Vonage, Comcast Make Nice Over Bandwidth

Last Updated Jul 9, 2008 7:04 PM EDT

Vonage and Comcast said Wednesday that they will collaborate to "address the reasonable network management of Internet services."

That's a fancy way to say that Comcast won't bump Vonage from its network even though they compete.

Under the pact, which is a bit sketchy, Comcast committed to work with Vonage "to ensure that network management techniques are chosen that effectively balance the need to avoid network congestion with the need to ensure that over-the-top VoIP services like Vonage work well for consumers."

What's notable here as a former Comcast and current Vonage customer is that network shaping could have an impact on VOIP services. I never even thought there could be an issue with network shaping dinging Vonage or VOIP. After all, how much does voice sap from a network. Silly me.

Between the lines on all this collaboration chatter is that fact that Comcast doesn't want to rile regulators and Vonage can't afford to be network shaped for even a minute. After all, Vonage needs every penny it can get even if it is out of the dead pool. For its part, Comcast is broadcasting that it is a good Internet citizen with collaboration agreements with BitTorrent and Pando Networks. The cable giant also is involved with the P4P Working Group and has pledged that it will deploy a protocol-agnostic approach by the end of the year.

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and Editorial Director of ZDNet sister site TechRepublic. See his full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.
Credit: ZDNet

  • Larry Dignan

    Larry Dignan is editor in chief of ZDNet and editorial director of CNET's TechRepublic. He has covered the technology and financial-services industries since 1995.