Verizon: We do not pull the plug on excessive pirates (updated)

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In a discussion with Broadband Reports, Verizon spokeswoman Bobbi Henson said she was misquoted in a CNET article yesterday, which claimed that the company has disconnected repeat pirates from the Internet. Henson told BBR that she is unaware of Verizon ever terminating anyone's account for excessive consumption, although it reserves the right to discontinue service.

"That part of the CNET story is wrong… I did not say 'we've cut people off'; I said we reserve the right to do so," Henson said. She continued by adding that, "this is not an automatic 'three strikes' graduated response program," and it has not resulted in the termination of any Verizon customer's service. Henson also reiterated that Verizon has no bandwidth caps.

We don't know whether CNET really misreported Henson's words, but pulling the plug on users doesn't seem particularly beneficial to Verizon. The legal repercussions would be an expensive nuisance, and many subscribers would switch to another ISP. It seems more likely that the company relies solely on scare tactics, and not an iron fist. What do you think?

Update: CNET has responded to the fiasco with an article supporting its original piece. From the outside looking in, it seems like Henson either provided CNET with incorrect information or simply divulged too many details. When the site asked Verizon directly if it has ever disconnected anyone from its service for copyright violations, the company declined to comment.

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