Feeds

Californian sues Comcast over BitTorrent throttling

I demand to have my mind blown

Boost IT visibility and business value

With US internet service megaladon Comcast facing intense scrutiny over limiting speeds of customers using peer-to-peer technology such as BitTorrent, it was a question of when - not if - someone from the state of California would sue.

Showing unprecedented litigious restraint, it took until last Tuesday for such a lawsuit to make its way to the hallowed halls of the California Superior Court.

Resident Jon Hart has stepped to the plate alleging Comcast's secret use of bandwidth throttling technology violates federal computer fraud laws, user contracts, and anti-fraud advertising statues.

He also seeks to certify the lawsuit as a class action, and to force Comcast to pay damages to himself and all Comcast internet subscribers in California.

The complaint begins that Comcast has forsaken its advertised affirmations of "lightning fast" and "mind-blowing" speeds, as well as "unfettered access to all the internet has to offer".

Hart's mind was assuredly not blown - oh no - in fact, he alleges Comcast's limitation on peer-to-peer speeds constitutes a breach of contract as well as false and misleading advertising.

The filing asserts that Hart upgraded his internet service to Comcast's high-speed internet Performance Plus package in September 2007 to gain faster speeds specifically for the blocked applications in question. In the subscriber agreement, which he says makes up 22 pages of single-spaced text (with only 10-15 lines visible on the scroll box at one time), none of the terms stated that Comcast would impede or limit the blocked applications.

The result of the throttling, according to the complaint, is the loss of computer use and internet service.

"Defendants deceive consumers into purchasing the service in the mistaken belief that they will be able to utilize the service for use of the blocked applications, while actively limiting and/or blocking such applications. Defendents' scheme was and is immoral, unethical, oppressive, unscrupulous, and/or substantially injurious to consumers."

Hart seeks for Comcast to pay restitution to restore all funds acquired by the means the court may find unlawful, plus pre- and post-judgement interest. He also asks for damages associated with any out-of-pocket costs associated with replacing the service.

A PDF of the lawsuit can be downloaded here. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
What FTC lawsuit? T-Mobile US touts 10GB, $100 family-of-4 plan
Folks 'could use that money for more important things' says CEO Legere
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.