Comcast Nailed with P2P Traffic Shaping and Throttling Class Action
November 15, 2007 2:36 PM
comment(s) - last by
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...
11/16/2007 1:12:08 AM
Saying that a user agreement is the end of the law suit is just plain simple. You can write anything in a contract and get someone to sign it and it doesnt mean squat if a court decides otherwise. If the plaintiff can prove that his or in fact anyones bandwidth was artificially restricted even when not at peak times and was not placing a large burden on the network I'd say they have a good shot a wining. I also feel that while speed might not be guaranteed the implication is that bandwidth is determined by network traffic and conditions not what application you are using. If you are not degrading service or placing a overly large burden on the network how will they justify not giving you the bandwidth you paid for? because you use bit torrent? or Lotus Notes? Sorry but this is not the end of law suit... not even close.
RE: I can't wait...
11/16/2007 12:15:51 PM
I disagree, the plaintiff's point of view regarding whether the network was burdon or not does not apply. Even a liberal judge has to agree that all service expectation were given to the plaintiff prior to service being provided. As such, the plaintiff has already agreed that is within Comcast's right to make decisions about it network and actions to correct.
Maybe I am nieve enought to believe the courts will see this lawsuit for what it is. A few customers upset with the level of service being delivered and agreed too by both parties and dismiss as such.
Additionally, since the service contract with Comcast is at will. The plantiff will suffer no harm by severing their relationship with Comcast and moving to a provider which meets their needs.
"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates
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