AfterDawn: Tech news

Ex-Comcast customers just want to know what the limits are

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 09 Sep 2007 6:44 User comments (47)

Ex-Comcast customers just want to know what the limits are Some former Comcast customers would like to know how much bandwidth is too much. Even after having their internet service disconnected for excessive downloading, the cable company won't reveal at what point they crossed the line.
Bob Williams, director of HearUsNow.org, a consumer Web site run by Consumers Union, said the vagueness of Comcast's rules is "unfair and arbitrary."

"They're cutting service off to the people who want to use it the most," he said.

Just last month, Comcast spokesman Charlie Douglas said in an interview that the company contacts subscribers to work out bandwidth use issues, but Sandra Spalletta believes their communication is lacking in important details. She says "You have no way of knowing how much is too much," referring to her family's experience earlier this year. In March she received a letter from Comcast warning her to cut bandwidth use or lose their service. Despite cutting back, her service was disconnected anyway.

"You want to think you can rely on your home Internet service and not wake up one morning to find it turned off," said Spalletta, who filed a complaint with the Montgomery County Office of Cable and Communication Services. "I thought it was unlimited service."

Source: The Washington Post

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47 user comments

19.9.2007 6:58
pstamer
Inactive

Absolute garbage, Comcast. If I pay for the service, you'd better freakin well provide the service that I pay for. The customer is always right. We should be able to download til our hearts are content you @$$holes.

29.9.2007 8:06

they dont want to reveal what the limit is cause then every last customer will go 1 gig under the limit and force them to buy more bandwidth anyway, hehe.

hopefully this hitting the news will get congress involved somehow to make sure customers get what they paid for or at least force ISP's to make bandwidth limits publicly known.

we wouldnt even have this problem if america actualy had some broadband competition, this just shows how much of a joke the oversight over our telacom industrie is.

39.9.2007 8:19

I think that's completely arbitrary. A friend of mine has Comcast and a family of three gamers. When they're not gaming, at least one person is downloading a torrent. Incredible amounts of usage... and no such "turning offs." I guess Comcast just sucks.

49.9.2007 8:50
duckNrun
Inactive

They need to collect the fliers, the adverts, the commercials and their bills which all say unlimited internet access and then sue Comcast for false advertsing, breach of contract, and whatever they can.

If Comcast says unlimited access then thats what they are allowed to use. These 'power users' are simply balancing things out from the other users who only use it occasionaly to surf and email.

Comcast needs to be sued and they need to either change their adverts and their service agreements or provide what they say the customer is paying for.

59.9.2007 9:10
saltynuts
Inactive

i think its a shame that people are getting ripped off like that.i have comcast and the service is ok but where i live if you want speed then its comcast or DSL and DSL sucks.

69.9.2007 9:41

Originally posted by saltynuts:
i think its a shame that people are getting ripped off like that.i have comcast and the service is ok but where i live if you want speed then its comcast or DSL and DSL sucks.
I have dsl and i love it. and its up to 10mbps now.

79.9.2007 9:42
saltynuts
Inactive

my bad i meant to say where i live DSL sucks

89.9.2007 9:55

I have Comcast now, it is OK speed wise and no such 'turn-off' warnings...YET, but I have had trouble with their VOIP service so bad that they have credited me two months free because it was off so much, then the internet started acting up. I ended up telling them how to fix it (Smart CRS they got) then I simply said "My DSL never did this before and I bet it still wouldn't in the future" Guess what, not one single dropped call or non-connect to the internet since. I am think they do it on purpose. They are the only choice in my area (besides DSL) and they know it. Drop the phone & internet, your TV service goes up. They are to 'power hungry' if you ask me.

99.9.2007 10:24

What a load of crap. If it's not disclosed what the limits are when you sign up for the service, they have no right to cancel your service cause you supposedly went over them.

109.9.2007 10:25

The reason that Comcast doesn't want to publish their bandwidth cap is that they have been caught with their pants down. Each Comcast high speed data customer is served from a head end which runs fiber optic cable to the various nodes which serve many hundreds of customers, depending how many times that the node has been split, by converting digital fiber to digital coaxial cable.

