AfterDawn: Tech news

Charter Communications to start bandwidth caps

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 05 Feb 2009 21:37 User comments (38)

Charter Communications to start bandwidth caps Following yesterday's news that Time Warner was expanding their metered Internet trials to a few new cities, Charter Communications has also announced that they will be introducing bandwidth caps on their cable Internet service.
Charter, the fourth largest cable company in the US, will set tiered caps, meaning "customers who purchase speeds of up to 15 Mbps to 100 gigabytes a month, while those who purchase up to 25 Mbps will be capped at 250 gigabytes. People who pay for speeds up of to 60 Mbps will not face any limits."

Added a Charter spokesperson: "More than 99% of current Charter Internet customers use less bandwidth than the threshold allows and therefore will not need to change their surfing habits in any manner."

Critics, such as Derek Turner, the research director of Free Press, does not believe that only 1 percent of all users pass the threshold and that bandwidth consumption will continue to grow thanks to digital downloads from iTunes and Netflix and the ever popular YouTube, which now offers videos in 720p resolution.

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38 user comments

15.2.2009 21:51

With all these discussions of bandwidth caps and such, is there any way I can check my bandwidth usage. I know what I download, but I really don't know how much I stream effects my usage. I'd like to know what I use.

25.2.2009 22:12

Quote:
a Charter spokesperson: "More than 99% of current Charter Internet customers use less bandwidth than the threshold allows and therefore will not need to change their surfing habits in any manner."

Geez... then why even bother putting caps in the first place?

35.2.2009 22:36

In 7 years no one will own hard drives except non-end users (i.e. corporations/companies). Everything will be "streamed". Music, video, apps, even games over FIOS. You'll login to your "PC" using a biometric device. Everything including bills, will be paid for online to phase out the cash economy.

Remember that Germany was an enlightened nation (i.e. Einstein, Von Braun, etc) prior to the Nazi takeover. If it can happen to them..

45.2.2009 23:57

Originally posted by Run4two:
With all these discussions of bandwidth caps and such, is there any way I can check my bandwidth usage. I know what I download, but I really don't know how much I stream effects my usage. I'd like to know what I use.
There's a free program that I use called netmeter. Here's the official site for it: http://www.metal-machine.de/readerror/

Anyways, with all these talks of bandwidth caps possibly happening in the future, it's just making me use even more bandwidth than I normally would.

56.2.2009 0:13

I've been looking local myself for other isp's in case my isp pulls bandwidth caps soon or some other bullshiet with the RIAA or who knows. Not a music guy so its ok but privacy and my identity are some other things that i wouldnt want some creepy companies playin with.

66.2.2009 1:02

99% = random high number they pulled out of nowhere. I don't doubt its fairly high, but 99%? I agree with DTN107, if it really is 99%, why bother.

76.2.2009 2:14
cousinkix
Inactive

Chater stinks on ice. They can't even provide decent TV reception in some nearby communities. People who live there, would be crazy to use them as their ISP...

86.2.2009 4:32

Quote:
Quote:
a Charter spokesperson: "More than 99% of current Charter Internet customers use less bandwidth than the threshold allows and therefore will not need to change their surfing habits in any manner."

Geez... then why even bother putting caps in the first place?

I agree, what's the use? There's no point in this. Charter would've been wise to avoid this, and IMAO i think that they're doing this to gain the bigger hand, while hemorraging us loyal ISP users money that could be used to expand bandwidth use.

96.2.2009 4:55

Here's the deal on this guys, the cable companies see the internet as a threat to their broadcast model. Pretty soon any content you need can be streamed right off the web.

What's at play here is that it is cheaper to just cancel your cable subscription and go with an Internet only connection that gives you audio and video you WANT on demand. I bet this rush to limit bandwidth has nothing to do with the acutal cost of bandwidth but how much customers will/are going with Internet only subscriptions. Keeping no caps on Internet assures a massive migration to internet only subscriptions to replace crap TV and unwatched channels you and I are paying for.

