We first reported that Comcast was actively disconnecting BitTorrent seeds back in August. Comcast of course denied our allegations, even though we had proof, and they continued to do so.
Jon Hart, a Comcast subscriber from California couldn’t take it anymore and decided to take legal action. He filed a class-action lawsuit on Tuesday and demands that Comcast stops the BitTorrent traffic interference. In addition he wants Comcast to pay him, and all other Comcast customers in California, damages for not giving him the “crazy fast speeds” they advertised.
Threat Level asked Comcast for a response to this news, but the spokesman put them off with his default response: “Comcast does not, has not, and will not block any websites or online applications, including peer-to-peer services”. Semantically speaking they are totally right, they don’t block any applications or websites, they do however, actively disconnect peer-to-peer connections, making it impossible for many users to seed files on BitTorrent.
Hart is not the only one taking action against Comcast, the people behind SaveTheInternet have also formed a coalition and plan to demand $195,000 for all the customers who are affected.
Comcast is using an application from the broadband management company Sandvine to throttle BitTorrent traffic. The application is installed at the cable modem termination system and breaks every (seed) connection with new peers after a few seconds. This means that Comcast is not simply slowing down connections, they actually disconnect peer-to-peer transfers.
We wish Jon all the best, let’s hope justice will be served. In the meantime, here’s an article that explains how to bypass Comcast’s BitTorrent interference.