AfterDawn: Tech news

Comcast to start bandwidth caps

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 29 Aug 2008 11:13 User comments (51)

Comcast to start bandwidth caps Comcast, the United States' largest ISP will begin bandwidth caps for its subscribers beginning October 1st.
The company says users who exceed 250GB of data for a month will receive a warning and then have their service cut off for a year for a second violation.

The usage policy for the ISP has been updated today however the bandwidth cap policy will not begin until October 1st. Making the decision even more terrible for users, Comcast will not provide any official way to meter your bandwidth use and instead says to "search online for bandwidth monitoring tools."

Comcast offers justification for the cap by saying, "250 GB/month is an extremely large amount of data, much more than a typical residential customer uses on a monthly basis. Currently, the median monthly data usage by our residential customers is approximately 2 - 3 GB. To put 250 GB of monthly usage in perspective, a customer would have to do any one of the following:

-- Send 50 million e-mails (at 0.05 KB/e-mail)-- Download 62,500 songs (at 4 MB/song)-- Download 125 standard-definition movies (at 2 GB/movie)-- Upload 25,000
hi-resolution digital photos (at 10 MB/photo)."


Of course 250GB may seem like a lot, but as an owner of a PlayStation 3 and a Netflix box by Roku, demos, streaming movies and trailers add up after awhile. That's not even mentioning the occasional HD movie rental from iTunes or watching YouTube videos for a couple of days. Just because the average user only uses a computer to send emails does not mean there is not a substantial portion of users who use a lot of bandwidth on a daily basis, and no, not for piracy-related matters.

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51 user comments

129.8.2008 11:50

Double bubble sorry.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 29 Aug 2008 @ 11:52

229.8.2008 11:51

So this is the best comcast can come up with? Ah, I get it now, buy our service, but we will tell you what to do with it.
As the late great Bill Hicks once said " go back to sleep america we have made all the decisions for you" "of course you have the freedom of choice, choose a. b. c."
He he he what is the world becoming eh!!!!
Well I suppose there's always the challenge of, who can max out the bandwidth the quickest, then jump on the neighbours wifi for the rest of the month. Let the games commence.

329.8.2008 12:24

That's fine with me, I am looking at moving to a place that offers Verizon's Fiber-Optic network in the near future anyway.

I am not going to change my habits but I personally have 5 people in my house that means we are almost always on the 'net.

Between this and the occasional 360 gaming I do online I wouldn't be surprised if I hit the cap in a month or two. If I do hit the cap before December than I am going to be switching back to DSL, because unless they recently changed things my DSL provider doesn't do bandwidth caps.

Yes, I know its a month-long thing (the 250GB is per month) but I could see me hitting it pretty easily, considering every bit of data sent or received counts towards the total.

429.8.2008 13:01

250GB is not to bad, but come on guys get with infrastructure building!

529.8.2008 13:07

I don't fully believe this. Looking at it logically, a company that requires capital to keep the doors open will not "ban" customers for a year. They may charge you more, but ban you?, I don't think that would happen.

629.8.2008 13:32

250 gb is pretty fair compared to Frontier's 5 gb- Blah


No time for Leap frog!!!

729.8.2008 14:12
fgamer
Inactive

If Time Warner follows suit I don't see how they can advertise people to download movies and shows from HBO on demand online. It just seems like it defeats the purpose of online movie downloading "the so called future." I really think allot of online companies that get a somewhat large part of their income from downloads such as Xbox Live, Netflix or whatever, must worry some when this starts to become the norm and will probably scare customers from making that extra online purchase in fear of going over their limit. I just think all this bandwidth usage talk is not as out of controll as these ISP's want people to think.

829.8.2008 14:33
jony218
Inactive

The "average" people who only download 2-3gb a month should just get dialup, they are paying to much for broadband.

I have cox cable and they supposedly have a 75gb a month limit, I know I download more than that in a month but have never got any warnings.

The problem I have is, why is the customer suppose to keep track of the bandwidth, the customer should be able to log into their internet account and find out immediately how many gb they have left.

929.8.2008 14:35

So when I play my madden online against someone, games usually last an hour. So is this wasting a lot of bandwidth or its not that much? I don't really know. I mean gaming nowadays is becoming all about online play, this is going to be a bummer. Oh and I read that Time Warner Cable will do a "Fair Access Policy" but they will charge you when you go over your limit they won't ban you. It also stated that current or existing customers will not have the "limit" it will only be for new customers.