If they don't act, then they shoot themsleves in the foot since crappy tv will soon be replaced by anything else that you really want to see and hear. As it is, I only listen to online radio right now and only terrestrial radio when I'm in my car. And other than a few news channels and National Geographic HD, I don't watch too much of other broadcast TV. If I could get the other media online, why would I need to pay the extra money for CATV?

The solution to this will be FIOS or whatever Obama has planned for in their supposed modernization and rollout of high speed internet. Once those options become available, everyone drop cable and you'll see 'unlimited' internet come right back :D

106.2.2009 7:49

@ nesNYC

I was going to post a similar comment to yours (I still am...) but I would have to disagree with your last statement.

I too agree that the only reason Cable Companies are starting to put Caps on their internet services is because they are actually looking at the demographics and seeing the consumer moving more and more toward internet streaming for thier video, music, and video game needs. They are placing caps on the bandwidth now so no one should notice an increase immediately as the online business models are not fully developed by all yet.

As for the ISPs going back to unlimited, I do not see that happening. Once people start watching their TV on the internet then they will no longer need to have cable pumped into their TV. That would be a huge loss at $60 per household (I have no idea what the current rate is since I have not had cable for over 2 years). These companies like the money they are making and they have to keep the stock holders happy so they are going to have to make up the difference somewhere. Where is the most obvious place??? The internet. At charging $1/GB over the limit they can easily make their money back (plus probably more) for all of the TV junkies that are currently in the US.

116.2.2009 8:37

It's just like cell phones and "peak" minutes. Most people have dropped their landline because everyone and their brother has cell phones with free long distance, texting, mobile-to-mobile, etc. Now, how much do cell plans cost versus landlines? Unlimited cell plans?

If you see my point, this is where they are headed, because they know they can squeeze more of the almighty dollar out of Joe Consumer's wallet.

126.2.2009 8:37

you should see how bad it is in aussie land

136.2.2009 9:39

Agreed, They will offer a unlimited plan at 100 dollars a month to make up for no cable video services. And even then they put a secret cap on that plan. The biggest problem is that there is no competition in certain cable markets. Dsl might not be up to par and Some areas just don't have FIOS yet. I would be lying if i said these bandwidth caps are to help with network management.

The primary use is to stop everyone not needing cable TV. More and more cable tv are placing their premier content on like hulu or tv.com for free with limited interruptions. Xbox 360's that can stream movies from netflix. Everything cable companies has been working for Voip, VOD, PPV. Their entire business model could be destroyed with the next generation.

146.2.2009 10:00

"customers who purchase speeds of up to 15 Mbps to 100 gigabytes a month, while those who purchase up to 25 Mbps will be capped at 250 gigabytes. People who pay for speeds up of to 60 Mbps will not face any limits."


So whats happens too people that use less then this speed right now I am licky I get 5 Mbps so will I get a cap.

How do I find out how much I have used does charter keep track.

156.2.2009 11:24

There is never a bandwidth issue when you pay. lol
http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/02/06/internet.tv/index.html

166.2.2009 12:50

Originally posted by bigfamei:
There is never a bandwidth issue when you pay. lol
http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/02/06/inter...tml
Good article. I switched from DSL to cable recently to save money. Got rid of my phone for VOIP and my monthly bill decreased by $50/month - even with paying an extra $10 for Boost, which gives me about 4MBps down and 700kBps up (you do the conversion). I've uploaded and downloaded tons and have had no problems. No caps for customers who pay for the higher tier. $10 more a month is nothing when I am saving $50 a month from DSL and getting the highest speeds.

But now I am looking at just paying for internet and getting rid of portions of my CATV bill. I've been doing some research on Hauppauge WinTV cards. So I may be able to reduce my bill even more by getting rid of one receiver and replacing my DVR with a regular HD receiver. Something that is desireable to me in this economy.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 06 Feb 2009 @ 12:51

176.2.2009 14:41

Originally posted by maryjayne:
@ nesNYC

I was going to post a similar comment to yours (I still am...) but I would have to disagree with your last statement.

