AT&T has confirmed it is not intentionally blocking customers from using their bitcoin ports, contrary to some allegations in recent days. DSLReports.com, a website that reviews ISPs and conducts Internet speed connection tests, reported yesterday that AT&T confirmed that the company does not block the bitcoin port 8333 or attempt to block bitcoin nodes for its customers. Any customer experiencing a problem should contact AT&T customer care, the company stated.
The situation would not be worth mentioning except for the fact that the topic has generated discussion on various websites, DSLReports noted. On Tuesday, a Reddit post stated:
AT&T has effectively banned Bitcoin nodes by closing port 8333 via a hidden firewall in the cable box.
CCN reported on the matter Tuesday, noting that some bitcoin users have experienced issues attempting to connect to bitcoin clients across port 8333. CCN noted ISP providers close some connection ports in order to provide what the company deems to be the best level of service. CCN concluded ISPs are probably not intentionally blocking bitcoin.
On Wednesday, AT&T confirmed CCN’s conclusion.
“We do not block port 8333/tcp or attempt to block bitcoin nodes for our customers,” an unnamed AT&T spokesperson told DSLReports. “Any customer experiencing a problem should contact AT&T customer care.” The user likely needs to correctly configure their AT&T U-Verse gateway firewall to ensure traffic is flowing, DSLReports noted.
“Historically if companies are up to no good and want to lie about it, they simply won’t respond for a request for comment,” DSLReports said.
So yes, while AT&T does occasionally do dumb things, a nefarious plan to prevent you from connecting to the Bitcoin hive mind likely is not among them.
DSLReports traced the origin of the issue to a post to a bitcoin developer mailing list. A user claimed AT&T confessed to “secret firewalls” in AT&T U-Verse DVRs.
As of Thursday morning, AT&T’s website had no mention of the issue.
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