updated 03:25 pm EST, Fri February 8, 2008
Comcast changes terms
Comcast has changed the wording of its terms of service to allow controversial behavior on its part, reports say. The company was accused late last year of sabotaging BitTorrent traffic, in some cases making it unusable regardless of the intended purpose. In keeping with some of the company's excuses for traffic shaping, Section III of Comcast's new terms of service now explains that it "uses reasonable network management practices that are consistent with industry standards."
The contract goes on to say that "all major" Internet service providers use traffic shaping, and that this is being done to protect users from "spam, viruses, security attacks, network congestion, and other risks and degradations of service." This language is said to mirror the FCC's 2005 Internet Policy Statement, which gave ISPs permission to enact "reasonable network management," albeit with full customer access when no harm is done to the ISP or the law.
Comcast may still face serious legal problems, as it is under investigation by the FCC for possibly violating network neutrality, an act which could cost the company as much as $195,000 per affected subscriber. The company has also been threatened by others with a class action lawsuit. [via Ars Technica]