I too agree that the only reason Cable Companies are starting to put Caps on their internet services is because they are actually looking at the demographics and seeing the consumer moving more and more toward internet streaming for thier video, music, and video game needs. They are placing caps on the bandwidth now so no one should notice an increase immediately as the online business models are not fully developed by all yet.

As for the ISPs going back to unlimited, I do not see that happening. Once people start watching their TV on the internet then they will no longer need to have cable pumped into their TV. That would be a huge loss at $60 per household (I have no idea what the current rate is since I have not had cable for over 2 years). These companies like the money they are making and they have to keep the stock holders happy so they are going to have to make up the difference somewhere. Where is the most obvious place??? The internet. At charging $1/GB over the limit they can easily make their money back (plus probably more) for all of the TV junkies that are currently in the US.
I can tell you that cable in Canada SUCKS. Nothing but reality shows and lame "reality" game shows which costs 70 bucks per month. The spouse likes it but I hate it. Cogeco gets you to upgrade in "theme" packs which make no sense at all. Liberal? Youll get a theme pack with 3 conservative channels and 3 liberal. Conservative? Same deal. Last year I saw a great article outlining what the web would be like in a few years time from now..you wont have the buffet deal you have now. No, youll have to pick from the cable companies THEME packs, say YouTube, MSN, Google, Hotmail/Yahoo and Digg for 50 bucks a month. If you want Ars Technica, Gamespot, CNN and FOxnews, youll have to ante up another 30 bucks per month.

And the scary thing is..the corporations do have the ability to block sites. What I see happening is some 22 year old physics grad student will invent some type of revolutionary new tech that offers wireless connection to the Internet (all sites) that bypasses ISPs. Then most of us will be considered "criminal" if we don't subscribe to the cable companies group a$srape.

186.2.2009 15:09

Originally posted by cousinkix:
Chater stinks on ice. They can't even provide decent TV reception in some nearby communities. People who live there, would be crazy to use them as their ISP...

Well, even though I've been called somewhat crazy on occasion, I have no other choice but to use Charter. I actually switched to them because I was using the only "high"-speed internet service available in my area (close to the Thumb of Michigan in the country), which was called Air Advantage. This gave me service from a radio tower which was located about 1000 yds. from my house. However, I was paying $50.00/mn and only getting 1Mb service. When Charter came, I asked them if they were going to upgrade their network (I did some reaserch and there was MUCH better equipment they could be using which would allow for speeds up to 3 Meg) and they told me they had no plans to upgrade. So, I switched to Charter and now I get 10 Meg, with the option to go up to 16. Some of us HAVE to use Charter or be left in the cold...

196.2.2009 15:13

Originally posted by Hopium:
you should see how bad it is in aussie land

Well??? How bad IS it in Aussie land???

206.2.2009 15:25

"Last year I saw a great article outlining what the web would be like in a few years time from now.."



Windsong, Do you remember where you saw this article? I would like to read it...

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 06 Feb 2009 @ 15:26

216.2.2009 16:04
lubricant
Inactive

Quote:
Quote:
a Charter spokesperson: "More than 99% of current Charter Internet customers use less bandwidth than the threshold allows and therefore will not need to change their surfing habits in any manner."

Geez... then why even bother putting caps in the first place?
because it's a bastard company and the people in charge want to squeeze every last penny out of its customers with minumum liability

226.2.2009 16:10

Quote:
Once people start watching their TV on the internet then they will no longer need to have cable pumped into their TV.

This says it all right here.

If only 1% had an OPEN PIPE with constant traffic the hit to bandwidth or servers would be minimal.

This is about setting precident.

The future is NOW...

236.2.2009 19:02

Originally posted by windsong:
In 7 years no one will own hard drives except non-end users (i.e. corporations/companies). Everything will be "streamed". Music, video, apps, even games over FIOS. You'll login to your "PC" using a biometric device. Everything including bills, will be paid for online to phase out the cash economy.

