Comcast Tool Shows You Just How Great Metered Broadband Is

Lucky Comcast customers in the Portland, OR, area got a new treat today: The cable giant rolled out a test of its new web-based bandwidth-usage meter, so that customers on metered access plans can see just what they’re getting for their money. Comcast says the online meter is “designed to be simple and easy to use and will help customers better understand how much data they consume in a month.”

The meter will track the customer’s broadband usage over the most recent three months. It won’t track usage by device or application, so it won’t help resolve those family squabbles over who hogged the most bandwidth; you’ll still have to use your router’s logs for that. It also won’t update in real-time; there’s roughly a three-hour delay between internet usage and meter refreshes. So, if you’re bumping up against Comcast’s 250GB per month limit, and you want to make sure your next WoW session doesn’t put you over the edge, you’re out of luck. Of course, that’s pretty much already the case if you’re on a metered bandwidth plan, and shiny charts aren’t going to change that.

Comcast Data Usage Meter Launches [Comcast Voices]

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  1. Kitamura says:

    Hey, at least their version updates with only 3 hour lag. My ISP has a 60GB/month soft cap and their bandwidth tracking meter is often 3-5 days behind the actual time.

  2. jdmba says:

    Oh … what will those wacky monopolies thing of next …

  3. Starfury says:

    250 GB is a lot of data to transfer for normal use/gaming. it’s when you start torrenting movies/music/TV shows that you really start to use a lot of bandwidth.

    Personally: I don’t like it. It’s just one more way for the various ISP to charge more.

    • aficionado says:

      I just transferred 29 GB of data that I need to do my job. It would have been 38 GB if I didn’t compress it before the transfer.

      The problem is that they sell capacity that they don’t have banking on the fact that people generally don’t use much. Well and the money from the Feds to upgrade the network that never made it to capital improvements.

      • supercereal says:

        Well to be fair, if you’re legitimately using that much for work, then you should be paying for a business connection. For the casual home user, 250 GB is a lot for a single month.

        • aficionado says:

          No, I shouldn’t. They advertise it as unlimited. It’s hardly my fault that they don’t have the capacity for the rates they advertise.

          • supercereal says:

            1) No they don’t. I guarantee you that you will never find any advertised mention of “unlimited” internet access from Comcast.
            2) You’re the perfect example of the consumer who expects the world, but doesn’t actually want to pay for what they use

    • Gorbachev says:

      You have heard of Hulu and Internet radio, have you not?

      You can use that sort of bandwidth completely legitimately these days without even trying too hard.

      • Jerkface says:

        In my house, there are two computers streaming hulu nearly all day. My mom even leaves it on all night after shes gone to bed. We both use pandora till the monthly limit is reached. I torrent the shows I want to watch that aren’t on hulu including other stuff. I also play online games. And stream porn. I even seed my torrents. Never even gotten close to the 250gb mark in 30 days.

  4. Quatre707 says:

    Comcast will use this tool as an excuse to start an onslaught of threatening e-mails and phone calls, followed by reducing customer bandwidth and/or disconnecting service. Soon Comcast is going to try out various new service plans, such as 5GB a month, 50GB a month, 250GB a month bandwidth tiers…. and before you can blink the 250GB a month cap will cost much more than it does now.

    Comcast has been my ISP since 2001, and my cable provider for 20 years. The only reason is I live in South East Michigan where each residential area only has a single broadband ISP option unless they choose a cellular or satellite ISP. There is no competition, and it disgusts me.

    • splink says:

      I too live in SE Michigan. There ARE other options. Try http://www.wowway.com, we switched a few years back and would consider foregoing cable and internet before returning to Comcast. Wow offers GREAT customer service and knowledgeable techs…two things that Comcast isn’t even close to being able to claim.

      • friday3 says:

        Wowway is not available in all of the area. For television I went to DirectV about 12 years ago. I still am forced to use Comcast for high speed internet because DSL would cost a LOT more and be significantly slower. I really would like to see tiered service similar to cell phones. I don’t want to subsidize the guy who is using 100 times as much bandwidth as I am. When I go to the grocery store i do not want to be charged for what the average guys spends, I prefer to pay for what I use. If I want or need an “unlimited” plan, then I should be willing to pay for that. More importantly, I want competition.

