Comcast sued over file sharing practices

The nation's largest cable provider has been taken to court by a San Francisco man who says its efforts to throttle the bandwidth of file sharers is illegal.

Jon Hart sued the company in Alameda County Superior Court, alleging the company misleads the customer by claiming "unfettered" access to the Internet. He is seeking monetary damages for its loss, as well as class-action status.

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The case is the latest to use an Associated Press report from October that seemed to confirm the company was indeed limiting the bandwidth of heavy file sharers. Hart said that while he had suspicions that Comcast was interfering, the AP report only confirmed it.

Already several public interest groups have lobbied the Federal Communications Commission to fine the company over its actions. The issues have even restarted the debate over net neutrality, which previously seemed to have died off.

Comcast itself has expressly denied blocking file-sharing. However, it has now admitted to limiting traffic of those who use programs to share files. It argues that only a small number of file sharers can degrade service quality for the entire network.

About 12.9 million subscribers nationwide call the cable provider their ISP, the second largest in the nation behind AOL.

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