Due to poor or no capacity management and/or choice the Comcast infrastructure was not built out to serve the expected growth. Not wanting to turn away customers opting for the triple play, Comcast decided to start splitting the nodes thereby forcing more customers to share the bandwidth which was designed for up to 256 customers with no more than 100 of them on line at any given time. Each time a node is split, the number of potential customers doubles with the available bandwidth staying the same. In some areas nodes have not been split allowing for a higher bandwidth cap ... in other areas nodes have been split which would lower the bandwidth cap.

The node split option, Comcast has chosen, lowers the amount of bandwidth needed for each head end allowing for a much greater profit margin for their HSD product. Do you really think that they are going to voluntarily upgrade their infrastructure to accommodate for their expansion?

We recently moved from an area served by a split node into a community where most residents choose AT&T DSL and Dish Network resulting in Comcast not even being able to fill a regular node to capacity. Our household has five computers on-line most of the time making use of our broadband router connected to a Comcast SB5100 modem. We also have a server connected to AT&T DSL service as a back-up for the many outages Comcast has. Before our move I had many dialogs with Comcast executive management about bandwidth issues since our move there have been no issues and no dialog required. The bottom line is that Comcast has always claimed to have the fastest service with unlimited bandwidth which has now been exposed as not exactly true depending on where you live. Now they are trying to cover their false advertising by trying to shift the blame on so-called bandwidth hogs. They choose not to come out with their ambiguous bandwidth cap because it is different for every node on their system.

If left to their own oversight, sooner or later every customer may be at risk.

119.9.2007 10:34

Originally posted by georgeluv:
they dont want to reveal what the limit is cause then every last customer will go 1 gig under the limit and force them to buy more bandwidth anyway, hehe.
Well, from what I've read on broadbandreports.com over the past few months, the reason Comcast doesn't reveal what the limit is, is because the limit is different at every location. Not just different per city, but even per neighborhood node. Regardless it still sucks not knowing what that limit is.

129.9.2007 11:06

@ bomber
james did mention pretty much what you posted tho the wording could be easily missed,the last two paragraphs sum it up


QUOTE james:
was designed for up to 256 customers with no more than 100 of them on line at any given time. Each time a node is split, the number of potential customers doubles with the available bandwidth staying the same. In some areas nodes have not been split allowing for a higher bandwidth cap ... in other areas nodes have been split which would lower the bandwidth cap.



@ james:
Excellant explanation there james,they've cetainly got themselves in a pickle on the one hand advertising unlimited but now due to too many subscribers it's now necessary to data cap,they oughta just come clean and change the internet plans i'm sure people would be understanding,doing the disconnect thing is really bad publicity

139.9.2007 12:16

i thought if u pay for a service u normally can use it to your hearts content as long as your not hurting anyone/thing or doing something illegal.....i've heard numerous stories myself about cable/comcast customers saying they've been warned for using to much bandwidth but arent they able to use up watever bandwidth figuring they pay for the service and if so why dont they limit ppl from going over a certain bandwidth instead of lieing to ppl giving them fast download speeds and then crying over how much they use....i find it funny i'm glad i got DSL and have nice speeds and no problems at all.....

149.9.2007 13:07

Odd I have never had a problem with Comcast and I do download often and I have three computers connected to the modem.

159.9.2007 13:51

The Cut off is 600GB

They called me twice and threated me to cut the service if I go over 600GB in 2 consecutive months.

We need Verizon FIOS to come to northern California to get rid of ComCRAPstic Monopoly.