        • Quatre707 says:

          Not wanting to pay the same as someone who uses a service less if understandable, but please keep in mind that bandwidth is not a consumed resource like food. It doesn’t work that way.

          Let’s take an example of a small hospital. They’d lease a 10mbps up/down line with guaranteed 99.9% up-time and 99.0% bandwidth reliability. If that speed drops, or the line goes down, than the ISP will loose a lot of money due to failing to meet their agreed upon service level agreement.

          Now let’s take an example of a small neighborhood. An cable ISP will provide a neighborhood with a set amount of bandwidth, let’s say a total of 25mbps, and than sell this to 25 customers who all have either a 1mbps 6mbps or 12mbps service package. Than the ISP will install a device that automatically changes bandwidth levels per household based on real-time automatic traffic monitoring, and spread it evenly amongst their customers.
          So the traffic is unfairly and automatically split among customers and residential customers have almost no guaranteed availability, and no guaranteed speeds. Perhaps this is acceptable to some people I guess (not me).
          Implementing monthly caps will not fix this issue. It is only a scare tactic.It will only lead to even more unfair pricing, for both customers who rarely use their connections and those that use it heavily. But worse above all else… it will put American ISPs in a position where they feel less inclined to upgrade their network infrastructure, and in case you haven’t noticed compared to most of the world the American Internet infrastructure is a slow out of date piece of crap.

          Selling per total bandwidth consumed over a time period makes no sense because bandwidth will still be just as used during peak times of day…God it’s so difficult making a statement to change a person’s mind on this topic without getting very technical =(

          • greeneyedguru says:

            Bandwidth isn’t mana, it’s not a magic resource. Every bit traverses actual gear that is paid for by the operator. There are costs associated with running that gear. Power, depreciation, real estate costs, etc. So yes, bandwidth is ‘consumed’ as a resource, in that it uses capacity on real equipment.

            Whether the company is making a ‘fair’ profit vs. costs is a different discussion, and in areas where Comcast has a monopoly, they could wind up gouging, but gouge too much and they could lose their monopoly.

  5. ForestGrump says:

    I have NO IDEA how to log into my comcrap account. Yes, I subscribe to comcrap intarweb services, but I use them for data and only data. email? webmail? comcast.net? nope. never touched that comcrap.

    • Nytmare says:

      If I remember, to get email or web page service from Comcast you would create a new online account with them (at comcast.com?), which is validated with the account number from your bill or related info.

      Also keep in mind that Comaster provides additional software that looks like a driver disc. But none of it is necessary to use the Internet, and one of the components customizes IE to be Comcast branded, so don’t install it.

  6. Thanatos says:

    I have my DD-WRT router keeping track of my bandwidth my average day when im not downloading *legallinuxdistros* is at least 5GBs from just streaming and and all my other usual surfing so for me metered would kill me.

  7. theSuperman says:

    I installed custom firmware on my router, and one of the features of it shows your bandwidth usage. I use (on average) about 25-30 gigs a month. Installing the custom firmware was very easy to do, and I think it would be good for anyone on metered bandwidth to easily and instantly check their bandwith usage.

    The two popular ones that I am somewhat familiar with are DD-WRT and Tomato (Which is what I use).

    • Nakko says:

      Tomato is quite nice! I have it on both my main wifi AP, and my wireless ethernet bridge (yay). I love little free hacky tools that add value like this. I have looked at the bandwidth usage graphs once before, but I forgot they were there until I read this post.

  8. aficionado says:

    Comcast…oh the 4-letter words I could write.

    It took almost two months to close an account in GA, just internet where I owned all the equipment, and today I am still getting calls that I need to turn in my modem three months after it was closed. The people call, they can’t do anything when I explain the case; the Comcast Reps finally removed the equipment today from the account. We shall see if that stops the calls.

    I kept getting bills for the former account in GA to the point where they were racking up late charges. I’d call (404) COMCAST and the reps would say don’t worry about it. Finally it was resolved and I got my check for $12. You’d think that since the modems need to be whitelisted, that an account could be closed without a truck roll two weeks after the lease is up.

