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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.
By Alexstarfire on 11/16/2007 2:32:11 AM , Rating: 2
Well, this is all great and everything, but apparently it only covers those in California who started service within the last 4 years. Not only am I not located in Georgia, but we've had their service for more than 4 years. I'm not sure if they would change their policies in all states if they didn't have to.

I'm all for having contracts and such, but I believe that the person needs to physically be told what the contract includes, but probably not word for word, as well as having to sign a written contract. No one ever reads the damn things because they are usually pages long and have like 5 or more sections to it.

After reading the parts of the contract that were posted I feel that we shouldn't even be using them period. It basically gives them control to do what they want, when they want to. It doesn't even say that they have to provide proof, or even give you a general number. The words "excessive burden", "overly large burden", and "degrade" aren't defined at all. "Degrade" is actually the worst of them considering that daily internet activities could slow the service. Does that count as degradation of service?

It also states that they don't even have to provide notice of any changes. How in the hell is that legal? They also said that if they do give you notice it doesn't even have to be sent straight to you. Apparently putting it in the newspaper counts as providing notice. I'm not sure how that works out considering not everyone gets a paper. Hell, I'm sure even the ones that do don't already read it. That's just F'ed up in my opinion.

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