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Highlights from the Terms of Service of the Largest Broadband Providers

Analysis by DrewClark.com

 

  Comcast Verizon Communications AT&T Time Warner Cable
Terms of Service (ToS) Comcast ToS Verizon ToS AT&T ToS none
Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) Comcast AUP no separate document (Acceptable Use Policy is an attachment to ToS) AT&T AUP Time Warner AUP
Abuse Policy Comcast Abuse Policy none none none

“peer-to-peer” mentioned in one of the documents?

NO NO YES (ToS):
12. Restrictions on Use & Storage, Prohibition on Resale

You agree that the Service is not to be used to host peer-to-peer application that you are not actively using. You agree that the Service is not to be used to trunk or facilitate public Internet access ("Hotspots") or any other public use of the Service.
YES:
The ISP Service may not be used in a manner that interferes with Operator's efficient operation of its facilities, the provision of services or the ability of others to utilize the ISP Service in a reasonable manner. Operator may use various tools and techniques in order to efficiently manage its networks and to ensure compliance with this Acceptable Use Policy (“Network Management Tools”). These may include detecting malicious traffic patterns and preventing the distribution of viruses or other malicious code, and managing network resources through techniques such as limiting the number of peer-to-peer sessions a user can conduct at the same time, limiting the aggregate bandwidth available for certain usage protocols such as peer-to-peer and newsgroups, and such other Network Management Tools as Operator may from time to time determine appropriate.
network “management” mentioned in one of the documents? NO NO NO YES:
see above paragraph:
The ISP Service may not be used in a manner that interferes with Operator's efficient operation of its facilities, the provision of services or the ability of others to utilize the ISP Service in a reasonable manner. Operator may use various tools and techniques in order to efficiently manage its networks and to ensure compliance with this Acceptable Use Policy (“Network Management Tools”).
“excess bandwidth” mentioned in one of the documents? YES (ToS):
Facilities Allocation.

Comcast reserves the right to determine, in its discretion, and on an ongoing basis, the nature and extent of its facilities allocated to support HSI, including, but not limited to, the amount of bandwidth to be utilized and delivered in conjunction with HSI.

YES (AUP):
Network, Bandwidth, Data Storage and Other Limitations

Comcast may provide versions of the Service with different speeds and bandwidth usage limitations, among other characteristics, subject to applicable Service plans. You shall ensure that your use of the Service does not restrict, inhibit, interfere with, or degrade any other user's use of the Service, nor represent (in the sole judgment of Comcast) an overly large burden on the network. In addition, you shall ensure that your use of the Service does not restrict, inhibit, interfere with, disrupt, degrade, or impede Comcast's ability to deliver and provide the Service and monitor the Service, backbone, network nodes, and/or other network services.
You further agree to comply with all Comcast network, bandwidth, and data storage and usage limitations. You shall ensure that your bandwidth consumption using the Service does not exceed the limitations that are now in effect or may be established in the future. If your use of the Service results in the consumption of bandwidth in excess of the applicable limitations, that is a violation of this Policy. In such cases, Comcast may, in its sole discretion, terminate or suspend your Service account or request that you subscribe to a version of the Service with higher bandwidth usage limitations if you wish to continue to use the Service at higher bandwidth consumption levels.

and:

Violation of Acceptable Use Policy

Comcast does not routinely monitor the activity of Service accounts for violation of this AUP. However, in our efforts to promote good citizenship within the Internet community, we will respond appropriately if we become aware of inappropriate use of our Service. Although Comcast has no obligation to monitor the Service and/or the network, Comcast and its suppliers reserve the right at any time to monitor bandwidth, usage, transmissions, and content from time to time to operate the Service; to identify violations of this Policy; and/or to protect the network, the Service and Comcast users.
Comcast prefers to advise customers of inappropriate behavior and any necessary corrective action. However, if the Service is used in a way that Comcast or its suppliers, in their sole discretion, believe violate this AUP, Comcast or its suppliers may take any responsive actions they deem appropriate. These actions include, but are not limited to, temporary or permanent removal of content, cancellation of newsgroup posts, filtering of Internet transmissions, and the immediate suspension or termination of all or any portion of the Service....

