Friday 24 July 2009

Low Tolerance for P2P Larkin' About in Hull

Perky, music news site CMU Daily today (24 July) highlights one UK telcoms provider that is simply disconnecting filesharers who access unlicensed content via the local broadband service, Karoo. According to reports from BBC Radio Humberside, Hull-based Kingston Communications, the monopoly supplier of the Hull telephone system is, via its ISP Karoo , disconnecting broadband users accessing or sharing content unlawfully when alerted by content owners. Disconnected subscribers to Karoo are required to sign an agreement undertaking not to repeat the behaviour in order to have their service reinstated. Karoo can take advantage of its unique position in the Hull marketplace - they provide the only ISP in the area via Kingston Communications' telephone system - not even British Telecom operates lines in Hull.
This is a disconnection policy that may be desirable from a content owner's perspective but is less desirable for the residents of Hull who have no option but to obtain telcoms supply from Kingston and Karoo. It is also a policy that, in the view of the Open Rights Group, is unacceptable. And what would the Competition Commission or OfCom make of it, we wonder.

To close on a balanced note , Karoo should perhaps be congratulated on the quality of their system. New technologies added to BitTorrent protocols can now encrypt data to prevent an ISP being able to identify that a file is a torrent file - but not in Hull apparently.

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