Comcast and BitTorrent Form Collaboration to Address Network Management, Network Architecture and Content Distribution

Mar 27, 2008, 01:00 ET from Comcast Corporation

    PHILADELPHIA and SAN FRANCISCO, March 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Comcast
 Corporation and BitTorrent, Inc. announced today that they will undertake a
 collaborative effort with one another and with the broader Internet and ISP
 community to more effectively address issues associated with rich media
 content and network capacity management. While BitTorrent and Comcast are
 talking directly, they are also in discussions with other parties to help
 facilitate a broader dialogue and cooperation across industries.
     The Comcast and BitTorrent discussions have already produced meaningful
 results. On the one hand, Comcast announced that it will migrate by
 year-end 2008 to a capacity management technique that is protocol agnostic.
 "This means that we will have to rapidly reconfigure our network management
 systems, but the outcome will be a traffic management technique that is
 more appropriate for today's emerging Internet trends. We have been
 discussing this migration and its effects with leaders in the Internet
 community for the last several months, and we will refine, adjust, and
 publish the technique based upon feedback and initial trial results," said
 Tony Werner, Comcast Cable's Chief Technology Officer.
     In turn, BitTorrent acknowledged the need of ISPs to manage their
 networks, especially during times of peak congestion. "While we think there
 were other management techniques that could have been deployed, we
 understand why Comcast and other ISPs adopted the approach that they did
 initially. Recognizing that the Web is richer and more bandwidth intensive
 than it has been historically, we are pleased that Comcast understands
 these changing traffic patterns and wants to collaborate with us to migrate
 to techniques that the Internet community will find to be more
 transparent," said Eric Klinker, BitTorrent's Chief Technology Officer.
     "Earlier this year, Comcast announced its plans for the aggressive
 deployment of wideband Internet services using the DOCSIS 3.0 standard,
 which we project will be available in up to 20% of Comcast's households by
 the end of this year," said John Schanz, Comcast Cable's Executive Vice
 President of National Engineering and Technical Operations. "Additionally,
 we plan to more than double the upstream capacity of our residential
 Internet service in several key markets by year end 2008. We plan to take
 advantage of multi- carrier technology to further increase upstream
 capacity for all of our broadband customers in advance of the full DOCSIS
 3.0 roll out."
     BitTorrent and Comcast have also agreed to work with other ISPs, other
 technology companies, and the Internet Engineering Task Force, to explore
 and develop a new distribution architecture for the efficient delivery of
 rich media content. "In the spirit of openness and fostering innovative
 solutions, BitTorrent will take the first step in enhancing our client
 applications to optimize them for a new broadband network architecture.
 Furthermore, we will publish these optimizations in open forums and
 standard bodies for all application developers to benefit from," said
 Ashwin Navin, co-founder and president of BitTorrent, Inc.
     "This new architecture would enable many new and emerging applications
 and will be based upon an open, non-discriminatory framework that could
 interface with or support multiple technologies. We believe that P2P
 technology has matured as an enabler for legal content distribution, so we
 need to have an architecture that can support it with techniques that work
 over all networks," said Werner.
     Both BitTorrent and Comcast expressed the view that these technical
 issues can be worked out through private business discussions without the
 need for government intervention.
     "BitTorrent and Comcast can serve consumers best by working together
 along with the broader ISP and Internet community to jointly develop more
 efficient networks and applications. This should prove to be a productive
 partnership that will provide consumers with a better Internet experience,"
 said Doug Walker, CEO of BitTorrent.
     "We appreciate the recent dialogue that we have had with BitTorrent and
 the progress that we have made in addressing our respective concerns.
 Working together, we can deliver a truly superior experience to all of our
 customers," said Steve Burke, President of Comcast Cable.
     About BitTorrent
     BitTorrent is the global leader for delivering high-quality files over
 the Internet. Millions of users worldwide are using BitTorrent's leading
 peer- assisted content delivery platform to publish, discover and download
 digital entertainment content quickly, easily and securely. Founded in
 2004, BitTorrent is a privately held company backed by venture capital
 firms, Accel and DCM (formerly known as Doll Capital Management). The
 company is headquartered in San Francisco, California. For more
 information, visit
     BitTorrent is a trademark of BitTorrent, Inc.
     About Comcast Corporation
     Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq:   CMCSA, CMCSK) ( is
 the nation's leading provider of entertainment, information and
 communications products and services. With 24.1 million cable customers,
 13.2 million high- speed Internet customers, and 4.6 million voice
 customers, Comcast is principally involved in the development, management
 and operation of broadband cable systems and in the delivery of programming
     Comcast's content networks and investments include E! Entertainment
 Television, Style Network, The Golf Channel, VERSUS, G4, PBS KIDS Sprout,
 TV One, ten Comcast SportsNet networks and Comcast Interactive Media, which
 develops and operates Comcast's Internet business. Comcast also has a
 majority ownership in Comcast-Spectacor, whose major holdings include the
 Philadelphia Flyers NHL hockey team, the Philadelphia 76ers NBA basketball
 team and two large multipurpose arenas in Philadelphia.

SOURCE Comcast Corporation