco company pass on savings to the customer. As far as I\’m concerned let them eat the extra cost of bandwidth since my bill will continue to increase regardless of my usage. If bandwidth is really an issue for them, they can crack down and do a better job of monitoring \”heavy use\” abusers and deal with them.
    But, like I said, I\’m sure I\’ll still have to pay just as much, so f#ck the telco companies.

    Comment by John Feeley -

  117. Mark:

    I don\’t think you really thought this one out.

    Why do you think P2P is so less efficient than HTTP for delivering video? You might want to get a network engineer to weigh in on that.

    Do you think that all the P2P uploaders are cutting into your download speed?

    Finally, why do you think that most P2P traffic is commercial? I\’m pretty sure that most P2P traffic is Bittorrent.

    Most of my upstream bandwidth here goes to Flickr, who makes money on showing my photos to other people. Does that make Flickr a commercial application that should pay a surcharge to my ISP?

    –mjr

    Comment by Matthew Rechs -

  118. A person I agreed with once posted the following passages on this very blog:

    \”Is it inconceivable that we would want to setup a password protected bit torrent network so we can share our hospital Xrays with specialists, and then store them in an XDrive like application so we can retain access to our own medical histories?

    Is it inconcievable that we at somepoint in the future want to submit anonymously the list and dosages of medication we are taking along with high resolution Xrays and pictures that are distributed to systems that analyze the mix looking for red flags that are then reviewed by physicians and returned, still anonymously back to us? This type of application can\’t happen in a typical client server environment. Peer to Peer is a foundation for this type of application.\”

    Comment by Kyle Gilman -

  119. Hang in there Comcast. You only need to push your tongue a little farther up Kevin Martins ass and the FCC will give you another 208 Billion in subsidies. Hey Mark, what was the benchmark mandated by Congress in 1995? 45Mb ring a bell.

    This is like asking people to get off the sidewalk because you want to walk faster, then you find out the builder of the sidewalk only made it 1/7 as wide as was required by planners and is charging customers for the infrastructure Congress already subsidized with 208 Billion…

    Comment by Myth of Electrons -

  120. to put it in sports ownership terms:

    If you sell unlimited tickets to a Mavericks playoff game, and you only have 20,000 seats, you will have problems. You can limit the number of tickets sold (limit bandwidth) or increase the capacity of the arena (improve infrastructure).

    US companies are choosing to do the former while other nations (albeit with more concentrated populations and gov\’t subsidies) have chosen to do the latter.

    The problem is, of course, is that Comcast, et al. have already promised \”a seat\” we\’ve paid for. And they continue to do it month after month without lower prices (to compensate for the cramped quarters) or increasing the size of the arena.

    Comcast is essentially ripping out the seats in the existing arena for more room. Sure not everyone NEEDS a seat, but most people probably want one and some people really do need one. But this still doesnt solve anything about the underlying problem of too many people in too small of a stadium. That\’s why this is a dumb idea from a business perspective. The only thing saving them is the government-endorsed monopolies these companies enjoy.

    Someone correct me if my analogy is wrong/way too convoluted :)

    Comment by Nick -

  121. The limiting factor in the P2P equation is upstream bandwidth. If Comcast gives me 384kbps upstream and I choose to use it however and whenever I see fit, what is the problem? The elephant in the room is that they don\’t have enough upstream bandwidth to provide the promised rates to all their customers. Oversubscription is what needs to be regulated, not P2P or any other applications.

    Comment by aharden -

  122. My contract with Comcast – my provider – has an annoying amount of legalese.
    But there is nothing in that which allows them to selectively block or slow down my P2P apps(even though they do), or to slow down my 4-8Mbs connection (which they do, outside of normal network traffic).

    \”Thats right, P2P content distributors are nothing more than freeloaders. \”
    Let\’s assume no illegal content for now. If I choose to upload a file to a friend(making me the distributor) – via a POST form, I am not a freeloader. If I choose to upload this file to 40 or 400 friends, I still am not. Going from POST to Bittorrent does not change this.
    The act of sharing via P2P as a distributor does not make me a freeloader – and this is what Comcast is also stopping. In fact, I\’d say that these actions are the majority of what is being stopped now.

    Sure, there are content distributors using P2P, and more coming. But this is by far the minority of activity for now.

    Interesting though. Someone who is involved in a major dispute with Comcast is encouraging them to do something that many consumers would believe is hurting them. Strange, that.

