MLab Study Surveys BitTorrent Throttling Among Major ISPs


BitTorrent has had a rocky go of it with Internet Service Providers. Whether used for legitimate purposes or not, many ISPs have chosen to throttle BitTorrent connections. Mlab was established a few years ago specifically to study the network management practices of major ISPs. Though BitTorrent throttling was the not the only interest of MLab, it was definitely a major focus.

MLab has released their first study showing how much the major ISPs throttle BitTorrent traffic and how those throttling practices have changed since MLab first strated gathering data in 2008. The most surprising observation is how little BitTorrent traffic Comcast is now throttling given that it was arguably their behavior that put ISP throttling in the spotlight in the first place.

The study in question includes BitTorrent throttling percentages of ISPs in dozens of countries spanning the two-year period between April 2008 and May 2010. TorrentFreak reported on the findings and noted how Comcast, who was throttling nearly half of all P2P traffic a few years ago, last year only throttled around 3% of such connections running on their network.