Comcast Getting Sued For Turning Customer Routers Into Free Public Wi-Fi

Last year Comcast announced a new initiative where they would be turning users home routers into public hotspots. This initiative was met with much criticism and now a pair of Comcast customers are suing the company says that this initiative poses risks to subscribers.

XFinity WiFi

The suit has been filed in the US District Court in Northern California by Plaintiff Toyer Grear and daughter Joycelyn Harris. They are seeking to turn this into a class-action suit for all Comcast customers whose wireless routers double as Xfinity WiFi hotspots. “Without authorization to do so, Comcast users the wireless routers it supplies to its customers to generate additional, public WiFi networks for its own benefit,” the complaint states.

If you are a Comcast customer you know you are charged a monthly fee to rent the supplied wireless router. The lawsuit claims that “unauthorized broadcasting of a secondary, public WiFi network from the customer’s wireless router subjects the customer to potential security risks, in the form of enabling a stranger who wishes to access the Internet through the customer’s household router, with the customer having no option to authorize or otherwise control such use.”

Another issue to think about and one that is brought up by the lawsuit is the extra electricity use. The router is now generating not only one, but two WiFi signals now. The lawsuit mentions a study done by Speedify, which has determined that the hotspot could raise customers electricity bill by more than $20 a year. Although Comcast to the study saying it was not the case in terms of newer equipment.

Customers can opt out of the program, but the only way to do so is to call Xfinity or go through its online customer support. There is also no way to opt out of the program before you get your equipment installed.

The final issue that the lawsuit brings up is that these public hotspots will slow down a customers connection.

What do you guys think?

Image courtesy of Mike Mozart.

Source: HotHardware | News Archive

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