Comcast cuddles up to BitTorrent while still choking users

Cable and internet service provider Comcast, half of the local broadband duopoly here in the Bay Area, has promised to stop throttling traffic generated by users of the BitTorrent protocol. This comes in the wake of a mountain of bad press sparked by the discovery that Comcast was interfering with customers' file-sharing transmissions — including an AP reporter's entirely legal Bible download. In return, BitTorrent Inc. promises to optimize the company's client for Comcast's network. However, Comcast isn't showering away the stink; it's just applying deodorant.

For starters, Comcast will still throttle its heaviest users; it just won't discriminate by protocol. Secondly, the BitTorrent client isn't exactly the P2P prom queen — Azureus has held that distinction for some time. The nut? You still won't get unlimited bandwidth at the promised speeds that you paid for, and will be forced to use inferior software for the privilege of downloading the new season of Battlestar Galactica. Comcastic!