Remember that Germany was an enlightened nation (i.e. Einstein, Von Braun, etc) prior to the Nazi takeover. If it can happen to them..
I could see it in 10 but more likely 20.

Basically when cell phone tech can be used for basic HD video and you only pay 20-50$ a month for it and unlimited calls....

And by then almost everything will be "free" since you pay a monthly fee to the media backed ISP for basic(limited),gold(most stuff) and premium(everything) content .
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 06 Feb 2009 @ 19:04

246.2.2009 19:04

Originally posted by bassdog69:
"Last year I saw a great article outlining what the web would be like in a few years time from now.."



Windsong, Do you remember where you saw this article? I would like to read it...
Cant remember exactly where but..I read THIS slashdot article that is even more scarier and only confirms my fears. They wnt to turn the web into another AOL:

http://news.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/02/06/1444258&from=rss

256.2.2009 22:59

windsong, This DOES sound like a future we want to avoid. However, this article and the subsequent comments are 3 YEARS old! I would have to think that ESPN has changed it's tune due to the fact that when I click on the site there are NO ISP restrictions shown at all. I think the idea of net neutrality is INCREASING every day. even though ISP's are going the broadband restriction route, I don't think we really have to worry about ala carte cable models permeating the web. Look at what happened to AOL. They started making deals with certain entertainment providers and people left them in droves. The whole REASON people are flocking to the net AWAY from cable is because they don't want to pay for programming that they never watch. I would be interested to hear your response : )

266.2.2009 23:34

I am a Time Warner customer. It's chilling. It's not unlike an increase in tax.
The BANKS screw us with all kinds of charges and they place their customers in a situation where most will end up paying them in some way.

The CREDIT CARD companies rob us with immoral interest rates and late charges that they cause by sending bills that are due in less than a week in some cases.

The ISPs are going to be next, of course TAXING us through metering our usage. It reminds me of the toll roads that are being put into place.

The GOVERNMENTS(not just the US) are taxing us out of sight then BAIL OUT all of the above and you and I PAY for it ALL.

Welcome to the NEW WORLD ORDER! The HOUSE of CARDS is about to collapse.
We are all living under a KLEPTOCRACY (please Wiki and Google that word).

277.2.2009 2:18

Originally posted by bassdog69:
windsong, This DOES sound like a future we want to avoid. However, this article and the subsequent comments are 3 YEARS old! I would have to think that ESPN has changed it's tune due to the fact that when I click on the site there are NO ISP restrictions shown at all. I think the idea of net neutrality is INCREASING every day. even though ISP's are going the broadband restriction route, I don't think we really have to worry about ala carte cable models permeating the web. Look at what happened to AOL. They started making deals with certain entertainment providers and people left them in droves. The whole REASON people are flocking to the net AWAY from cable is because they don't want to pay for programming that they never watch. I would be interested to hear your response : )
3 years old?
http://blog.wired.com/business/2009/02/espn-stands-fir.html

In any event, I have seen the writing on the wall for a few years now due to the corporate fiasco dealings with Bell Canada attempting to throttle/force caps on the smaller ISPs like TekSavvy (family owned/only 25K customers) simply because Bell owns the "last mile" of lines to the doorsteps. Tariffs are a bit different here in Canuckland but not so different than the U.S. to make me think we have it any better up here than Americans. The tariffs keep Bell in line only half of the time, though every once in a while some nut will say "well, its BELL's DSL lines..they can throttle/cap the resellers/wholesaler ISPs if they want!"...not admitting of course that Bell's "lines" were built by taxpayer funds. The PEOPLE owned the lines, not Bell.
Long story short, if Bell screwed their own wholesaler/reseller ISPs on throttling and are trying to FORCE TekSavvy into mandating 60gig caps similar to Bell's own caps (TekSavvy gives its customers unlimited at 40 per month)..why wouldnt they screw over their own customers with cable-like "theme" packs? The local cable co already does that to us in Ontario. Rogers cable does it too. Its the slowly-but-surely boiling frog maneuver these fatcats like to employ on their own customers.