    In VA (near DC), I had an appointment made two weeks in advance but no one showed up. The tech claimed that they called me. Fat chance. I was sitting there the whole time. It took another month to get them to come. Turns out that the reps told me that I couldn’t self install, even though I did and it worked for a week. Then they promptly killed access because they didn’t have my information. How the hell do you get an account number without giving them the info? Finally got a tech out and it took an hour and a half to install. The incompetence is mind blowing.

    And another thing, the exact same service in GA costs $42.95, but it’s $57.95 in VA.

    If you are wondering why I put up with this, I work from home doing engineering design and needed the bandwidth that DSL can’t match. I hope FIOS gets to my place soon.

    • gliff159 says:

      actually comcast pricing in my area of VA, (Gainesville) is 42.95 or 59.95 for the regular plan. got one of those channel guides from comcast for my tv and it says so on the back

  9. dreamsneverend says:

    So happy my provider Bright House scoffs at this type of crap .

  10. Thaddeus says:

    I can see a time where all internet bandwidth is going to end up like gas or electricity: totally metered. Eventually internet providers are going to see that they can get more by charging $15 a month to have an account with amazing speed and then 10¢ a MB or what-have-you.

  11. daveinva says:

    ANNNNND… *that’s* why I love my FIOS, ladies and gentlemen.

    I’m really enjoying the Comcast commercials advertising people leaving FIOS to return to cable. Ummmm, really? Good God, my FIOS makes my Comcast look like dial-up. And unlike Comcast, no neighborhood lag, it’s never out of service (seriously– in nearly three years, I’ve had not one outage; with Comcast, I had an outage biweekly, at least).

    Anyway, sorry if this sounds like a Verizon ad… but I’ve gotta praise what deserves praise.

    • TonyK says:

      We keep waiting for Uverse in Knoxville. FIOS might be good but is also unavailable. So I’m on DSL until something better comes along.

    • Hooray4Zoidberg says:

      Are we sure Fios doesn’t have any hidden limits. This Comcast 250GB limit has been secretly in place for years and resulted in a few power users having thier accounts suspended only now with hulu and netflix streaming are normal users hitting this limit.

      I would be generally surprised if Verizon didn’t have a limit as well. We all know that unlimited now means, unlimited up to the limit. Just like the unlimited data plan for my iPhone has a 5GB cap.

      • daveinva says:

        They’ve never advertised any limits, and if they have them, I’d certainly be caught by them (I do a LOT of traffic on my FIOS line– easily over 250 GB a month (video effects renders get big). Never experienced any throttling at all.

  12. SecretAgentWoman says:

    Oh joy, I was very upset when per-minute internet usage pricing went the way of the dinosaur and was hoping I could be nickled and dimed to death once again from my ISP.

  13. dwb says:

    If 99% of Comcast’s customers use far less than 250GB per month, then why the metering at all? How are they going to convince us that we’ll save money by being metered, when we know they aren’t doing this for our benefit?

    • Nakko says:

      That’s a good point. If 99% of folks are utilizing their internet connection at such a low rate, then Comcast should look at those folks as some sort of bandwidth windfall, rather than look at the 1% going over 250GB/mo as “ruining it for the rest of us”.

      People pay for unlimited high-speed internet, and how dare they use it?

      • Quatre707 says:

        Call Comcast Internet customer service, talk to retentions (option 4), or Downgrade service (option 3), and ask the question. Listen very carefully to the very scripted response. You’ll laugh until you can’t breath when you realize their statement makes no sense.

  14. aficionado says:

    What exactly is “far less?”  Order of magnitude? 50%?

    The world may never know.

  15. XianZomby says:

    Good on Comcast for making metered bandwidth possible. I look forward to the day when the guy living in my building who downloads bootleg movies 24/7 and slows down the network for everybody gets charged a ba** busting $1000 a month for his usage. It’s nice when somebody can say “hey freeloading punk, the party’s over. The world doesn’t owe you free music, free television, free movies or free net access. If you want 500GB a month, then pay for it. Otherwise, starve.”

    About time.

    • SecretAgentWoman says:

      I’m curious why you are angry at an enthusiastic downloader and not your ISP for not adequately providing stable bandwidth to your building?