1029.8.2008 14:38

Originally posted by fgamer:
If Time Warner follows suit I don't see how they can advertise people to download movies and shows from HBO on demand online. It just seems like it defeats the purpose of online movie downloading "the so called future." I really think allot of online companies that get a somewhat large part of their income from downloads such as Xbox Live, Netflix or whatever, must worry some when this starts to become the norm and will probably scare customers from making that extra online purchase in fear of going over their limit. I just think all this bandwidth usage talk is not as out of controll as these ISP's want people to think.

Trust me Time Warner will bypass this crap there losing customers at a rapid pace to Direct TV.Time Warner trying there best now to bring customer back & this will be the last thing they do to piss people off.

1129.8.2008 14:55

AT&T 6.0 is gonna spike

1229.8.2008 15:05

Gee, where to start?
First of all, it's Comcast, the crapola of the net. Everyone knows it and the only people using them are people who have no choice.

Second, while 250GB is quite substantial (realistically it should be WAY more than enough for virtually everyone, even hard core users at the momment) it sets a VERY BAD precident. The precident? That "Unlimited" can be "limited".
They should be forced to sell their service as "250GB Per Month" and not "Unlimited". Also, with this new cap they should be able to take the bad with the good. That is, if I am paying for 250GB/month then I damn well be able to get all 250GB doing anything I wish. Which means there better not be any more of that Torrent throttling. And they better remove the "server" limitations as well. Bandwidth is Bandwidth. It's my 250GB to use as I see fit, (legally, of course).

Some further issues: At what point will the large media providers like Netflix, Itunes, or YouTube and other "high bandwidth" companies start to complain about this type of stuff. These limitations will affect their bottom line and ultimately even disrupt their service. Consider PSP live. They could end up being restricted by this artificial limit when developing games in the future.

This kind of thing could really open the door for more agressive ISP's as well.
Imagine...
"Tired of being restricted by your ISP? Join us for TRUE unlimited Bandwidth..." Ect...

This is a loser move for Comcast. Like I said, the only people using Comcast are those with no choice. ANYONE could move in on them and replace them with little or no effort.

1329.8.2008 15:11

Originally posted by ThePastor:


This is a loser move for Comcast. Like I said, the only people using Comcast are those with no choice. ANYONE could move in on them and replace them with little or no effort.
As Zippy always says, all that other company needs is the infrastructure.

1429.8.2008 15:26

I'm a comcast customer. I hate them, but 250 gig is a lot. Some ISPs use a cap of like 30 gig a month. I download torrents, play PS3 online, download software that the college I attend gives me, and I have yet to hit 250 in one month. Now that the FCC has ruled my torrents haven't been getting throttled anymore.

1529.8.2008 16:00

I was disconnected from comcast for exceeding this limit. This cap only applies to residential at least. I had service reconnected in someone else's name with business class. Had to sign a 3 year contract but the price is pretty much the same without having to pay the modem rental. 250gig isnt hard to reach when you are backing up the internet onto dvd-rs

1629.8.2008 17:48

Originally posted by Y_Eater:
I was disconnected from comcast for exceeding this limit. This cap only applies to residential at least. I had service reconnected in someone else's name with business class. Had to sign a 3 year contract but the price is pretty much the same without having to pay the modem rental. 250gig isnt hard to reach when you are backing up the internet onto dvd-rs
Yes your right 250GB is nothing when you backup to dvds alot. I pay $65 for my net & it better be unlimited otherwise i will drop and switch to dsl,hookup a dual wan & download non stop. I monitor my internet this month alone im chewing near 300GB with usenet :)

1729.8.2008 17:51

Caps are Caps they all do the same thing, allow marketing income. what is the difference between the 39.99 dollar plan and the 120.00 dollar one. the answers easy no caps people that only can get comcast and run servers are getting screwed up the ass with the wrong end of the proverbial plunger.

as soon as something else hits my area im switching, until then ill just keep getting the plunger.

1829.8.2008 20:20

I personally am ok with this, that is because I would rather they allow me download at speeds that are not throttled, reach my 250gig cap in 3 days and call it a day vs. getting slow download speeds and I get 10 gigs downloaded by the end of the month.

Obviously thats an exaggeration and I still F'n hate comcast, but 250 gig is a decent amount if they let you download at full speeds.

1929.8.2008 21:05

...And to think in Australia they call 3gig a month 'generous'.

...and 'unlimited' is 10gig.

It might suck for some of you but look at other countries and the 250gig seems like alot.