The whole fiasco with my own Canadian situation resides in my Canadian (Bell) corporate fascists attempting to bully the small-family owned ISPs into forcing mandatory caps on its customers (TekSavvy). The ONLY reason Bell Sympatico intigated caps (they used to be unlimited a year or so ago but switched to 60 gig caps/month) was because they knew people were avoiding their Bell Expressview pay-per-view and downloading movies from the net instead..USenet, P2P, FTP, etc.

I hate to be a negative Nelly here but, I have a feeling that in a few years Bell will eventually try to block premium news service providers like EasyNews and Newshosting using the same excuses they use for P2P, namely that the 1% of heavy downloaders make the web experience intolerable for the other 99% of users..which of course is a fabricated lie.

287.2.2009 13:51
davidrose
Inactive

Bigger Faster go WORLD go

I think the faster the net gets the better off we'll all be. No matter what we need more more MORE

hahahaa

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 07 Feb 2009 @ 13:52

298.2.2009 9:57

ISP's are starting to put caps on bandwidth because they see the future. Streaming video, radio, music downloads, everything internet. They see the money machine. Inpose low caps now and rape the consumer later!

308.2.2009 14:43

This makes me sick. The only high-speed ISP that's available in my area is Charter, so I don't have any other options for my ISP. 100 GB a month might be reasonable, but I have no clue how much bandwidth my entire household uses. Since I've heard of ISPs limiting bandwidth, I've been monitoring my bandwidth, and my computer has been using under 4 GB a month for that past 7 months. However, my house has five computers networked along with a PS3, so I have no clue how close to that limit I'll be. Do routers exist that monitor the amount of bandwidth that goes to the modem?

Some of the above comments do make me question as to how they'll enforce this policy. If you already subscribe to their cable and HD lineup, do they care if you go over your limit versus if you only have their internet service and no cable tv, will they charge very much for going over? Either way, I don't like the idea that my internet use might become limited from always being an unlimited service. I hope they don't continue through with their plans, but I don't have much faith in that.

318.2.2009 15:21

By the way I dont know about anyone else but those speed test online cant be right I tried 20 or more stes and I got varing speeds from

Lowest I got was

1.5 dL
250k ul

But the highest I got and checked this on severl sites was

10500 DL
5678 ul

So tell me why the big difference in the site and the lowest one I got was from charter who i get internet from.

328.2.2009 16:08

Wolf, you're probably getting the same (similar) readings, just in different measurements. Go to http://www.speedtest.net and I'll show you what I mean.

1)find the yellow pyramid that is closest to you, click on it to start the test

2)after it is finished, click on "compare your results to others"

Here it will show you your speed in kilobits. 11869 is mine in kb/s. Now, on top it gives you the option to change how you view your results. If you change to kiloBYTES it would show 1186.9 Kb/s. If you changed it to megabits it would show 11.869 mb/s. Lastly, if you changed it to megaBYTES it would show 1.18 Mb/s. Hope that helps : )

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 08 Feb 2009 @ 16:28

338.2.2009 16:39

I gues now I get just a bit more then you 12385

348.2.2009 17:49

Originally posted by wolf123:
I gues now I get just a bit more then you 12385
Actually, I ran the test after using uTorrent (BitTorrent client) all day. My speeds right now are 13315 kb/s dl and 1862 kb/s upload. Not trying to play "mine is faster than yours" lol, however, I just upgraded from the 10M charter package to the 16M package because of reading this article. I figure if I am subscribing to their "best" package, when they start limiting bandwidth, they might give me a deal or something! Wishful thinking, I know... I actually should be getting closer to 16000 kb/s but it is almost 6' o' clock PM which is the time the most people are online using up bandwidth. What ISP are you using Wolf?