      • cerbie_the_orphan says:

        Maybe he doesn’t realize that we have fancy new technology that can do both at the same time. Well, for definitions of ‘we’ that do not include Comcast subscribers, I guess.

      • sonneillon says:

        A lot of what he said confused me.

    • r081984 says:

      People do pay for it. The problem is comcast is not using your money for your neighborhoods connection and is overselling your node.
      A network is full of fixed costs per connection and lines. If the network is at 0% usage or 100% usage it costs the same. When you pay your $50 monthly fee you are subsidizing the fixed costs of the network and the line to your house. It makes no sense to charge by the byte because that prevents you from fully using the connection you paid for.

      Don’t blame your neighbors, blame comcast for trying to milk free money out of a node by overselling it.

    • Trai_Dep says:

      Or, in other words, “You kids – get off my dial-up lawn. SHOO!”

    • Razor512 says:

      the problem is that your neighbor should not be able to slow you down.

      if a company sells 3 homes in your neighborhood and 1 neighbor decided to be a pack-rat and store a lot of stuff in their home, would that cause you to have less space in your home?

      the problem with comcast is they oversell their service, they don’t have enough bandwidth to go around and capping the transfer wont fix it, the only fix is to reduce everyone’s speed or have the ISP upgrade their equipment

      but they don’t want to do this because every thing you oversell is 100% profit, if you only have enough bandwidth so support 100 users and you register 150 users in the area, then the first 100 users may make you a 90% profit and the next 50 users will make you 100% profit,

      it is like owning a pizza shop and 2 customers order a large pizza but you only have 1 left, so you sell the one to the first customer then take the money of the second customer and give them nothing, the first customer made you like 80% profit while the second customer made you 100% profit because he paid you but you gave him nothing

      ISP’s like to oversell because it is profitable

      the metered bandwidth is designed to indirectly control what people do online. comcast doesn’t want you using netflix streaming because ti takes away from their on demand so they cap the bandwidth so your left deciding between streaming some netflix this month or letting you child use the internet to look up information for his or her research paper

      physical example

      suppose the government became a flight service provider where they control all of the rules for airplanes, suppose they wanted to stop the use of all planes because they wanted people to use their helicopters which makes them money, they could do this easily with out actually banning the use planes. they can impose a height cap, no one is allowed to fly above 500 feet. helicopters can handle this but a 747 cant, you have successfully indirectly prevented the use of planes by making it infeasible to use them.

      metered bandwidth will only hurt the internet. it is the ISP’s way of saving money by not upgrading their 20 year old equipment. and while 250GB may seem like a lot for someone who only uses their computer to check email, for many others it is too low

      and in the years to come, 250GB may be too small to do anything online.

      it is like back in the early 90’s when people were saying that you will never need more than 128MB of ram, (guess what, we have systems at 32GB of ram now)

      what seems a lot now for some will be too small later on

      also you should not complain about what your neighbor does online. do you complain about your neighbor watching too much TV and should be charged more for it, do you complain that your neighbor uses his house too much and thus should have a higher rent or mortgage
      do you complain about your neighbor using his car too much and thus should have a higher interest rate on it for paying the car off?

      then you shouldn’t complain about internet usage. if their usage is causing problems for your connection then the problem is with the ISP, not them as the ISP has oversold in your area and needs better networking equipment to handle all of the users.

      people got pissed off when frys oversold TV’s why not get angry when a ISP oversells bandwidth, if they only have 200Mbit/s of bandwidth available to your area, and they sell 400Mbit/s worth of bandwidth then they are overselling and not everyone is going to get what they paid for

      if frys refused to give those people their money back there would have been a major legal storm heading their way, but guess what comcast is doing that to you right now and no one seems to be complaining enough or taking enough action they are just taking your money

  16. Giolon says:

    Wow, Comcast promised this feature would be available by January 2009 back in late 2008 when they first announced their explicit 250GB usage cap. This is the speed of Comcast?

  17. r081984 says:

    This is horrible. Comcast is limiting the internet and it is wrong.
    Now you can’t use any video service or device like slingbox with them.
    They are limiting you to 8GB a day.
    This limits you to 3 netflix movies a day at current sizes.
    This would limit you to 4 hours of 1 TV channel a day with a remote slingbox. Don’t forget and leave it on or you will hit your cap in 5 days.
    Hopefully you don’t have to recover your online backup of your files.

