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Fresh lawsuit aims at Comcast advertising

updated 03:20 pm EST, Wed February 20, 2008

Second Comcast P2P lawsuit

A new lawsuit has been filed against Comcast, once again accusing the cable company of improperly handling peer-to-peer file sharing. In contrast to a previous suit filed in November, the new one specifically accuses Comcast of false advertising, for claiming that it offers "unfettered access to all the content, services, and applications that the Internet has to offer." Plaintiff Sandford Sidner observes that if he attempts to run a P2P application, his connection will "slow to a crawl," rendering it useless.

"I'll bet most paying customers out there have no idea that Comcast is secretly blocking and slowing down their high-speed Internet service," says Sidner. "It cuts at the heart of the service we all purchased."

The company was caught sabotaging P2P traffic in October of last year, doing so by sending out false reset packets that prevent people from uploading. The practice has raised the ire not only of individual customers but of Internet activist groups, and the FCC, which is still investigating Comcast for possible violations of net neutrality.

Sidner further accuses the company of hypocrisy, and malicious tactics. "Comcast's clandestine techniques are similar to those used by totalitarian governments to censor the use of the Internet," his complaint reads. "No doubt Comcast would characterize this behavior as illegal and malicious hacking if perpetrated by others on Comcast and its customers." [via Ars Technica]

By Electronista Staff


  1. climacs

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2001


    a bit over the top

    yes, Comcast is acting just like a totalitarian government. Geez. I know they suck, but tone down the hyperbole, doofus. Comcast is not about to throw you in a gulag.

  1. ender

    Junior Member

    Joined: Mar 1999



    I dislike Comcast as much as the next guy, but I also wonder if this is a side-effect of their "PowerBoost" technology which the advertise increases throughput (but only for the first part of a download). There have been reports of this interfering with iChat as well. iChat thinks it has a faster connection at first, and uses higher quality settings which use more bandwidth. But then when you've reached the end of the PowerBoost limit, you bandwidth reverts back to normal (whatever that is). Then your iChat connection starts breaking up.

    In any event, it's obvious that Comcast is poking around trying to see what it can get away with. So the more people call them on it, even if by lawsuit, the better. Otherwise it will start impacting things like AppleTV downloads. It'll think you have enough bandwidth to finish downloading while you start watching, only to have to pause halfway through you movie waiting for it to catch up!

  1. PBG4 User

    Senior User

    Joined: Feb 2001


    Re: Powerboost

    The powerboost screws up online gaming as well. When I play COD4, it thinks I have a great connection and sets up a 12 player room with me as the host. Once that first minute is up, however, it's lag city for everyone involved.

  1. bhuot

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2003


    not power boost

    "I dislike Comcast as much as the next guy, but I also wonder if this is a side-effect of their "PowerBoost" technology which the advertise increases throughput (but only for the first part of a download)." I don't think so because the only time I see my connection go to a snails pace is when I try to download over bit torrent. There are free software downloads that you can only download over bit torrent.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001



    Maybe we should sue them on their new advertising scheme. Because the word 'comcastic' is just plain stupid (but soon to be the new word to define things that suck all around - you all can use it while ignorantly panning the zune "Hey, those new Zunes are Comcastic!".

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