AfterDawn: Tech news

Small American ISP adds bandwidth cap?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 09 Aug 2008 11:32 User comments (28)

Small American ISP adds bandwidth cap? Earlier this month, Frontier Online, a small US ISP that serves 24 states added new language to their terms of service agreement that appears to cap almost half of its users at a minuscule 5GB of data a month, including downloading and uploading.
"Customers must comply with all Frontier network, bandwidth, data storage and usage limitations," reads the new TOS. "Frontier may suspend, terminate or apply additional charges to the Service if such usage exceeds a reasonable amount of usage. A reasonable amount of usage is defined as 5GB combined upload and download consumption during the course of a 30-day billing period."

However, after receiving tons of complaints, the ISP has now said its TOS means absolutely nothing and the company has created a new FAQ page to explain the 5GB rule.

Straight from the FAQ:

Question: If I hit 5GB will my service be interrupted?

Answer: No. Your service will not be interrupted at 5GB. You will continue to use our High Speed Internet service without disruption.


Digging deeper, TheRegister spoke to a company spokesperson. "In the past, we had a general statement [in the terms of service] that anyone using an excessive amount of bandwidth could be terminated. Now, we're saying exactly what we think is excessive," the spokeswoman added. "But at this point, we're not monitoring bandwidth. And we're not kicking people off if they use more than 5GB a month."

After the interview, one thing was clear, a bandwidth cap is coming, and possibly a tiered pricing system as well.

"In 2009, we will introduce software that allows us notify the customer of their current usage...and we'll look at different pricing models that address consumption."

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28 user comments

19.8.2008 11:54

damn 5g thats insane

29.8.2008 12:10

it wont work if your a small biz and employ this money hungry tactic your going to be a no biz.

iv said it before, ill say it again the only true way to get rid of bandwidth indigestion is to lay new lines. instead they want to cap you that way they can to continue to nothing about there current infrastructure. its pure greed and lies

39.8.2008 13:42
drach
Inactive

5 GB upload and download combined? That is total crap, I would go over the limit in 1 or 2 days.

49.8.2008 14:14

I am amazed its only 5GB.

While they do not seem to be enforcing anything at this point, if they offer any sort of a "high-speed" connection (and heck, even a dial-up connection) it wouldn't be hard for a savvy or addicted internet user to go through 5GB in a day, let alone a month.

59.8.2008 15:15
fgamer
Inactive

I think when larger ISP's start going down this road much like what Time Warner Cable is doing, they'll get a backlash of angry people after they realize how easy it is to go over these insane caps.

69.8.2008 15:19

Now this is just crazy. I would be looking for another ISP as soon as I heard this. But luckly I have a good ISP with no caps and ok speeds. After a 2 year time out I am back now!

79.8.2008 15:49

I had dsl in california and then in Reno. I moved to Elko NV and the only broadband available was Frontier. $55 a month and it was unreliable and slow. Frontier's phone service is worse. Finally a wireless service, not Wi-Fi or Wi-Max but something called 'Motorola Canopy' became available. It's $40 a month and blazingly faster and more reliable than Frontier. I was able to get rid of my phone service from Frontier also. drach is right 5gb is about 1 days worth. Now I'm a happy camper.

89.8.2008 18:22

Originally posted by DXR88:
it wont work if your a small biz and employ this money hungry tactic your going to be a no biz.

iv said it before, ill say it again the only true way to get rid of bandwidth indigestion is to lay new lines. instead they want to cap you that way they can to continue to nothing about there current infrastructure. its pure greed and lies
sad to say it will work if you are int eh boonies and your the only game in town.

99.8.2008 21:30
david89
Inactive

5gb is a joke heck 40 gb that time warner wants do is a joke these isps should be made by law to give a fair amount of bandwidth but the goverment don't want do anything about it. i bet there will be lots going back dialup because with just speed you can't use is a waste of money per month.

109.8.2008 23:13

Here is a question that I haven't seen come up.
What would this do to people who have VOIP service and talk alot on the phone ? Isn't that eating up bandwidth?

119.8.2008 23:41

How about renting streaming movies from netflix? I don't know how large they are but I would think 2 or 3 would eat up your entire months allotment of bandwith.

1210.8.2008 0:42

I cannot point back to the source as I cant remember where it was, but I have read the 'average' user (quick email, online shopping etc) uses 37GB per month but anyone using iTunes, Netflix, iPlayer, BitTorrent will use 200+ for sure.

1310.8.2008 3:33

I actually have frontier as my provider. I got it right before they announced the cap. And I have already blown past 5 gigs in the first day. I downloaded at least 7 gigs of HD movies in the first day, as well as install WoW and the downloaded the patch (9??Mb). Havn't had any knocks on my door yet.

1410.8.2008 8:52
blueroad
Inactive

hmm this might indeed sound noobish but ive never been one to claim i know lots about internet usage and ifrastructure >< anyway what does it mean 5 GB per month? like what if i have a 15 mb per sec? i do 5000/15=time it takes to use 5 up 5 GB?

1510.8.2008 11:21

5 gigs is insane. might as well lower bandwidth to 56k levels. cause like the first comment. i can download 5 gigs in a day easy.

