Jon Hart, a Californian customer of Comcast has filed a suit against his cable and broadband provider Comcast, according to a report in Wired. He alleges the company’s recently-discovered throttling of P2P traffic violates federal computer fraud laws, truth in advertising laws and its own contracts with users.
According to several U.S. press reports Comcast uses technology to deter some users at times from using the BitTorrent file-sharing protocol, and other applications like Lotus Notes. Jon Hart is seeking class action status, and will ask the court to force Comcast to cease interfering with Internet traffic, and pay damages to all Comcast subscribers in California.
The suit alleges that, since Comcast promises fast connection speeds without limitation, its limiting of speeds in certain situations constitutes false advertising, and is also an unfair business practice.
Our take on this is, that we are not surprised to see Comcast take such action, as P2P traffic when used for downloading video streams, is competing directly with their own on-demand video services. Already two years ago we heard UPC’s Shane O’Neill at a MILIA conference airing such thoughts. Much to the amazement of the audience he said throttling would be a weapon he could use.