It's disturbing news for those facing the severe East Coast weather this weekend. Even more so in light of the fact that file-sharing notices are routinely used on innocent people.
Armstrong Zoom delivers its internet service to states including Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland. This weekend, brutally cold temperatures are expected to follow in the wake of the powerful storm associated with the "bomb cyclone" that hit Maryland.
All US states served by Armstrong Zoom will be experiencing temperatures around or under freezing over the weekend and into the near future. Bandwidth throttling for customers in those areas who have connected thermostats could mean the difference between sickness and health, or even life and death. Seems like an extreme punishment for any allegedly downloaded Game of Thrones cam rips.
It's a literally chilling thought and an entirely new problem under the gun of a regime absent of net-neutrality rules. All is connected and everything is affected. It won't just be a slow Netflix connection that disrupts your online life.
If your ISP decides to throttle you, that means thermostats, cameras, lighting, speakers, alarm systems, refrigerators and everything you need to have a strong and reliable internet connection for will no longer be, well, reliable. With thermostats particularly, it's important to learn how this might affect which one you have, specific to its generation; especially if you need to know how (or if) you can manually control it.
When asked about remote thermostat control inside or outside the home during outage or throttling, a Nest spokesperson told Engadget via email, "The key word here is 'remotely.' If I'm in my house I don't need to remotely change the temperature." They added, "Nest thermostats don't need an internet connection to operate your heating and cooling. You'll still be able to control your Nest thermostat from home, even if your internet is down."
If an Armstrong Zoom customer is accused of illegal downloading, they have no recourse against being throttled. Request for comment from Armstrong Zoom was not returned by time of publication.
Customers who need their full service restored -- to regain control over their thermostats -- are forced to read an educational article about copyright infringement, answer questions about it and then sign an agreement stating they've done so.
For those in the path of this weekend's killer icy blast raging into New England, especially pets and elderly, this is all very bad news, indeed.
Tell gran to buy the bundled thermostat package