169.9.2007 14:06

The limit definately varies by region. I'm outside Philly, and I just got a call for being at 400 GB.
This has to be the limit, or just over, as I've never had a problem before and they only cited one month(August).
They didn't go into detail about much else other than to say eventually they'll suspend my account for twelve months.
Comcast is a monopoly, and they act accordingly. If the playing field was level then we'd see not only a large of usage issues (because keeping up with technology would be necessary) as well as lower prices.
The reality is that Comcast has millions to lobby for what they want, and we don't.
If Comcast won't give out maximum usage figures, then the best thing we can do is compile our own and use them to gauge what the limits are in a particular area.
It's not perfect, but at least its a short term solution, until they change it again.

179.9.2007 15:31
WierdName
Inactive

Well that's a load of *. If they have limits for your service, you are entitled to know what those limits are to stay within them. That would be like saying you have limits as a civilian, but not saying what they are. Then you get arrested for public defamation (crapping or peeing in public) even though it wasn't made available to you the knowledge that it is illegal. Note though, that I said the information is not available. Ignorance is not an excuse, but neither is the limit not being available to learn.

189.9.2007 15:34

Originally posted by tumlatra:
The Cut off is 600GB

They called me twice and threated me to cut the service if I go over 600GB in 2 consecutive months.

We need Verizon FIOS to come to northern California to get rid of ComCRAPstic Monopoly.
Damn, 20 gigs a day....you take the term pirate to a whole new level!!

Yeah it is lame that they advertise unlimited bandwidth and then restrict/refuse service to high bandwidth users. Poor design from the beginning, all they had to do was clearly state the maximum bandwidth available for use on a monthly basis (since obviously there is a limit) and there wouldn't be any pissed off people or law suits waiting to happen. Looks like Comcast dug their own grave on this one.

199.9.2007 16:26

i had always had timewarner roadrunner but about 2 years ago i made the RIGHT change to DSL with and so far i always uploading at about 100kb's and always when i download at about +600kbs and no probs since then unlimited of course lol

209.9.2007 16:47

My problem with comcast is that I too believe that they mess with the customer to see if they get a reponse. I kid you not. My internet lights will start flashing like my internet has been turned off but when I call them I dont even to speak to anyone. As soon as I punch in my account number my box cuts back on. It's almost as though they want to see how pissed they can someone and how long it takes that person to respond

219.9.2007 17:28
WierdName
Inactive

Originally posted by ooZEROoo:
My problem with comcast is that I too believe that they mess with the customer to see if they get a reponse. I kid you not. My internet lights will start flashing like my internet has been turned off but when I call them I dont even to speak to anyone. As soon as I punch in my account number my box cuts back on. It's almost as though they want to see how pissed they can someone and how long it takes that person to respond
Hmmmm, sounds like they want to cut costs and are doing a user session activation type thing.

229.9.2007 17:33

Lol nah, it sounds like they are watching you and are having a little fun! I would do the same if I had that position with an ISP!

What up Wierd :)



239.9.2007 17:38
WierdName
Inactive

Originally posted by svtstang:
Lol nah, it sounds like they are watching you and are having a little fun! I would do the same if I had that position with an ISP!

What up Wierd :)
No wait, I know what's going on.... They have a new intern that hacked ooZEROoo's computer and installed some stuff to hook up to their webcam and microphone and then cut the service. The intern then waited and watched as ZERO contacted them then the intern put the internet back on. They will probably post the video on YouTube or some other big video site. And, not much is up actually, except for the fall semester. Oy, for the most part they are easy classes just boring/annoying.

Doesnt expecting the unexpected make the unexpected expected and therefore mean youre expecting the expected which was the unexpected until you expected it?
"Opinions are immunities to being told were wrong." - Relient K

249.9.2007 18:22

My bill has no fine print next to the word unlimited.

I know the cutoff for a newsgroup account through Comcast is 1 gig a month. You can go over that in one session, but you are blocked the next time you tap into a newsgroup. Any overages get deducted from the following month's allowance.

