Comcast partners with Pando P2P file sharing company

Comcast Corporation, the second largest Internet service provider, will form a partnership with Pando Networks Inc to create a new “bill of rights” for users and ISPs.

Pando will assist Comcast control its management of Internet traffic. Both companies will test Pando’s technology, a P2P file sharing protocol, where the files are stored on and served by personal computers of the users, similar to BitTorrent and eMule.

“The purpose would be to clarify what choices and controls consumers should have when using P2P applications as well as what processes and practices ISPs should use to manage P2P applications running on their networks,” the companies said in a joint announcement on Tuesday.

P2P file sharing is distinct from file trading in that downloading files from a P2P network does not require uploading, although some networks either provide incentives for uploading such as credits or forcing the sharing of files being currently downloaded.

Comcast will announce results of a test which is being conducted on its network to provide a better understanding of how P2P applications work.

The move comes after Comcast has been under scrutiny, including a probe by the FCC, for reducing upstream P2P traffic for its customers. Critics have called on the MSO to provide more transparency into how it treats Internet traffic.

In response, Comcast announced plans last month to migrate to a capacity management system by year-end and to work with P2P file sharing firms such as BitTorrent.

The P2P partners have not disclosed any technical details yet about how the system might work or specifically how it will differ from the way Comcast is already managing Internet traffic.