Comcast Nailed with P2P Traffic Shaping and Throttling Class Action
November 15, 2007 2:36 PM
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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: Let's hope.
11/15/2007 8:42:23 PM
They can write what they like and it still doesn't matter!
Customers are paying for a bandwidth based account! That throttling invalidates the primary advertised term of the service and no fine print changes this.
The bottom line is this:
If comcast takes money from a customer for their bandwidth advertised service, they are out of their right to actively prevent the customer from having the bandwidth paid for. Yes a customer can go elsewhere for internet service but they get what they paid for during the period they're with Comcast.
Let come cast stop advertising the bandwidth numbers they do if they can't maintain good service at those rates or near enough to be acceptible. THEY are the ones who chose to make a claim and then chose to invalidate it selectively.
Business class service involves programming of the cable modem for a different rate, NOT whether you get your traffic throttled or delayed because of their filtering when you pay more for this account. You are just wrong on most counts.
RE: Let's hope.
11/16/2007 3:22:02 PM
You are incorrect in your basic premise. What Comcast is selling you is not a cetain amount of bandwidth for an unlimited amount of data. They are saying that they will provide up to that amount of bandwidth for an unlimited amount of
. Furthermore, all of their consumer contracts are "best efforts" contacts which state that they will try to give you that much bandwidth but are not obligated to do so. If you want to actually have that much bandwidth guaranteed, you have to go to a business class account which will cost far more since you are actually paying for that full bandwidth all the time regardless of whether you use it.
The basic problem is people don't understand what they are buying.
RE: Let's hope.
11/16/2007 10:51:38 PM
You just made my point when you wrote "they will try to give you that much bandwidth but are not obligated to do so." They are trying to NOT give you that bandwidth for select uses, taking deliberate measures before the bandwidth is used up. For example if you were streaming video instead of P2P, you would suddenly find it came through faster it is not a "try" to provide enough bandwidth issue.
Don't you understand the concepts in this suit??
"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet. A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis
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