    The internet is always getting more bandwidth intensive.
    If consumers don’t stop this crap now, the internet will be limited by ISPs like comcast and they will also block competition with internet TV services.

    • supercereal says:

      If you’re transferring 3 movies and 4 hours of TV each and every day, then I would highly recommend some form of employment.

      • r081984 says:

        It is OR not AND.
        They are limiting you to 8GB a day which can be
        3 netflix movies a day at current sizes
        OR
        4 hours of 1 TV channel a day

        That is not counting online gaming (Xbox, WOW, PS3, etc), hulu, youtube, websites, VOIP, video chat, work emails, etc.

        Just imagine if you have a family of 4 sharing 250 GB.

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          no kidding. during the time i rented a room from my sister, my internet useage while watching something on my roku, her internet useage for work and my brother in law blogging movie reviews while watching his roku – we’d have been crippled with metered bandwidth

      • azntg says:

        Better consider making better recommendations – with some jobs, your wage (and employment status) will be on the line if you don’t watch those TV shows and films.

    • d says:

      This is Comcrap’s plan. They DON’T want you to watch TV or stream videos across the Internet connection because that means you might just blink and say “Hey, honey… why do we have cable TV when we get everything we want on the Web?”

      Cable TV is a freekin rip off an they know it. But combine the subscription fee with the fact that they also sell commercials – lots of commercials, on ever damn channel and even on the guide, and you see why they’re having a panic attack about all the content available on the Web…

      The BEST, absolute BEST thing I ever did in my life was to tell Comcrap to bend and flush…

    • Trai_Dep says:

      I also (dis)like how they capture this moment in amber, saying that xGB/month is a limit that only y% currently use. Knowing full well that today’s x, y values of 250, 1 will be 250, 80 in eighteen months… Just in time for them to nab the new median as “over-users”.

  18. PSUSkier says:

    Y’know, I generally try to stay calm towards people, and even though I have a Time Warner Internet account: F#%K YOU COMCAST. You’re setting an awful precedence. Upgrade your damn network to support the people on it.

    • VagrantRadio says:

      Being a Comcast user, I agree. I left a comment on the Voices blog, let’s see if it gets approved.

  19. zlionsfan says:

    And to think that based on the headline, I thought this post was going to be about a person at Comcast …

  20. PHRoG says:

    Up next, charging for power usage by the number of people in your home!

  21. Tech Guy+ says:

    I work for a medium size company of about 90 people our average daily aggregate data transfer is 6 GB per day including those that stream media. 250 GB is a lot of transfer for a month for residential users…..

    • morlo says:

      Maybe you work in a plumbing company, but you’re not much a tech guy if you’d be happy with less than 50MB/day since you are at home.

    • Trai_Dep says:

      5GB/day?! That wouldn’t even cover my amputee subcategory, let alone my midget one.

    • brodie7838 says:

      I’m with morlo, you guys must not use much bandwidth at all. Last month the 2 of us in my house used 558.5 GB.

    • QuantumRiff says:

      Each Hulu Standard Def 30Min episode is around 350-450MB, i’ve been told. Hi-Def uses even more. That is the entire reason for the cap, to keep you paying for cable. (I don’t have cable service in my area, and don’t want to deal with satellite)

  22. JonBoy470 says:

    Apologies in advance for the length…

    Comcast’s attempts to cap high speed internet usage are disingenuous at best. They are attempting to instill a mindset that bandwidth is a “scarce” resource that is finite over time. In reality, bandwidth is infinite over time; the only limit is in the rate at which it can be used (i.e. how fast the connection is.)

    The truth is that Comcast (and every ISP, really) massively oversubscribes the back-haul on their network. So they sell “6Mbps Internet” to 500 customers in a subdivision (for a total of 3000Mbps) but have only, say, a 100Mbps Internet connection supporting those users. Their business model is predicated on users actually using much less than their max bandwidth over time, as their system would be unable to handle the load if everyone got on the Internet at the same time.

