Critics fear that the ruling could mean that service providers like Comcast will be able to reduce service to or block sites and services that compete with their interests, or enable them to make deals with other companies to do the same. For example, BitTorrent users share video, which cuts into Comcast’s television business. Comcast argued that they should be able to maintain their own network, and BitTorrent slows the network down for other users. BitTorrent has been estimated to account for 43% of all Internet traffic, according to the torrent-tracking blog Torrentfreak. While the act of torrenting itself is not illegal, it is often used for sharing copyrighted material.
In a separate March 31 ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Stephen Wilson ordered the shutdown of Isohunt, a popular BitTorrent client. It is the latest in a long line of shutdowns,
including Mininova, Oink, and the Pirate Bay, and could be a precursor to more extensive action taken against torrent providers.