259.9.2007 19:27

Quote:
Damn, 20 gigs a day....you take the term pirate to a whole new level!! Yeah it is lame that they advertise unlimited bandwidth and then restrict/refuse service to high bandwidth users. Poor design from the beginning, all they had to do was clearly state the maximum bandwidth available for use on a monthly basis (since obviously there is a limit) and there wouldn't be any pissed off people or law suits waiting to happen. Looks like Comcast dug their own grave on this one.
Actually 20 gigs per day is fairly middle of the road as far as hardcore piracy goes. I usually hit that much just from getting Blu-Ray and HD-DVD rips. Black Hawk Down was a whopping 50 gigs. The Planet Earth HD-DVD rip was 80 gigs. Burned all on dual layer.

269.9.2007 19:49
WierdName
Inactive

Quote:
Quote:
Damn, 20 gigs a day....you take the term pirate to a whole new level!! Yeah it is lame that they advertise unlimited bandwidth and then restrict/refuse service to high bandwidth users. Poor design from the beginning, all they had to do was clearly state the maximum bandwidth available for use on a monthly basis (since obviously there is a limit) and there wouldn't be any pissed off people or law suits waiting to happen. Looks like Comcast dug their own grave on this one.
Actually 20 gigs per day is fairly middle of the road as far as hardcore piracy goes. I usually hit that much just from getting Blu-Ray and HD-DVD rips. Black Hawk Down was a whopping 50 gigs. The Planet Earth HD-DVD rip was 80 gigs. Burned all on dual layer.
Psh, hardcore would be running on a T3 connection with enough downloads in queue to use up every byte of every second.

279.9.2007 20:56

Originally posted by windsong:
Quote:
Damn, 20 gigs a day....you take the term pirate to a whole new level!! Yeah it is lame that they advertise unlimited bandwidth and then restrict/refuse service to high bandwidth users. Poor design from the beginning, all they had to do was clearly state the maximum bandwidth available for use on a monthly basis (since obviously there is a limit) and there wouldn't be any pissed off people or law suits waiting to happen. Looks like Comcast dug their own grave on this one.
Actually 20 gigs per day is fairly middle of the road as far as hardcore piracy goes. I usually hit that much just from getting Blu-Ray and HD-DVD rips. Black Hawk Down was a whopping 50 gigs. The Planet Earth HD-DVD rip was 80 gigs. Burned all on dual layer.
That is such bullsh!t it isn't even funny. There is 0 way you downloaded an 80 gig movie (which is total crap from the beginning, stop lying!!!!!!) and somehow burned it to a dual layer disk. Even if you did, it would look like total poo!!! Good job, not only are you an uber pirate, but an uber liar! Momma would be so proud now wouldn't she?


2810.9.2007 0:59
cousinkix
Inactive

My blank DVDs are 4.7 and 8.5 GB. He must have about a 7 DL disk copy of BlackHawk Down. Ha Ha Ha. What a mess.

Comcast should stick to Cable TV. Running false advertisments claiming that their customers get unlimited use of the internet is outright fraudulent. An industry friend of mine was gonna get a cable modem a couple of years ago. He realized that Comcast was run by a bunch of of azzholes, by the time they had wired his neighborhood. So f--k them.

An advanced DSL connection is good enough for most home users and about 10-12 bucks cheaper per month. They don't send out those threatening WARNING letters either. The only thing that I have ever seen are the monthly bills and the annual notice about renewing our service contract...

2910.9.2007 2:46

Quote:
Quote:
Damn, 20 gigs a day....you take the term pirate to a whole new level!! Yeah it is lame that they advertise unlimited bandwidth and then restrict/refuse service to high bandwidth users. Poor design from the beginning, all they had to do was clearly state the maximum bandwidth available for use on a monthly basis (since obviously there is a limit) and there wouldn't be any pissed off people or law suits waiting to happen. Looks like Comcast dug their own grave on this one.
Actually 20 gigs per day is fairly middle of the road as far as hardcore piracy goes. I usually hit that much just from getting Blu-Ray and HD-DVD rips. Black Hawk Down was a whopping 50 gigs. The Planet Earth HD-DVD rip was 80 gigs. Burned all on dual layer.
what i wanna know is where to get ahold of those rips!!im tired of 720p's all full of artifacts..
even if the torrent exists, the seeder(s) would have to be uploading super uber fast to get that damn thing Dl'ed in less than..a month
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 10 Sep 2007 @ 2:48