    In the short-term, the geek up the street is simply using a higher percentage of the bandwidth that Comcast is selling him. That usage does represent a disproportionately large percentage of the data flowing over the (massively) oversubscribed backhaul connection. Comcast has the choice to either limit those users’ usage, or increase the capacity of their backhaul. The latter option costs (lots of) money, while the former is essentially free.

    The end-game is heading off Internet video. Comcast currently makes a large amount of money providing TV service to their customers, who pay for this service in addition to their Internet service. An Internet video service, be it Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, iTunes or whatever could very well entice subscribers to ditch their cable TV service, if it was sufficiently compelling and/or offered picture quality and content in league with traditional cable TV. A customer who cancels their cable TV service, and subsequently gets their TV content via their Internet connection and some sort of Internet “set-top box” is a subscriber who now makes Comcast significantly less revenue, while taxing the Internet backhaul that much more.

    The cable TV industry has watched in horror the death-spiral that residential phone service is in. The entire local phone service industry is circling the drain because normal folks have discovered that the combination of their cell phone and VOIP (be it Vonage, Skype, AIM, whatever) serves their needs with greater convenience at at lower (or even no) cost. Personally, I know only a couple of people under the age of 40 who still bother having land-lines in their homes.

    Absent action on their part, Comcast (and the rest of the cable TV industry) is only 5 or so years away from having the same scenario play out, but with “cable TV”. Their only hope is to “dumb down” their Internet service to make it an ineffective substitute for their video service. The alternative is to spend massive sums upgrading their infrastructure to provide acceptable service, only to have their customers use that Internet service for video and jettison the dedicated TV service.

    The inevitable result of this is that average revenue per subscriber would decline. The Internet is just that good a general purpose pipe that it can replace just about any service specialized to deliver a specific kind of data, such as voice or video. This is, incidentally, the real reason ISP’s are so dead-set against net neutrality. Net neutrality enforces the idea that the ISP cannot prevent any kind of data from flowing through their pipes. It prevents cable ISP’s from preventing their subscribers from using their Internet service to replace their video service.

    In the end, that geek down the street is simply doing today what all of us will be doing in 5 or 10 years.

    • cerbie_the_orphan says:

      Which is kind of ironic, since if they upgraded the network regularly, they could be the ones providing such video (but only to their IPs), at no added cost from your normal TV+Internet plan, and not have to fuss with caps and such.

  23. Geekybiker says:

    What these caps are really about is protecting their Video services. Start streaming HD video alot and you can pop the 250gb cap without a terrible lot of effort. They want to make it cost effective for you to keep their video service for another $60 a month instead of just streaming the video you want. The overage charges are insane. Bandwidth is simply not that expensive.

  24. nucwin83 says:

    Does this mean Comcast posters on Consumerist will be making shorter posts in order to save bandwidth? Maybe purposefully disemvowel themselves? Save the bits!

  25. smcorr says:

    I honestly don’t see the problem with this. IF…..

    The people who use less pay less and the people who use more pay more. If the current rates people are paying are the starting point, then this isn’t fair. But if there is a lower priced tier, say 20 bucks a month for people who use less than 25gb, then I could call metered pricing fair.

    I’m pretty sure we can all assume that won’t happen and your ISP bill will stay the same and go up if you use more.

  26. Razor512 says:

    if a company sells 3 homes in your neighborhood and 1 neighbor decided to be a pack-rat and store a lot of stuff in their home, would that cause you to have less space in your home?

    the problem with comcast is they oversell their service, they don’t have enough bandwidth to go around and capping the transfer wont fix it, the only fix is to reduce everyone’s speed or have the ISP upgrade their equipment

    but they don’t want to do this because every thing you oversell is 100% profit, if you only have enough bandwidth so support 100 users and you register 150 users in the area, then the first 100 users may make you a 90% profit and the next 50 users will make you 100% profit,

    it is like owning a pizza shop and 2 customers order a large pizza but you only have 1 left, so you sell the one to the first customer then take the money of the second customer and give them nothing, the first customer made you like 80% profit while the second customer made you 100% profit because he paid you but you gave him nothing