    Comment by Dave -

  123. So, Mr. Cuban, you are seeming to agree with the notation that the entertainment industry (RIAA, MPAA, etc) holds that any digital use of their content not directly controlled by them must be something illegal. I personally only have MP3s (well, more appropriately, Ogg Vorbis files) ripped from CDs I own. But since I want to use this on my phone (without paying for the music again from Verizon) or on my Linux computer (where the DRM-enabled and freedom stealing software doesn\’t always exist), I must be a criminal. Even though I don\’t share my music with anyone else.

    By the same notion, if I\’m using P2P, I must be using it to share or steal their content. Never mind that I use it for downloading Linux distribution media, media that is distributed under a Creative Content license, etc. P2P can be used for legal and productive means, imagine that!

    Saying that P2P traffic should be blocked by ISPs is analogous to saying that pick-up trucks should be banned from toll roads (even if the driver of said pick-up pays the toll) because they can be used for transporting illegal materials.

    Blocking P2P traffic of paying customers is not a solution to the piracy \”problem\”. I don\’t know what the solution is. But certainly whining about \”those thieves are stealing my bandwidth\” even though they paid for it themselves is just silly.

    Comment by Travis B. Hartwell -

  124. Wow you really missed the mark on this one. I tend to agree with your views you post on this blog but this is just plain bad. You are forgetting that once you allow networks to be manipulated by providers they may not stop at P2P. You are essentially giving them the power to control what they want on their backbone networks.

    You are putting the decision making in the hands of corporations. Who knows, maybe one day they will decide blogmaverick.com generates too much traffic and provides a \’useless\’ service and they begin blocking it. Maybe next time you go shopping for VOIP providers it will be at an extreme premium and offered by only a handful of companies who can control the backbones.

    Comment by Mauricio Gomes -

  125. Mark, you just lost me. The bottom line is, as the government increasingly controls the internet, the P2P networks are going to be increasingly the only free-speech areas on the net. To call them freeloaders is wrong, as they pay for bandwidth like everyone else. Yes, I\’m sure people are using P2P to violate copyright, but you\’re confusing a PROTOCOL with a CRIME– you can\’t ban the crime by banning the protocol.

    And you\’re desire for unilateral solutions like this puts you in league with every government thug who makes arbitrary laws because some small proportion of people are doing something wrong– eg: The real reason is more power.

    I used to think you were a capitalist– now I see you are a socialist.

    Well, I\’m out, your feed hasn\’t been very interesting for awhile (who cares about dancing with the stars anyway?) and this one was over the line. I\’ve unsubscribed.

    Comment by Jay -

  126. You post (mark) is so ignorant I am surprised you can even log on to a computer. When you take a stand, you should know what you are talking about.

    What the hell kinda websites are you surfing that broadband isn\’t fast enough for you? Ones with videos that stream? Is the porn not coming down the pipe fast enough?

    Sincerely,

    Mike

    Comment by Mike Scott -

  127. Cuban getting deservedly lambasted on Techdirt in 3… 2…

    Comment by Ben -

  128. Gotta jump on the pile here. Mark, I have a great deal of respect for you and your opinions and I usually agree with you but this post is horrid. You\’re falling for this mindset that the telco executives are pushing that you can somehow ride for free on other peoples\’ bandwidth. That\’s simply not the reality. Everyone that connects to the internet pays for bandwidth. If the MSOs aren\’t engineering their last mile to handle the bandwidth they claim to sell that\’s their own fault. You sound like the idiot from AT&T who claims that Google is using their bandwidth for free to reach their customers. Nevermind the fact that his customers are paying him already to access Google.

    Comment by shawn -

  129. With all due respect, Mr. Cuban…

    *What will these ISPs do with the imminent TelePresence traffic?
    *How will the prevalence of MMORPGs with excellent graphics affect your speed?
    *Will you say the same thing about Virtual Reality?
    *What will happen with IPTV?
    *What about when YouTube begins streaming HD videos?
    *What about non-asynchronous applications that engage users in many different ways at once – voice chat, video chat, IM, interactive content and other entertainment?

    etc etc etc???

    The issue isn\’t P2P, it\’s that we in the US simply haven\’t built out our infrastructure to deal with the demands placed on the network. Or, rather, the telcos haven\’t…

    Case in point – HAVE YOU EVER HEARD ABOUT SERIOUS NET NEUTRALITY ISSUES LIKE THIS IN S. KOREA OR JAPAN?