359.2.2009 16:11

Quote:
Originally posted by bassdog69:
windsong, This DOES sound like a future we want to avoid. However, this article and the subsequent comments are 3 YEARS old! I would have to think that ESPN has changed it's tune due to the fact that when I click on the site there are NO ISP restrictions shown at all. I think the idea of net neutrality is INCREASING every day. even though ISP's are going the broadband restriction route, I don't think we really have to worry about ala carte cable models permeating the web. Look at what happened to AOL. They started making deals with certain entertainment providers and people left them in droves. The whole REASON people are flocking to the net AWAY from cable is because they don't want to pay for programming that they never watch. I would be interested to hear your response : )
3 years old?
http://blog.wired.com/business/2009/02/espn-stands-fir.html

In any event, I have seen the writing on the wall for a few years now due to the corporate fiasco dealings with Bell Canada attempting to throttle/force caps on the smaller ISPs like TekSavvy (family owned/only 25K customers) simply because Bell owns the "last mile" of lines to the doorsteps. Tariffs are a bit different here in Canuckland but not so different than the U.S. to make me think we have it any better up here than Americans. The tariffs keep Bell in line only half of the time, though every once in a while some nut will say "well, its BELL's DSL lines..they can throttle/cap the resellers/wholesaler ISPs if they want!"...not admitting of course that Bell's "lines" were built by taxpayer funds. The PEOPLE owned the lines, not Bell.
Long story short, if Bell screwed their own wholesaler/reseller ISPs on throttling and are trying to FORCE TekSavvy into mandating 60gig caps similar to Bell's own caps (TekSavvy gives its customers unlimited at 40 per month)..why wouldnt they screw over their own customers with cable-like "theme" packs? The local cable co already does that to us in Ontario. Rogers cable does it too. Its the slowly-but-surely boiling frog maneuver these fatcats like to employ on their own customers.

The whole fiasco with my own Canadian situation resides in my Canadian (Bell) corporate fascists attempting to bully the small-family owned ISPs into forcing mandatory caps on its customers (TekSavvy). The ONLY reason Bell Sympatico intigated caps (they used to be unlimited a year or so ago but switched to 60 gig caps/month) was because they knew people were avoiding their Bell Expressview pay-per-view and downloading movies from the net instead..USenet, P2P, FTP, etc.

I hate to be a negative Nelly here but, I have a feeling that in a few years Bell will eventually try to block premium news service providers like EasyNews and Newshosting using the same excuses they use for P2P, namely that the 1% of heavy downloaders make the web experience intolerable for the other 99% of users..which of course is a fabricated lie.


windsong, I was referring to the first article you showed me which is going on 3 years old: http://news.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=...rom=rss
Although, now that you showed me this one, I am beginning to understand that ESPN is trying to change the entire model of how we are going to receive content from the internet in the future.
What steps (and this is for everyone) do you think we should take to reverse this process? Do you think an all out ban on ESPN is called for to nip this thing in the bud? Or are we already past that, maybe ? I for one, have no problem boycotting ESPN as I have grown increasingly apathetic to their programming, even though I am an avid sports fan.

3618.3.2011 12:21
wadebar
Unverified new user

Well I was thinking of switching to charter from U Verse but not now when you limit. you screw yourself.

375.4.2011 17:53

I got a call from Charter saying I cap my bandwidth, I'm like if you pay for a 18mb download speed for sure I'm going to share this with more than just one computer, and 250gb isn't really that much when you share this with 3 other computers. btw that 250gb is upload AND download!!! if you ever want to change to charter for a faster speed make sure you don't use any cuz if you do it's gonna cap that bandwidth. with a 18mb download speed you can cap that bandwidth within a week!!

3811.6.2011 15:39
dbcch
Unverified new user

Originally posted by windsong:
In 7 years no one will own hard drives except non-end users (i.e. corporations/companies). Everything will be "streamed". Music, video, apps, even games over FIOS. You'll login to your "PC" using a biometric device. Everything including bills, will be paid for online to phase out the cash economy.

Remember that Germany was an enlightened nation (i.e. Einstein, Von Braun, etc) prior to the Nazi takeover. If it can happen to them..
Wow, nostradomous lives!

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