Comcast says it’s no longer throttling heavy internet users' speeds

The company says improvements in technology make it unnecessary.

Back in 2007, Comcast was caught throttling BitTorrent traffic, a move that led to an FCC investigation and later, an order from the agency to stop the practice. In response, Comcast then decided to slow all traffic for its heaviest users and its congestion management system has been in place ever since. But now the company is getting rid of it saying improvements in its networks and other technologies have rendered the system unnecessary.

"As reflected in a June 11, 2018 update to our Xfinity Internet Broadband Disclosures, the congestion management system that was initially deployed in 2008 has been deactivated," Comcast said on its website. "As our network technologies and usage of the network continue to evolve, we reserve the right to implement a new congestion management system if necessary in the performance of reasonable network management and in order to maintain a good broadband internet access service experience for our customers, and will provide updates here as well as other locations if a new system is implemented."

Comcast told CNET that the congestion management system had been "essentially inactive for more than a year." It added, "With well over 99 percent of our internet customers using more modern DOCSIS gateways and modems, congestion on individual channels is no longer an issue that needs to be managed."

The disclosure came the same day the FCC's rollbacks of net neutrality protections went into effect. A transparency rule requires ISPs to report their network management practices, including instances of throttling, blocking and paid prioritization.