    No, and they only pay about $0.75 per megabit while we pay over $6.00

    If we allow Comcast and cohorts to continually control the content of the Internet our Internet access will never be as complete as our friends in the far east. This mustn\’t happen.

    Comment by devin holloway -

  130. Wonder how long this is going to stay up on the board…..I have really stopped reading Mark\’s view when he/his people started deleting posts that offered opposing viewpoints….

    Mark, when the RIAA went after Napster, it fueled the P2P revolution. As stated before, Skype is P2P and I use it daily. If Comcast blocks my P2P through Skype, it will force me and thousands of users elsewhere.

    Frankly Mark, I really don\’t get your ethos on this. This is the exact opposite behavior of what a business needs to do when confronted with a customer change.

    Comment by Brian -

  131. You missed the boat on this one. While we\’re at it, why don\’t we block VoIP traffic. After all, I don\’t use it. That will speed up my internet connection. That\’s a good thing. Or how about blocking downloading movies. After all, I don\’t do it. That will speed up my internet connection. That\’s a good thing. The logic holds for practically any service that uses bandwidth.

    Comment by Fernando -

  132. What in the world? This makes no sense at all. If the market wanted to price in the cost of P2P bandwidth subsidies, there would be ISP\’s who offer cheaper service but either limit bandwidth or prohibit certain applications from running.

    Encouraging Comcast to simultaneously advertise unlimited internet access and block P2P traffic is just bizarre. Heck, I don\’t use email from my ISP account. Maybe they should block everyone who does, since I don\’t want to pay for their bandwidth for an app I don\’t use.

    There\’s also the spurious assumption that \”stopping P2P in its tracks\” is a good thing. It\’s not. There are plenty of legitimate P2P apps out there that it would be wrong for ISP\’s to block (Miro, Joost, etc).

    All of this sounds like an old-school media cartel owner\’s ends-justify-the-means argument. I expected better from Cuban, who is generally on top of things and more sensible than his peers in the media industry.

    Comment by Brooks Talley -

  133. Mark,

    P2P is the future. You have pointed out MANY times how things like HDTV can not go over the Internet well in its current form. The centralized servers and the high speed lines that lead to them choke under the strain.

    However, P2P could solve this. If I have downloaded a HD movie from Netflix, and someone else that is a customer of the same ISP as me wants to download it, why should they download it from 1/2 way across the country? They could stream it from me and SPEED UP EVERYONE\’S INTERNET! If the content provider secures the transfer, there is no reason to re-send the file from the main server.

    You said \”P2P is probably the least efficient means of distributing content in the last mile.\” That is 100% incorrect. Sending a file to someone in the same ISP as me (or 100 people sending the same file to one person in the same ISP) is the most efficient way to do it, as you put zero load on the ISP\’s lines to the Internet. Local traffic is always lower cost.

    As for the connection being slow, that is only going to get worse. The ISPs are dragging their feet on adding bandwidth. If P2P was blocked on all ISPs, the people would still find ways to download content.

    I\’m saying all of this as someone that does NOT use P2P for illegal movies, music, or software. I have used it for Linux distros and downloading true free music (SWSX) or free shows (fan-films).

    Comment by Jason Tracy -

  134. Here\’s my analogy: I used to be on Verizon\’s wireless service but left recently for AT&T\’s rollover minutes. I\’m paying for a certain number of minutes, why shouldn\’t I get a credit if I don\’t use them all up? Bandwidth is no different. I pay Comcast $42 per month for internet access, I\’m going to use up my bandwidth.

    Network providers should concentrate on upgrading their facilities because bandwidth usage is still in it\’s infancy. Look for more and more services to shift to internet protocol in the next 5-10 years. Wireless phones, television, etc.

    Zipityzap.com. Internet Television. Seeking funding.

    Comment by Gerald Zuckerwar -

  135. Mark,

    1. No, it\’s not commercial. It\’s only commercial if we preserve the old model of moneyed producers, distributors and gatekeepers. I\’m quite surprised you\’d say this, considering that your very own HDNET would do well to consider bypassing the cable gatekeepers for direct

    2. No, it\’s not lowering your performance, the last mile is where P2P seeds should, if anything, be compensated for bringing the data closer to the user

    3. No, it\’s still not commercial, it\’s people doing what they care about, and it needs to grow. Commercial is all those dues in Silicon Valley. Oh, and you.