1610.8.2008 14:19

Originally posted by blueroad:
hmm this might indeed sound noobish but ive never been one to claim i know lots about internet usage and ifrastructure >< anyway what does it mean 5 GB per month? like what if i have a 15 mb per sec? i do 5000/15=time it takes to use 5 up 5 GB?
um no not quite, its 15Mbits not 15Mbyts. also you'll probably never find the need to us all 15Mbits as some sites have a client cap of any where between 256Kbits-768Kbits.

in any case never confuse download speed with the downloads. lets say if i download 2 movies both at 2.5GB i have reached my cap. no matter what the speed at which i downloaded it.

1710.8.2008 14:21

Originally posted by Pnub:
I actually have frontier as my provider. I got it right before they announced the cap. And I have already blown past 5 gigs in the first day. I downloaded at least 7 gigs of HD movies in the first day, as well as install WoW and the downloaded the patch (9??Mb). Havn't had any knocks on my door yet.
Nope, not your door, but they will be knocking on your wallet soon enough.

1811.8.2008 12:32

I have DSL, Dish and Phone through Frontier all as a single package. I now have a valid reason to switch to Cable. I blast through much, much more than 5GB UL and DL. I wouldn't mind if their tier system is reasonable and the cost of switching to a new provider is more expensive in the long run. I've got to look into VOIP now and stuff like that.....ughhh...more research....what a headache :( Like I don't have other things going on. It would be nice to finally start looking at other ISP's HD packages though. I'd better get on top of this, but until then, business as usual!

Anyway, I guess any thoughts of PSN downloads are squashed :P

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 11 Aug 2008 @ 15:35

1911.8.2008 18:55

"Now, we're saying exactly what we think is excessive,"

This would get chewed up in court. They do not get to define terms like "excessive". Their plan is unlimited. "excessive" is a legally defined term.

I'm no lawyer but it would seem to me that in this time of "net-neutrality" "Excessive" would be defined something like this...

Calculate the average use by all customers. Those users that are in the top 5% could be classified as "excessive".

It certainly would not be some hard limit unless expressly designated in the original contract. If it were expressly designated, then the plan wouldn't be "unlimited", would it... LOL

No chance in hell... laughable.

2011.8.2008 20:04

Originally posted by ThePastor:
"Now, we're saying exactly what we think is excessive,"

This would get chewed up in court. They do not get to define terms like "excessive". Their plan is unlimited. "excessive" is a legally defined term.

I'm no lawyer but it would seem to me that in this time of "net-neutrality" "Excessive" would be defined something like this...

Calculate the average use by all customers. Those users that are in the top 5% could be classified as "excessive".

It certainly would not be some hard limit unless expressly designated in the original contract. If it were expressly designated, then the plan wouldn't be "unlimited", would it... LOL

No chance in hell... laughable.
Well, they can change the TOS at any time. It's in the contract. So the word "unlimited" can altogether disappear and a new tiered system could go into place. I'm sure the 5GB /month was a slip-up. How can you be in the ISP business and be that stupid? My Grandfather probably uses 5GB in a month. They will probably make 5GB the lowest tier, so that people like my Grandfather will see no change in the cost of their service. But people like me will be forced to move on to bigger and better things.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 11 Aug 2008 @ 20:05

2111.8.2008 20:40

I still don't think you can call something "excessive" if over half of the users are doing it.

I could say anything over 1 MB is excessive. That doesn't make it so, nor would it stand up in court.

2212.8.2008 6:07

Originally posted by ThePastor:
I still don't think you can call something "excessive" if over half of the users are doing it.

I could say anything over 1 MB is excessive. That doesn't make it so, nor would it stand up in court.
I totally agree.

2312.8.2008 10:56

Quote:
Originally posted by Pnub:
I actually have frontier as my provider. I got it right before they announced the cap. And I have already blown past 5 gigs in the first day. I downloaded at least 7 gigs of HD movies in the first day, as well as install WoW and the downloaded the patch (9??Mb). Havn't had any knocks on my door yet.
Nope, not your door, but they will be knocking on your wallet soon enough.
not mine i will hate to but will drop internet service peorid.they will be the one to lose my money.

2412.8.2008 14:55
lynchGOP
Inactive

Too bad those dumbass teenagers that were firebombing cars didn't reserve those .olotove cocktails for a company like this. Let's all say a prayer..........

"May an asteroid come down and destroy the corporate HQ of this kneiving company out to do bad and all it's executives, only to leave its innocent employees unharmed."


Amen.

2514.8.2008 20:46

I have tesco broadband which is supposed to be limited to 6GB but the cap is put in place by the usb modem they give you thus I have have no limit through my Netgear modem/router mwahaha

2615.8.2008 16:02

By the time it takes me to type this I would have gone over the 5 gb. Hopefully there aren't too many areas where frontier is the only option.

2715.8.2008 19:59

sad to say it will work if you are int eh boonies and your the only game in town.


And this is how it is if you are in New Zealand, there is NO unlimited Internet use..you pay for it based upon how much you download...there is no other method and there are like 2 or 3 ISP for the whole Country with Telecom (who are the Main land Line provider - Clear being the Only Other one)...so get used to the idea of paying for what you download...its a real money earner...and Telecom Start at a 3GB..YES 3 GIG..at $39.95 a month WITH a capped DL Speed too - UNcapped speed is limited to 128Kbps...their max plan is 50gig a moth for $150 and 2cents for every Megabyte over that...but hey...on the plus side...

in NZ you can receive Calls and Txts Free on your cell...you dont pay if someone rings you...

2816.8.2008 5:51

Has anyone found an article about what cities/states this will effect or is it everyone? Most of my friends in Arizona currently use frontier

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 16 Aug 2008 @ 5:53

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