YES (“Abuse”):
Listed below are typical types and examples of activities which are in violation of the Comcast AUP and the Customer Agreement....

Bandwidth, Data Storage and Other limitations. Use of the Comcast network infrastructure in a manner that (i) exceeds the then current bandwidth, data storage or other limitations on the Comcast High-Speed Internet service or (ii) puts an excessive burden on the limitations of the network. Examples include: Using the Comcast network to run a Web-hosting server or any other commercial enterprise.
YES:
3.7.1 You may not resell the Broadband Service, use it for high volume purposes, or exceed the bandwidth usage limitations that Verizon may establish from time to time for the Service.
 
YES (AUP):
Network Usage

Where an AT&T Service account, service or feature description specifies limits on bandwidth, disk utilization, simultaneous connections, and/or aggregate data download or upload, use in excess of those limits is not permitted without an appropriate change in account type or status and may incur additional charges for such usage.
Bandwidth, disk utilization, simultaneous connections, and aggregate data downloads/uploads will be computed or determined by AT&T from time to time in developing its product and service offerings. In the event AT&T determines that an account is exceeding the relevant bandwidth, disk utilization, aggregate data download/upload limits, simultaneous connections, or reasonable session times, the account owner will generally be notified by E-mail. If the excess use continues after such notification, the owner may be requested to upgrade the type of account or to modify the activity creating the excess use, or the account may be terminated.
If excessive bandwidth, disk space utilization, simultaneous connections, aggregate data download or upload, or session length is determined to adversely affect AT&T's ability to provide service, immediate action may be taken. The account owner may be notified by e-mail as soon as practical thereafter.
YES:
The ISP Service may not be used to engage in any conduct that interferes with Operator's ability to provide service to others, including the use of excessive bandwidth.
ban on personal “servers” or “resale” of service mentioned in one of the documents? YES (ToS):
Prohibited Uses of HSI. You agree not to use HSI for operation as an Internet service provider, a server site for ftp, telnet, rlogin, e-mail hosting, "Web hosting" or other similar applications, for any business enterprise, or as an end-point on a non-Comcast local area network or wide area network.

YES (AUP):
Prohibited Uses and Activities
Prohibited uses include, but are not limited to, using the Service, Customer Equipment, or the Comcast Equipment to:...
run programs, equipment, or servers from the Premises that provide network content or any other services to anyone outside of your Premises LAN (Local Area Network), also commonly referred to as public services or servers. Examples of prohibited services and servers include, but are not limited to, e-mail, Web hosting, file sharing, and proxy services and servers....

YES (Abuse):
see above paragraph: typical types and examples of activities which are in violation of the Comcast AUP and the Customer Agreement... include: Using the Comcast network to run a Web-hosting server or any other commercial enterprise.
YES:
3.7.1 You may not resell the Broadband Service, use it for high volume purposes, or exceed the bandwidth usage limitations that Verizon may establish from time to time for the Service.
 

and
YES:
3.7.5 You may not use the Broadband Service to host any type of server whether personal or commercial in nature.
 

YES (ToS):
12. Restrictions on Use & Storage, Prohibition on Resale

You agree that the Service is not to be used to trunk or facilitate public Internet access ("Hotspots") or any other public use of the Service.

yes (AUP):
Examples of violations of system or network security include but are not limited to:...
using your account for the purpose of operating a server of any type....
NO
restrictions on USENET bandwidth mentioned in one of the documents? NO YES:
3.9 Verizon also reserves the right in our sole discretion, with or without notice to you, to modify or restrict the bandwidth available to download content from our Usenet Newsgroup services.

and

YES (attachment A):
Usenet Policy and Posting Restrictions: Usenet access is provided to Internet access customers of Verizon through the Verizon network. Verizon Usenet may not be accessed via any other network. You may open no more than five simultaneous connections to newsgroups at any one time. You may not rapidly open and close or create connections for users other than yourself (our Subscriber). Verizon will carry newsgroups at their sole discretion. We also reserve the right in our sole discretion, with or without notice to you, to modify or restrict the bandwidth available to download content from our Usenet Newsgroup services....
NO NO