3010.9.2007 4:25
sebast1an
Inactive

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
Damn, 20 gigs a day....you take the term pirate to a whole new level!! Yeah it is lame that they advertise unlimited bandwidth and then restrict/refuse service to high bandwidth users. Poor design from the beginning, all they had to do was clearly state the maximum bandwidth available for use on a monthly basis (since obviously there is a limit) and there wouldn't be any pissed off people or law suits waiting to happen. Looks like Comcast dug their own grave on this one.
Actually 20 gigs per day is fairly middle of the road as far as hardcore piracy goes. I usually hit that much just from getting Blu-Ray and HD-DVD rips. Black Hawk Down was a whopping 50 gigs. The Planet Earth HD-DVD rip was 80 gigs. Burned all on dual layer.
what i wanna know is where to get ahold of those rips!!im tired of 720p's all full of artifacts..
even if the torrent exists, the seeder(s) would have to be uploading super uber fast to get that damn thing Dl'ed in less than..a month
Newsgroups... awesome - no waiting on seeders and can max out connection quite nicely...

3110.9.2007 4:34

Quote:
I know the cutoff for a newsgroup account through Comcast is 1 gig a month
I guess I have yet another reason not to go with Comcast.

3210.9.2007 10:46
morguex
Inactive

20 GB/s a day?
400-600 GB/s a month?
If I was comcast I would cut you off too.
Open your front door, that thing outside is called the world.

3310.9.2007 12:04
WierdName
Inactive

Originally posted by svtstang:
That is such bull* it isn't even funny. There is 0 way you downloaded an 80 gig movie (which is total crap from the beginning, stop lying!!!!!!) and somehow burned it to a dual layer disk. Even if you did, it would look like total poo!!! Good job, not only are you an uber pirate, but an uber liar! Momma would be so proud now wouldn't she?
They aren't lying, they are omitting certain truths. And those truths are that that 80GB is of one movie, but it is every language, screen ratio, commentaries, etc.

Originally posted by morguex:
20 GB/s a day?
400-600 GB/s a month?
If I was comcast I would cut you off too.
Open your front door, that thing outside is called the world.
Lol.

Doesnt expecting the unexpected make the unexpected expected and therefore mean youre expecting the expected which was the unexpected until you expected it?
"Opinions are immunities to being told were wrong." - Relient K

3410.9.2007 19:23

Hi
No way a movie (even hd blue ray) is 80 gig drop the zero and that is probably right
I have concrap too ..no problems (knock on wood)
i get dl speeds of 800 burst up to 1500 at times .really cool
i grew up with the 56k's ..... i dont even use a dl manager anymore
just Q them up all at once then listen to a gogal bordello cd

Frank

3511.9.2007 14:37

common practice here in aus is the fact that u can see your internet usage. it should be part of their contract that they need to provide the usage summary.

3611.9.2007 14:43

Originally posted by wanttono:
Hi
No way a movie (even hd blue ray) is 80 gig drop the zero and that is probably right
I have concrap too ..no problems (knock on wood)
i get dl speeds of 800 burst up to 1500 at times .really cool
i grew up with the 56k's ..... i dont even use a dl manager anymore
just Q them up all at once then listen to a gogal bordello cd

Frank
Bout damn time someone agreed with me about the absurd 80 gig movie comment!

Sorry had to point it out as I am used to people always disagreeing :/


3711.9.2007 14:53
WierdName
Inactive

Originally posted by svtstang:
Bout d* time someone agreed with me about the absurd 80 gig movie comment!

Sorry had to point it out as I am used to people always disagreeing :/
That 80GB is plausible though. That 80GB is possible if it contains every region, screen ratio, language, all commentaries, extra features, etc. Sure that is not realistic, but it is possible.

3811.9.2007 17:58

Quote:

Bout damn time someone agreed with me about the absurd 80 gig movie comment!

