According to the Wall Street Journal Comcast and BitTorrent are negotiating to allow BitTorrent's peer-to-peer software to run more effectively on Comcast's network.
The companies are in talks to collaborate on ways to run BitTorrent's technology more smoothly on Comcast's broadband network, and allow Comcast to transport video files more effectively over its own network in the future, said Tony Warner, Comcast's chief technology officer.
The announcement might come to as a major shock to many users, especially given Comcast's previous stance of blocking P2P content. Several lawsuits have been filled over the past few years over Comcast's alleged blocking of P2P applications and protocols.
The FCC has been looking into issues with Comcast and its content filtering practices. The ongoing inquiry looks into what constitutes "reasonable" network management practices--and, specifically, whether it should find fault with Comcast's special treatment of file-sharing traffic
"This deal is the direct result of public pressure -- and the threat of FCC action -- against Comcast," Marvin Ammori, general counsel of Free Press, said in his statement. "But with Comcast's history of broken promises and record of deception, we can't just take their word that the Internet is now in safe hands. The issue of net neutrality is bigger than Comcast and BitTorrent."
The agreement doesn't protect other P-to-P companies or other "innovative" applications and services, and it doesn't prevent other ISPs from blocking or slowing Internet traffic, Ammori said.