2029.8.2008 21:32

I think if they advertise as unlimited it should be unlimited as ThePastor pointed out.I consider it false advertisement if caps are brought into the picture.Its true you get what you pay for,but the prices are not cheap for services in some areas.I think some of you may get a monthly payment of 39.99 ,but that isn't necessarily the set price everywhere.I don't use ComCast or have the ability to get cable or dsl in my area,but if I could I would make sure its unlimited and not limited to use as I please.It seems as if ComCast is trying to find a way to screw customers over with additional charges for service that should be provided anyway.





...........................:SiG cReAtEd By Phantom69:............................

2129.8.2008 22:38

does this mean that I can d/l 250 gigs and u/l unlimited, or is the cap monitoring both? I do not understand....

2229.8.2008 23:16

ThePastor:
Man you make somd really great points. IF there is a 250gb cap many people will say they can download whatever they won't and shouldn't have their bandwidth throttled.

But you will also start hearing rumblings from customers that use way less then 250gb to get some type of discount on their service as well.

But I understand many people believe 250gb is way more then enough for most people and this maybe true. But how many of us are very close to that limit though without realizing?

Websites are very flash heavy right now. I mean if you download a few albums a week from Itunes, play COD4 on your Xbox hours a day and like many americans now a days, You spend hours a day online you could easily get close to that limit.

2329.8.2008 23:38

Weather 250gigs will be exceeded is irrelavent. treating customers that pay them with this crap is a sure way to lose money. I know i will do everything i can to find a different service. Its the principal of the thing. Besides, you wait and see this is just another way to bleed people for more money.

2430.8.2008 7:32

Well, that 250GB will be enought for most of the "normal" user so can't say its too little.

And for those not so normal net users... Guess there are other ISP that can give the bandwidth needed.

2530.8.2008 8:04
susieqbbb
Inactive

250 gig's that is a lot and even if you use torrents you need to notice that this is per month.

250 gig per month that is a lot when i have seen satelite internet access caps at 1 gig worth of downloads per month.

2630.8.2008 12:55

What should I do I have a Netflix Roku Player Which Streams Movies a Tivo, Comcast Phone, Internet I download a few Animations a month
I just Downloaded netstat Live and realize that it will not be accurate because when my Computer is off my Roku Player is Streaming What should I do

2730.8.2008 15:08

Never had to monitor my bandwidth before. I'm using BW<eter 4.1.3, and would like some opinions on if this is a good app to use. Is it accurate in reporting the usage, or should I get something else? I CANNOT lose my service for a year! I will die if I have to go back to dial up!

281.9.2008 8:58

I think I went over that amount over the course of last week alone.

291.9.2008 11:11

hmm, i wonder if they could set something up like the carbon tax... those of us that don't reach the 250GB could sell our 'credits' to the people that get up to the cap. ;)

301.9.2008 11:19

Comcasts' limits will be obsolete within a year. Thinking of this another way, 250gb is about 8gb/day. That sounds like a lot if you aren't downloading or using multi-media. Yet if you are it is nothing. Downloading a TV show (producers now routinely supply earlier episodes online) is a couple of gb, as is a lecture in a course. I high definition movie is over half the daily quota. Combining this with uploading videos to you tube, video chat and conferencing from working at home or sharing work product and a normal tech savvy family of three or four will crash through the limit immediately, a couple will begin testing it soon and individuals will push it pretty soon.

Limiting internet use is not in the national interest on any level. Adding capacity is ultimately limited by obtaining right of way for cable. In the near term there is no limit since all cable companies have substantial amounts of "Black Cable", cable that isn't connected to repeaters/receivers at both ends (each connection is moderately expensive at tens of thousands of dollars, but is cheap compared to the income obtained from increased advertising and user fees.

Basically, this is just another attempt by the Telcos to get a license to print money. If the internet cable was opened up the way the telephone lines were 25 years ago competition would make all this go away.

311.9.2008 13:19

So much for Net Neutrality !

AT&T agreed to 2 years of Net Neutrality before they slammed their customers with limitations on their Internet service, that waiting period is just about up. Why should they be afraid of customer reprisals, Bush gave them a 'Get Out Of Jail Free' card recently that saved them billions that would have been required to fight hundreds of law suits filed by customers who were illegally monitored by the government with AT&T's assistance. They now have the right to slash and burn indiscriminately, a right given them by the authoritarian Bush dictatorship.