    3. No, it\’s still not lowering your performance, you should know this, all that famous \”dark fiber\”, well there\’s still a whole lot of it. Has anyone ever thought that perhaps the American taxpayers could and should get back something, even bandwidth, from the likes of MCI-Worldcom, who laid so much of it, through mighty scams

    P2P is the democratic internet. Your performance is being lost due to bean counters maximizing profits, not due to the people who actually use the internet, such as yourself.

    In any case, your influence on this topic is negligible, as is Comcast\’s, so the rest of us don\’t need to worry that you want to keep high bandwidth within the hands of the rich, established, or commercial.

    Comment by Marcus -

  136. This is a misguided post that seems to have not been properly thought out.

    What you are suggesting would be like a gas station telling me a limited set of destinations and highways I can travel after I fill up.

    People pay for bandwidth, and can use it as they wish. Here in Canada many providers have started limiting how much you can download / upload in a month, charging a premium if you go over. I think this is generally a better idea than specifying what you can use the bandwidth for.

    Comment by Hemant J. Naidu -

  137. You should be complaining about your ISP, not your neighbors. You paid for a certain amount of bandwidth and you have every right to use it as you see fit. Your internet connection being slow is your ISP\’s fault. They are the ones who oversold their capacity.

    You can\’t punish your customers for simply using what you promised them.

    Sorry, Mark. You\’re full of it on this one.

    Comment by Brian -

  138. Marc, your opinions are usually quite good, however this one stinks.

    To properly frame my comments, I don\’t participate in P2P file sharing. Illegal P2P is the issue here, not P2P in general. There are plenty of legitimate applications of P2P technology that also suck bandwidth, and blocking them because of the \’bad kids\’ is opening a can of worms. Simply put there is no clear, effective way to block the bad guys without penalizing the rest of us, not at the ISP level at least.

    I agree that economics can be a quick and effective way to mitigate this kind of activity, but blocking all P2P traffic is opening the door to other unwanted restrictions on how we use the internet. We may as well block all email because of the spammers. The people using P2P are paying for their connection too, they just use it differently.

    With any ISP there are customers that use a lot of bandwidth downloading media from iTunes or transmitting other large files for perfectly legal reasons; and there are people that just check email once a week. They all pay the same rate for a standard of service and that\’s fair. There are always a few that blow the bell curve. If you are not getting the standard of service you expect, then your ISP isn\’t doing their job.

    Your opinions usually have more thought behind them, I\’ll chalk this one up to a quick rant because your bandwidth was slow at the time.

    Comment by J Cornelius -

  139. These users have paid for some level of service at XX mbs up and YY mbs down. Why should they be restricted in how they choose to use that allotment? Just because it\’s inconvenient to you? The real issue here is how ISPs oversubscribe their networks in order to achieve higher profits without sufficient reinvestment of that money into their infrastructure to support the level of service they\’ve sold.

    Comment by James -

  140. I do agree with you Mark!
    I just got ATT here at the house and my download speed is shit right now where I am suppose to be at 6Mbit, however, it works good sometimes, so its clearly just being overloaded and I wish we could get what we do pay for. I buy all my music on iTunes or such and have not touched a P2P program in years, so it is not fair to be penalized for that.

    Comment by Rodney Giles -

  141. http://www.skype.com is P2P – it saves me 10\’s of thousands of dollars a year and I run my entire business on it, I will gladly pay a little more to have more bandwidth. P2P isn\’t the problem, internet providers who fail to see there role as pipe providers are the problem. I have a 10MB home office connection (outside of Toronto) it never hiccups, and in comparison to friends in Japan, Denmark etc., the speed I get is prehistoric. When greedy pipe providers stop worrying about (and trying to) control the syntax of the messages going over the network and concern themselves more with providing a better network, they will realize incredible profits. He who provides the best connection wins.

    Comment by Andrew -

  142. Just what the world needs. Comcast and Mark Cuban making judgement calls about how individuals use their bandwidth. Somehow we\’re supposed to believe that every customer viewing IPTV and listening to their iTunes library from work is ethical overuse, but P2P is the devil\’s food. When I pay for internet access, it\’s just that, internet, not whatever subset you or comcast deem to be acceptable based on your business interests. You\’re right that there are better ways, they\’ll likely win on their merits without being shilled out by the likes of you.

    Comment by Bryn -

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