Do you remember 2007? Way back then in the long-long ago times, movies came on physical discs and you binge-watched a TV series by happening to turn on the TV while a Law and Order marathon was running. Now, however, it seems like basically everything streams to us over the internet… and basically the whole internet, or at least a huge fraction of it, is for streaming.
If you’re in the United States, and you use the internet of an evening after work, then chances are you like your Netflix. In fact, chances are you like your Netflix a lot. And millions of other Americans seem to agree with you, because Netflix is taking up a huge amount of all prime-time internet traffic in the country.
Though the FCC narrowly voted to approve the new Open Internet Order (AKA net neutrality) several months ago, the rules don’t actually kick in until June 12. Yet with those new guidelines looming, some Internet service providers are already beginning to play nice with the companies that do most of the heavy lifting for the web. [More]
After reading the story about the guy whose internet was shut off for a year by Comcast as punishment for breaching their data cap, reader Brian tried to check out his Comcast bandwidth meter. He did not want to have the same fate befall him. However, when he got to the screen, all the data and graphs that had been there months before were gone. Comcast told him that the bandwidth meter isn’t working for some customers but gave him a number to call if he needed to check on his data consumption.
Jodi writes that while she doesn’t agree with Comcast’s habit of turning off customers’ Internet access due to “excessive usage,” while she’s their customer, she intends to play by their rules. This would be a lot easier if her usage meter didn’t indicate that her household used more bandwidth than should have been technically feasible.
Gen fears Comcast is choking his bandwidth because he’s streamed too many TV shows. He keeps getting suspicious messages that say his internet connection has slowed when he tries to watch episodes of Law & Order: SVU.
Remember when you called up your ISP and, after an unholy modem screech, were billed for every minute you spent online? (Actually, it occurs to me that many Consumerist readers probably don’t remember this.) If ISPs’ current efforts pay off, we may all soon be paying for every little byte of Internet that we use.
Last week, we brought you the story of Mick, whose dedicated server was compromised and he was hit with $5700 in bandwidth charges. Many readers, especially those working in the field, had questions about the particulars of his plan and contract with the Web host. The company, Servepath, contacted us with those details, as well as some crucial background information.
Hannah needs some more training, because her knowledge of Comcast’s bandwidth cap is less than Comcastic. We also think calling her an “analyst” is maybe stretching it a bit.
If you live in Rochester, NY, Austin or San Antonio, TX, or Greensboro, NC, your broadband access from TWC is about to be capped. The company is expanding its trial run from Beaumont, TX to these additional four cities, where TWC broadband customers will have to choose one of the company’s tiers of service—anywhere from 5GB to 40GB per month. DSL Reports notes that all five markets lack Verizon’s FiOS as an option, and TWC faces little to no competition from other providers.
Time Warner Cable is running a pilot program in Texas where they’re metering your bandwidth usage and charging extra if you exceed your monthly allotment. This also gives them the opportunity to create a tiered system where you pay more for more bandwidth. Richard is a TWC Texas customer, and his story is a good example of how things work in a tiered, metered system like this. The bottom line: if metered broadband comes to your area, get used to paying extra to take advantage of things like Hulu (which is free) or Netflix video streaming (which you already pay for).
The Wall Street Journal and Ars Technica are reporting that the RIAA has announced a fairly dramatic change in its strategy to fight piracy.
Reader Michael forwarded Comcast’s official warning about the new 250 GB download cap that they’ve added (or rather, that they’ve now admitted to) in their Acceptable Use Policy. The cap has been in place for some time, but Comcast is just now getting around to telling everyone about it.
“When AT&T provides broadband service by speed, it will do so in discrete, non-overlapping tiers,” Quinn said in written testimony. “We will strive to provide service within the speed tier purchased by the customer and, if we find that we are not providing service within the ordered speed tier, AT&T will take action either to bring the customer’s service within the ordered tier or give the customer an option to move to a different tier.”
Time Warner Cable is going ahead with a test of metered internet, starting Thursday, for new customers in Beaumont, Texas. The metered billing is TWC’s proposed answer to the problem of bandwidth hogging super users.
Bandwidth caps could make Video Relay Service calls much more expensive for deaf consumers.
“…it will not bode well for their Deaf customers who depend on VRS (Video Relay Service) to make their phone calls. All of sudden, it gets a lot more expensive for Deaf people to have internet at home.