April 21, 2008

Comcast - Euphemism City

I am tired of Comcast continuing to claim that is merely slowing network traffic.

When Comcast sends a TCP Reset packet the TCP connection instantly dies.  TCP Resets are internet ricin.

The BitTorrent application uses several TCP connections, so it is somewhat robust against Comcast's TCP-murderous rampages.  But most other applications are not - a TCP Reset stops those applications dead in their tracks.

The sending of forged TCP Reset packets has as much to do with "network management" as shooting a bullet into the head of a hyper-active child has to do with "day care".

Is Comcast simply being too cheap to install in-band equipment that would do the the right thing, the thing consistent with the internet architecture: dropping packets while congestion is occurring and thus allowing the TCP connection to remain alive, albeit with reduced data flow?  One such right way is called Random Early Detection - RED.

Comcast's behavior suggests that has installed much less expensive out-of-band equipment that can only shoot deadly TCP Reset packets.  In other words it may well be that cause of Comcast's problems is that Comcast is too cheap to "do it right".

Posted by karl at April 21, 2008 4:03 PM