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Comcast's recent practices of throttling P2P traffic has finally attracted a class action lawsuit from a frustrated customer

Comcast's bandwidth limitting and peer-to-peer traffic sabatoging traffic finally caught up with the company. A class-action lawsuit has been filed (PDF) by residents in the state of California against Comcast.

Jon Hart, the plaintiff, claims Comcast Corporation committed a breach of contract by violating Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing, the Business and Professions Code section 17200 and 17500 and the Consumer Legal Remedies Act by practicing the management of P2P-based traffic including throttling bandwidth and "transmitting unauthorized hidden messages to the computers of customers who utilize such applications."

The class-action includes "all persons in California who purchased the Service [Comcast broadband Internet] between November 13, 2003 and the present and used or attempted to use peer-to-peer or online file sharing applications and/or Lotus Notes."

The plaintiff represents all persons who have used P2P and file sharing applications, but there is no mention of exceptions where copyright infringement/piracy is involved.

Hart's submission seeks contract damages for compensation of the impeded service, but does not specify an amount.

Recently, many other ISPs such as Canadian-based Bell Sympatico confessed to using traffic management to restrict access to accounts based on the type of application or protocols they are using.  However, Comcast is still the first company to get hit with a lawsuit for such practices.


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RE: I can't wait...
By clovell on 11/15/2007 5:15:55 PM , Rating: 1
And you downloaded these via a torrent or a P2P program? I would think you did it over the web - such traffic isn't being throttled.

As far as what's right - it isn't right for me to want to watch a Netflix movie over the web not be able to because the folks next door have saturated the connection downloading / uploading whatever over Limewire. I paid just as much as they did for a fair share of the bandwidth available through the hub.


RE: I can't wait...
By FastLaneTX on 11/15/2007 8:24:40 PM , Rating: 2
It's not a matter of who's using more bandwidth; you could be trying to seed a P2P torrent at 100kbit/s and Comcast would whack you, while your neighbor pulling down a 10GB file via HTTP would be unaffected. "Fair" has nothing to do with it.


RE: I can't wait...
By clovell on 11/16/2007 11:07:13 AM , Rating: 1
Comcast whacks folks seeding a single file at 100 kb/s?


RE: I can't wait...
By glennpratt on 11/16/2007 11:07:33 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
And you downloaded these via a torrent or a P2P program?


Yes. Azureus is a Bittorrent client.

quote:
As far as what's right - it isn't right for me to want to watch a Netflix movie over the web not be able to because the folks next door have saturated the connection downloading / uploading whatever over Limewire. I paid just as much as they did for a fair share of the bandwidth available through the hub.


What does the protocol matter? Trust me, I can and do saturate my internet connection for weeks at a time downloading ISO's, betas, backups, streaming video, Xbox Live, etc. I almost never use P2P, and never for anything that isn't at least arguably legal, but I could easily 'degrade' someone else's experience. That's not my fault, it's Comcast's. Luckily I'm on FiOS (of course Verizon port blocks, don't get me started on that BS.).


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