While some progressive ISPs such as Speakeasy have allowed
customers to "resell" their connections via WiFi, most broadband providers frown on the practice. They don't seem to mind the casual sharing between neighbors, but it's not too surprising to see Comcast sue a guy who tried to set up an entire wireless ISP business this way
. It's almost creative... he subscribed to Comcast broadband at 35 different condos, and then advertised his own "connectivity" within each of those buildings. It's hard to believe his defense will work:
He said Comcast signals are often used to power wireless networks at places like Internet cafes and other businesses that charge users for access. "This is a practice that happens throughout any city," Clark said. "Unfortunately, we're one of the bigger guys in town - so, here we are."
I think he'll find that most businesses reselling access aren't using residential Comcast connections -- and even if they are, they're offering very short, temporary connections, rather than permanent service. While I actually think plans like the Speakeasy plan we discussed that allow subscribers to resell their connections is smart
, that doesn't mean that this guy is going to get away with this "business."