Sorry had to point it out as I am used to people always disagreeing :/

Actually as Planet Earth is something like a 2-4 disc HD-DVD that 80gb is easily possible, just because you dont believe something doesnt make it untrue.

Quote:
20 GB/s a day?
400-600 GB/s a month?
If I was comcast I would cut you off too.
Open your front door, that thing outside is called the world.

Couldnt have put it better if i tried, no wonder they cut you off.

3911.9.2007 22:52

Quote:
just because you dont believe something doesnt make it untrue.
Oh thank you for the lesson, incredible insight on your part....


4011.9.2007 23:41

The problem is ComCrap and some other ISP oversell their bandwidth. Bandwidth usage is just increased every year. They are using not false advertising but "twisting word" by using "unlimited access".

We as consumer have no other choice because there isn't any other ISP in the area. This issue was voice back in 2005, however it goes nowhere.

Akamai announced that they will roll out the High Definition content to the net soon. Intel also working on 10GB/s protocol. The bandwidth usage is only increased, but not decrease.

Once again, instead of up-grade and adapt to the demand of the consumer and business growth, ComCRAP decide to cut down moderate to heavy user to fit their profit projection.

Keep in mind that we all pay to use the service, we didn't get it for free or at a discount price. Most of cable user paid a higher price compare to DSL. Therefor, we need to get what we paid for.

As soon as FIOS get to Northern Cal, by then, may be thing will change, and some of these greedy corporation will learn to respect their customer.

Until when they will learn: 1 lost/unhappy customer = potential losing 20 businesses.

4112.9.2007 1:54

Originally posted by svtstang:
Quote:
just because you dont believe something doesnt make it untrue.
Oh thank you for the lesson, incredible insight on your part....

Well its the same kind of logic all the idiotic fanboys have, and Im getting a bit annoyed with it.

"This is how it works. Whatever you sink, we build back up. Whomever you sue, ten new pirates are recruited. Wherever you go, we are already ahead of you. You are the past and the forgotten, we are the internet and the future."-Brokep

4212.9.2007 2:05

A dual layer bluray disk holds 50 gigs.....it doesn't seem illogical as to why I thought that. Didn't think about multi disk movies...wow sorry. Dont compare me to all the illiterate children running around the console forums whining about video games please.



4312.9.2007 10:54
WierdName
Inactive

Originally posted by Andrew691:
Well its the same kind of logic all the idiotic fanboys have, and Im getting a bit annoyed with it.
Do you not understand? The fanboys know EVERYTHING. The sun rises and set just for them. Therefore, whatever they think, believe, w/e is FACT!
...so they think....

Doesnt expecting the unexpected make the unexpected expected and therefore mean youre expecting the expected which was the unexpected until you expected it?
"Opinions are immunities to being told were wrong." - Relient K

4414.9.2007 5:38

Verizon just put in the fiber optic service on our street, my neighbor switched to them a month ago, he's not to happy with the switch, I'm in no way a techie, but with this fiber optics you would think he would have had a little bit of improvemnt when actually his computer runs a little slower than before.

Anybody else make a switch from comcast to verizon, is the performance better, worse or the same, I to was thinking about switching but not till I hear more.

4520.9.2007 13:05
RNR1995
Inactive

Does not make sense to me
Comcast can control your speed via the modem?
Why would they get rid of customers?

4627.10.2007 11:43

Originally posted by morguex:
20 GB/s a day?
400-600 GB/s a month?
If I was comcast I would cut you off too.
Open your front door, that thing outside is called the world.
Made me lol..

In my area only comcast was available but recently they were bought out by time warner cable in my area at least. I download maybe 1 gig every 3 days or so? Just depends. Never got any warnings. However the modem box does flash a lot like that other guy said which makes the internet go down a lot.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 27 Oct 2007 @ 11:47

4727.10.2007 13:01

I just moved up here in the Northwest from the Southwest a few months back and I've heard/seen nothing but grievances from customers. I wish they had Cox up here...

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