    ISP’s like to oversell because it is profitable

    the metered bandwidth is designed to indirectly control what people do online. comcast doesn’t want you using netflix streaming because ti takes away from their on demand so they cap the bandwidth so your left deciding between streaming some netflix this month or letting you child use the internet to look up information for his or her research paper

    physical example

    suppose the government became a flight service provider where they control all of the rules for airplanes, suppose they wanted to stop the use of all planes because they wanted people to use their helicopters which makes them money, they could do this easily with out actually banning the use planes. they can impose a height cap, no one is allowed to fly above 500 feet. helicopters can handle this but a 747 cant, you have successfully indirectly prevented the use of planes by making it infeasible to use them.

    metered bandwidth will only hurt the internet. it is the ISP’s way of saving money by not upgrading their 20 year old equipment. and while 250GB may seem like a lot for someone who only uses their computer to check email, for many others it is too low

    and in the years to come, 250GB may be too small to do anything online.

    it is like back in the early 90’s when people were saying that you will never need more than 128MB of ram, (guess what, we have systems at 32GB of ram now)

    what seems a lot now for some will be too small later on

    also you should not complain about what your neighbor does online. do you complain about your neighbor watching too much TV and should be charged more for it, do you complain that your neighbor uses his house too much and thus should have a higher rent or mortgage
    do you complain about your neighbor using his car too much and thus should have a higher interest rate on it for paying the car off?

    then you shouldn’t complain about internet usage. if their usage is causing problems for your connection then the problem is with the ISP, not them as the ISP has oversold in your area and needs better networking equipment to handle all of the users.

    people got pissed off when frys oversold TV’s why not get angry when a ISP oversells bandwidth, if they only have 200Mbit/s of bandwidth available to your area, and they sell 400Mbit/s worth of bandwidth then they are overselling and not everyone is going to get what they paid for

    if frys refused to give those people their money back there would have been a major legal storm heading their way, but guess what comcast is doing that to you right now and no one seems to be complaining enough or taking enough action they are just taking your money

  27. vladthepaler says:

    I wonder if the many Comcast-haters of the world will use this to up their bandwidth usage? A few days left in the month, I notice I’ve used only 50GB, so I set my computer to use up all that outstanding bandwidth. I’m paying for it whether I use it or not, I don’t imagine unused bandwidth will carry over to the next month…

  28. pot_roast says:

    In addition to these new monthly caps (which affect ALL Comcast customers, don’t they?) they’re also throttling you, even with their “SpeedBoost.”
    I really hope that Verizon never does this with FIOS. It’s as if the days of broadband innovation in the United States were smooshed dead. And there goes Comcast, saying that “only 1% of users are using more than 250gb” line again. :|

  29. mastermumbler says:

    I got a phone call on November 7th from a Comcast employee informing me that I used up more than my share of GB. They nicely informed me that I was allowed to go over this limit once, and that next time I would be cut off from the internets for a period of one year. When asked how many GB I had consumed as so far in November I was informed of their inability to monitor this in anything close to real time, resorting to meter reading once a month, after the period of measurement was well in the past. Can Comcast expect to enforce this policy before provisions are made to monitor bandwidth without a class action lawsuit? Or are few enough consumers affected that there will be no class action suit?

  30. theblackdog says:

    Fuck Comcast. I regularly stream video from Netflix to my Roku box, and I will continue to do so.

    Verizon, if you go this route, I will have no problem dropping my DSL with you guys and finding another ISP

    • Rachacha says:

      But if Verizon, and Comcast and all of the ISPs decide to cap your bandwidth (which it could ultimately come to) then who will you go to?

      • theblackdog says:

        Maybe it’s time to move out of the country then, I hear Japan has great broadband (though their immigration laws suck!).

  31. BenChatt says:

    My brother in law apparently drank the Comcast Kool-Aid and switched to them from Qwest for speed reasons (which is understandable). When I bristled at the bandwidth restrictions he’d fettered himself with, he made it sound like I was being unreasonable. “Are you really going to use all that bandwidth?”

    No, I’m not. But I’m also not going to deal with a company that’s going to give me crappy customer service AND cap my usage when there are other ISPs out there that have crappy customer service but DON’T cap my usage. ISPs without crappy customer service? I’m still working on figuring out if that exists…

  32. Englishee Teacher says:

    When I lived in France, I had an 8Gb per month cap. I only exceeded it once.