Although not unexpected, Verizon Wireless confirmed on Thursday that it plans to throttle the internet connection of customers who refuse to stop downloading pirated content. The move is part of the Copyright Alert System (CAS) that's set out to crack down on pirated content on an ISP level.
The Big Red made its throttling intents known during a panel discussion hosted by the New York Chapter of the Internet Society. Link Hoewing, Vice President of Internet and Technology Issues for Verizon, said the company will crack down on pirates in three steps.
The first step will consist of two emailed alerts warning the customer that the account has been flagged for copyright infringement. The second step will consist of up to six acknowledgment alerts which require the customer to read and confirm.
After all that, if the customer is still downloading illegal content, Verizon will throttle the Internet connection, resulting in an annoying slower download speed. Hoewling said that throttling will only be temporary, lasting two or three days.
"These mitigation measures will vary by ISP and range from requiring the subscriber to review educational materials, to a temporary slow-down of Internet access speed," the CCI stated. "However, termination of a consumer’s Internet service is not a part of any ISP’s Copyright Alert System program. Contrary to many erroneous reports, this is not a 'six-strikes-and-you’re-out' system that would result in termination. There's no 'strikeout' in this program."
Time Warner Cable also spoke during the panel discussion on Thursday, saying that it will take a different approach in clamping down on piracy. Vice President of External Affairs Fernando Laguarda said the notification and acknowledgment phases would be similar, but instead of throttling the connection, the broadband provider will redirect customers to a landing page.
According to TorrentFreak, Laguarda did not provide additional details such has how long the redirection would last, and if users will be restricted from other websites.
Jill Lesser, CCI’s Executive Director, also attended the panel and reaffirmed that these measures are only meant to educate the public about pirating copyrighted content. Lesser acknowledged that many users will simply switch to other peer-to-peer services not tracked under the CAS agreement, but these hard-core pirates "are not the target of the system."
So if the hard-core pirates aren't the focus, then who is?