Comcast Faces BitTorrent Interference Lawsuit

    November 15, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

A California Comcast customer called the company’s claims of fast Internet connections fraudulent due to their use of traffic shaping technology that hinders torrents.

The whole point of having a speedy Internet connection is to be able to use it. When Comcast put roadblocks on the popular file-sharing technology BitTorrent, they aroused the ire of thousands of customers.

At least one of them wants something done about Comcast’s practices. Threat Level noted the lawsuit filed by Jon Hart, who accused the of deceiving customers with its ads, which run contrary to its practices:

Defendants have disseminated and continues to disseminate advertising, that they know or should reasonably know is false and misleading. This conduct includes, but is not limited to, promoting and advertising the fast speeds that apply to the Service without limitation, when, in fact, Defendants severely limit the speed of the Service for certain applications.

It further includes Defendant’s misrepresentations that their customers will enjoy "unfettered access" to all internet applications, when, in fact, Defendants not only fetter certain applications, but completely block them. Defendants know or reasonably should know that this advertising is false and misleading.

It is believed Comcast uses a technology from Sandvine to continually reset BitTorrent connections being made by their customers. first began discussing this in May 2007.

 Comcast Faces BitTorrent Interference Lawsuit

"I learned about Sandvine and got word from another Sandvine customer that they’re bragging about their Comcast deployment in order to make sales," Robb Topolski wrote in that post.

Hart wants class-action status for his lawsuit against Comcast. Comcast continues to claim it does not block connections, including peer to peer. But they aren’t being accused of doing so; it’s the hindering of traffic to the point where the response time approaches infinity that has Hart and other Comcast customers steamed.