321.9.2008 13:28

It seems to me that this is still access restriction, with being banned for a year the ultimate restriction. I bet it can be challenged in the courts given the monopolistic control Comcast has in many regions. Certainly, vendors who depend on the internet for expanding their business/sales ought to consider the ramifications of having an ISP disrupt the prospective economic advantage of unlimited access. With gaming, telephony and video services being some of the biggest players in the expanding on-line market, maybe they need to step up to the plate and head this off at the pass. At my home we have 4 ethernet networked computers, a PS3, and an Xbox; we also have Verizon FIOS thank G_d! The people using the most bandwidth are the pioneers of what the internet "will be' to users of the future...[b]Good job crushing the future Comcast (and others) I hope your shareholders support what you do now as strongly in the future when your subscriber base runs screaming from you as soon as they can.[b]

331.9.2008 14:55

they forgot to mention, streaming 1080p hd movies can be 10 gigs each at least. so that could mean 20 movies in a month. and maybe some emails and regular use?

thats impossible no one would watch 5 movies in a week

341.9.2008 15:47

these comcast people are ignorant ...why not force subscribers to agree in advance to some fee for overage ...that way they make a little money while not pissing off most of these few big users...

352.9.2008 3:08

Originally posted by pensfan12:
...And to think in Australia they call 3gig a month 'generous'.

...and 'unlimited' is 10gig.

It might suck for some of you but look at other countries and the 250gig seems like alot.
You so need to get over this "terrible imposition" on your surfing habits. 250GB/month is huge.

I am in Australia and on cable and I get 25GB/month but it does cost me quite a bit and all traffic is counted (both downloads and uploads) although I have access to 100GB/month of unmetered content on my ISP's site. However I don't watch sport, play online games or have need of most of what is there for download so it is mostly useless to me.

If I go over the limit my speed is slowed to an almost unusable crawl for the rest of the month. Most capped accounts are like this although my 25GB is good compared with some others and not so good compared with some. I used to get 12Gb/month until I changed to a higher usage plan recently.

I think with time you will find many more ISPs starting to impose caps on you. Maybe you need to prepare yourselves for the inevitable.

362.9.2008 3:19

Australians do get ripped off completely when it comes to broadband... but I agree that there is the principle of selling a service as "Unlimited" when there are in fact limits.

Besides, if Comcast says the "typical" users are 2-3gb per month, then the big downloaders must be in the minority... so why doesn't Comcast stop worrying about it and enjoy some good P.R.?

372.9.2008 4:43

This is really sad to start this crap with people.I was over in England and dam they have some really fast internet there.I only see in the USA where we are getting so screwed badly.I see other countrys enjoying some decent speed and unlimited internet without all this bs.

I say if they start this then how long before all the others start to follow.Why do we have to put up with such crappy serveice we pay the bill.We are the people they need to survive off of so cant we have some say in this.I see a terriable injustice to people trying use something everyone has promoted to us for years including our goverment.

Comcast and all these other cable companys are so full of BS..

382.9.2008 11:50

Who's complaining about 250GB/month when you have this:

http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/690898

5GB per month proposed. Probably not going to happen (may be more once they learn how the internet works), but I have until January to DL all I want before I switch to something else, because 5GB barely gets me past a single day in DL alone.

392.9.2008 14:40

Originally posted by Renfraus:
Australians do get ripped off completely when it comes to broadband... but I agree that there is the principle of selling a service as "Unlimited" when there are in fact limits.
Well my account is "unlimited" as far as downloading goes. However if I go over 25GB in a month the rest of those "unlimited" will be at a very limited speed.

They are calling the plan unlimited as far as traffic is concerned not. This does not necessarily mean unlimited speed for the entire month.

There is an ISP offering 150GB/month here in OZ but that is the exception.

I wonder what will happen if they ever get their act together and do manage to complete the new National high speed internet rollout.

402.9.2008 14:40
gmontalc
Inactive

Comcast to start bandwidth caps

I can't believe it, Unite States Of America... "Land Of The Free".

Of the what?...

USA is becoming the biggest jail in the world, that would be the thing that it need to be done, POLICING and CONTROLLING of what you do... "when, what and why ???".

I said this before,... it won't be long, that must be ordered by the law of the Supreme Court of the USA a must have microchip implanted in your brain, whether on birth and/or upon receiving US. citizenship. this connection will be via satellite to mainframes computers locate in the CIA, IRS, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Employment Centers, Video Stores, Groceries Stores, Hospitals.... You name it!.

And also to be certain that you're honest, it must be verified every week, you must give a report of all of your activities by connecting an "iLink" WIFI connection from your brain to your computer and "upload" respective information to indicated Headquarters.

