Tags: comcast | hotspot | lawsuit | wifi | piggyback

Comcast Hotspot Lawsuit Claims WiFi Expansion Piggybacks on Signals From Customer Routers

Image: Comcast Hotspot Lawsuit Claims WiFi Expansion Piggybacks on Signals From Customer Routers
(Joe Raedle/Getty Images, file)

By    |   Wednesday, 10 Dec 2014 06:36 AM

Comcast's attempt to expand WiFi hotspots around the country has been met with a class action lawsuit in San Francisco by customers who claim the cable giant is trying to use their wireless routers to let others access the Internet.

According to the Courthouse News Service, the lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court by lead plaintiff Toyer Grear and it charges that Comcast gave unsuspecting customers across the country routers that would broadcast secondary signals allowing others to connect with the Internet without the customer's approval.

"Indeed, Comcast's contract with its customers is so vague that it is unclear as to whether Comcast even addresses this practice at all," Grear's class action lawsuit charged.

The suit claims Comcast hoped to piggyback off its customers so it could build its public hotspots and pass along "the costs of its national Wi-Fi network onto its customers."

The lawsuit also claims the Comcast public Wi-Fi effort has hurt its paying customers with slower service – because of the additional users on their private signals – while increasing electricity costs by 30 to 40 percent.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Comcast, the nation's largest cable provider, created its Xfinity Wi-Fi Hotspot network in 19 of the country's biggest cities in an effort to compete with major cellphone carriers customers.

Comcast hopes to use the home modems to light up eight million hot spots by the end of 2014, according to the Chronicle. The cable giant claims that the secondary signal is separate from the home users' private signal and that the home user has the option of turning off the secondary signal.

The class action lawsuit is asking for a declaratory judgment, an injunction, restitution and damages for violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Comprehensive Computer Data Access and Fraud Act and California's Unfair Competition Law.


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Comcast's attempt to expand WiFi hotspots around the country has been met with a class action lawsuit in San Francisco by customers who claim the cable giant is trying to use their wireless routers to let others access the Internet.
comcast, hotspot, lawsuit, wifi, piggyback
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2014-36-10
Wednesday, 10 Dec 2014 06:36 AM
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