September 17, 2003 10:01 AM PDT

Time Warner sues apt. complex over Wi-Fi

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Time Warner Cable filed a lawsuit charging a New York apartment complex and its wireless Internet provider with illegally reselling its high-speed Road Runner service over a wireless network.

The suit, filed Monday in the Southern district of New York, claims that Internet service provider iNYC Wireless and London Terrace Towers, a residential apartment complex, have been illegally pirating and marketing Road Runner through a Wi-Fi network.

Road Runner is a high-speed, cable-based Internet access service that reaches an estimated 2.5 million subscribers. Time Warner Cable, a unit of AOL Time Warner, offers its own wireless Road Runner service in New York.

Time Warner Cable maintains that iNYC Wireless illegally intercepted Road Runner through the apartment of an on-site superintendent at London Terrace. The ISP then redistributed and resold the pirated signal to the buildings' residents via Wi-Fi transmitters placed throughout the complex, the lawsuit said. Time Warner estimated that the iNYC Wireless network began offering Road Runner service at London Terrace, located in the Chelsea section of the city, sometime around May of this year.

Neither iNYC Wireless nor London Terrace representatives returned calls seeking comment on the lawsuit.

Time Warner Cable is seeking a court order barring iNYC Wireless from further interception and redistribution of its services, as well as monetary damages from the ISP, London Terrace's ownership cooperative, the buildings' superintendent, and its managing agent.

The lawsuit also claims that the alleged theft undermined Time Warner Cable's ability to market Road Runner to residents of the apartment complex, jeopardized the integrity of the company's network, and damaged its reputation with consumers.


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