Says Verizon repeatedly implied they were booting users...
Last week CNET
reported that Verizon had started kicking users who transmit copyrighted content off of their network
, something a Verizon official seemingly confirmed at the time. Broadband Reports
subsequently spoke to Verizon and were told that the CNET story was not true
, and that CNET
had misquoted a Verizon official. Verizon informed us that while the company "reserves the right" to boot BitTorrent and other users off of the network, no users had been kicked off yet. CNET
has since posted a follow up report
claiming they're sticking by their story, and explaining why.
According to CNET
, Verizon informed the website that the company had in fact terminated the accounts of customers, first saying "we've cut some people off," and when asked how many replying "we don't give out these numbers," but adding "they are small." So why is Verizon clearly inferring that they boot customers off of the network, then turning around and denying it?
As we noted last week
, it seems like Verizon wants to give the impression they're willing to terminate user accounts -- without actually losing the revenue from those customers. Why? Verizon hopes that a letter notification campaign to P2P users will be enough to keep the entertainment industry off of Verizon's back, and stall possible regulation that could force them to adopt a real "graduated response" or "three strikes" anti-piracy platform.
What happens now that Verizon's bluff has been called isn't clear. Most users who receive these letters will likely heed the warning. But how effective will the campaign be over time if the threat isn't supported by actual account disconnection? If Verizon wants to proceed down this path they'll ultimately have to actually terminate connections -- and as we've discussed at lenghth
, that's a policy that's rife with problems -- and for now, not required by law.
In their follow up CNET is incorrect on one point. The website claims that "to date, not a single major ISP has publicly acknowledged adopting a graduated response." As we confirmed back in late 2008
with the company, Cox Communications has been kicking users who transfer copyrighted material off of the network, though Cox has long insisted to us that the actual number of booted customers is minuscule.