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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 FoSTeX on 11/18/2007 3:24:35 AM , Rating: 2
Optimum Online in New York and Cox Communications in Phoenix do this as well. Freely admitted by technical support personnel on several occasions to me as well as friends who worked for them. They have software/firmware that auto triggers when your traffic persists for a certain amount of time so on and so forth depending on whatever measures they decide fit. They keep absolute track of your bandwidth usage on all ports and they can tell pretty much what you are doing with those transfers.

I used to transfer backups of my graphics work consisting of several GB's of high resolution image and artwork files from home to my server at my office via FTP. When one day my bandwidth dropped to a 5kbps upload (that's no typo) I contacted my ISP at the time, Optimum Online and the tech person actually warned me a few times stating that if my bandwidth usage continues they will be terminating my service! LOL. They gave me this advice... they said to download or upload for a few hours then stop for a few then repeat this until my files were transferred. I couldn't believe it! After the warning they told me they would release the cap and within minutes my upload speed return to normal.

Years later I moved to Phoenix, AZ and the same exact thing happened with Cox Communications BUT thess guys did not provide me that good wholesome advice that Opt Online did...LOL my upload speed has been a rockin' 15KBps ever since. :P I have given up trying to convince them of my legitimate transfers and realized long ago that it's terribly unfair however what can one person do about it? Hopefully a class action suit will send a message to other ISP's

I agree completely with those raising a voice claiming false advertising. This so called "network shaping" is nothing new and most if not all ISP's who provide cable internet services have deployed it. If they are going to throttle bandwidth then set a speed that is realistic and can be provided consistently 24/7/365 and advertise that, or don't advertise speeds at all.

What the commercials should state is something more like "for $29.99 a month you get unlimited 6MB download speed so long as you don't use it that much!"


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