This way the Police, the Court system, and all beuraucratic branches of the Government will fight against of all kind of terrorists, all kind of criminals, illegal entry and working in the US. scam artists, identity theft...etc, and of course the use of your paid Internet.

412.9.2008 15:17

hooowwweeee ...I already got my iLink chip put in ...didn't hurt a bit ...now I can pay for my $4.00 a gallon gas at the pump by simply putting my head down in a "for shame" position ...for that, a pictogram on the pump is an image of Bush giving a big hug to Musharrif ...that assures assumption of the proper position... we are the walrus!!

423.9.2008 12:48

Na another civil war would break out before they chipped anything, bet your head on that.

btw your allot more free than Russia is.

433.9.2008 14:28

waaaaaat?? (in borat's voice) ...russia is totally free (so long as you pay off coupl'a people in the local administration and spread around some WAM)!!

443.9.2008 15:48

That sucks, my internet is worse (15g down 10g up). I have to watch my usage towards the end of the month and I cannot watch near as many youtube clips and the sort. I hope people stop dealing with all of comcast's sh## and drop them for treating their customers horribly. We need more competition in the isp department haha.

454.9.2008 3:14

so if you don't use 250BB of data are we going to get a price break? lol

467.9.2008 1:38

Well here's my take. I have comcast service. Pay for their extra speed... so I'm paying above and beyond. I'm actually disabled.. I have cancer and basically am unable to work for some time so all I have to do is sit around and play PC games online. so I use a good deal of bandwidth I'd imagine. then there's other people in my household.. my brother plays games.. and a few other basic users. No idea if I'd push the limit but I think it would be a bit rediculous if they decided to terminate my connection. Our monthly bill to them is closely 200 dollars and I imagine other peoples are as well.. So why is comcast whining about capping peoples connections? bury more fiber.. stop getting cheap and build a better network!

477.9.2008 2:39

Last I heard there were 500,000 people subscribing in Florida at $40 per month. 500,000 x 40 = 20,000,000

$20,000,000 DOLLARS A MONTH!?!? How much money do these people need?
That isn't even including TV or their new phone service

487.9.2008 3:10

the 20,000.000 dollars isn't a net gain lol

you have bills to pay right

so does comcast but much bigger ones like payroll etc.





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497.9.2008 12:36

The key point here is that the increasing use of the internet has driven productivity, collaboration, commerce and innovation. Our global competitors, especially in Asia, are pushing more use of the internet and faster bandwidths. A regime that causes people to use less internet or be very conscious of limiting use will limit the resources of its users. Ergo, the US will fall behind our global competitors in the tools, collaborations, and computer hardware and software technologies that drive the military and standard of living in this country.
Is this a sacrifice we want to make in order for a small group to get filthy rich? Arguing with Comcast is fruitless. Competition from other companies and other technologies is not. That is what drives price reductions. Hewlett Packard would have delayed personal computers for a decade if Steve Wozniak decided to stay at HP instead of joining Apple. The internet in the US would have been delayed an additional decade if the court hadn't broken up Ma Bell. We can't let Comcast become the new Ma Bell if we want to remain competitive technically and economically.

507.9.2008 20:05

we live in an anything but affluent small town in the pine barrens of nj ...I am on the PlanningZoningBoard ...lately sprint came to us to put up a tower ...I suggested we ask in return for them to supply free wifi access to the whole town (one school nearby and maybe 1100 population) ...the town committee laughed ...why not? They're stickin' the tower on our firehouse lawn. The whole country is getting tower'd. Soon all we'll see is towers&windmills. In Europe this summer the beautiful landscapes I shot all need to have the ubiquitous towers photoshopped out. Aren't the chinese doing it with satellite technology instead? How come? This unweildy infrastructure makes no sense. Years ago they strung fiber up our little street; there it sits with no use. They say we can forget ever getting fios. I'd rather eat dirt than deal with comcast. Too far from the switch for dsl. This isn't irak, for heaven sakes!! It's jersey!! What's with that??

5126.9.2008 13:28
duke8888
Inactive

I got an email from Comcast saying to upgrade for $10 bucks more a month to get the faster speeds and download more. Then the next day they send me a notice about the 250 gig cap per month. I sent them a nasty email telling them when Verizon gets online in the next month here I am switching to them. I think all Comcast customers should send emails telling them the same. They also said in their email that only 1% of customers exceed the limit and I said to them why have a cap if only 1% is the problem? No reply to that.

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