Reports are coming through that Hull ISP Karoo is cutting off its customers if they're accused of downloading copyrighted content. It's believed to be the only ISP in the country that's taken on the approach.
For some time, content companies have pressed service providers to disconnect their customers, but most resist, claiming that the evidence provided isn't strong enough. Some ISPs have agreed to send warning letters to their customers.
In Hull, the situation is complicated by the fact that Karoo is the only residential broadband supplier in the area. Customers who are disconnected can't re-register with a different supplier, so they're completely prevented from accessing the Internet. Karoo said that the move is a "responsible approach" to protecting people from illegal activity.
Many customers are already complaining about being disconnected erroneously, with one - Steve Thornhill - commenting: "We haven't been cut off due to illegally downloading but have been in the past because our home network was infected with a Trojan. There is no warning, they just sever your connection".
Other countries in Europe are trying to enact three-strikes legislation that would disconnect users after two warnings, but such moves have encountered heavy opposition from consumer rights groups.