Comcast considers bandwidth cap for heavy downloaders

By on May 8, 2008, 7:52 PM
Unlimited bandwidth is almost regarded as a universal right in the United States – and many other developed nations – but the growing demand for music, videos, and peer-to-peer traffic has left ISPs scrambling for ways to avoid excessive burdens on their networks. And unfortunately – for bandwidth hogs, at least – one idea that has been gaining traction among providers is implementing a monthly download cap and overage charges.

That’s exactly what Comcast is looking into, according to Broadband Reports. While still in the early stages of development, the plan would see users getting a 250GB per month cap. Users would not be penalized if they crossed that limit once during a 12-month period, but if they did it again, they could be charged $15 for every 10GB they go over.

Many will take issue with Comcast’s proposed download cap, but Internet billing based on usage is certainly nothing new. Broadband provider Cox already places bandwidth caps on its customers, while Time Warner Cable is considering following suit as well. At least Comcast's proposed cap – though not official yet – seems high enough for most users.




User Comments: 15

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skitzo_zac said:
I wish I had a US interweb connection. I have a lame 512Kb/s with 12GB download limit.
Prosercunus said:
Glad I have Cable through a fairly small Broadband provider in the Midwest, they will never pull this crap and I get as fast or faster bandwidth then Comcast customers.
black_adder said:
Most UK ISP's do this already here, advertise "unlimited" broadband, then cut you're speed if you download to much... luckily I have a good ISP and they stick to their word. 8 meg connection and Unlimited... but I pay a little more than most other ISP's... Worth it
canadian said:
Here in Canada, I dont think you can actually get unlimited anymore. All the big names stopped offering it long ago. (Unless they got it back :D )
joppinkaru said:
250 GB...does that sound small to anybody else? I wouldn't pay premium Comcast fees to have capped internet. If an ISP is overloaded, I think it's an indication that they need hardware and connection upgrades.
neurosys said:
umm.. San diego Cox here... We dont have bandwidth caps so I dunno wtf that article is talking about. Premium Cable Net @ 12-20Megabits/second
neurosys said:
3megabits/second upload... shabby.. but not terrible...
gbe300 said:
Best thing ppl can do is stop using companies that are making the customers pay for their lack of planning or trying to spread a thin network over more ppl then it should support. All this companies worry about is their bottom line... If you use comcast or another provider that is trying to force this type of thing on you cancel your service with them. Move to another provider. In the end the only decision you can make is who you spend your money with. Make it count and use it to your advantage.
Xempler said:
Consider yourselves lucky....in Canada we're now capped at 30GB-60GB.Slowly but surely the big companies want you to spend your hard earned cash for Ultra High Speed....uh so you can just check your email.
canadian said:
Xempler, are you on Shaw also?
spydercanopus said:
ARGH!!! I hate corporations "owning" rights to the Internet!!! It should be free and unregulated not unlike most other forms of information.
spydercanopus said:
[b]Originally posted by gbe300:[/b][quote]Best thing ppl can do is stop using companies that are making the customers pay for their lack of planning or trying to spread a thin network over more ppl then it should support. All this companies worry about is their bottom line... If you use comcast or another provider that is trying to force this type of thing on you cancel your service with them. Move to another provider. In the end the only decision you can make is who you spend your money with. Make it count and use it to your advantage. [/quote]If you're like most small cities, you have only one or two broadband providers and switching is not an option. Internet providers have the same monopoly rights as telephone and cable television companies in smaller communities. There is nothing we can do... the Internet is at it's peak right now. Soon it will be heavily regulated, filtered and tiered.
jbs1951 said:
comcast thinks they are above the law because they help the gov to illegally spy on customers without penalty. how much bandwidth is too much? The internet is just another form of media up for grabs for total control and censorship, maybe even shut down in favor of a completely censored gov controlled version, much like the chinese model sought after by authoritarian govs. most cable companies have a monopoly so there is usually only one choice, or DSL is you are close. switching is not an option and they know it. In any case, high bandwidth users should be defined and true abusers are kinda sucking up everyone elses resources, and maybe they should be "capped" or pay more.
john_pulliam said:
Hell if are Comcast "considering" it: they've already DONE it, and had "secret" download/upload limits in place for a few years now, and using said limits to shut down selected users. WildBlue Satellite internet is doing so as well, and theirs is so restrictive that if you violate the "Fair Access Policy" *once*, you're throttled back to 26k down/14k up for the rest of the month; Hughsnet is nicer, in that they will throttle you to 56k u/d for 8-12 hours, and only consider a permanent throttle after many repeated violations of FAP.The problem is simple greed: *ALL* ISPs want to move to a per-byte subscription service, they're trying to make it happen now, as we speak. And if they manage to do it, you'll see the Internet collapse hard, much like the economy, to the point where it'll be the "dot.bomb bubble" all over again, with most companies associated with the web going under, and the remainder struggling to justify their web presences, or even remain solvent. "Web Content", as we know it now, will just flat go away, because who's going to pay anything to download extra stuff that's mostly about as compelling as a puddle of goo on the floor? I'd rather do something real like build a hotrod or electrocute frogs. And I suspect there's many more who feel the same way.
Night Hacker said:
[b]Originally posted by canadian:[/b][quote]Here in Canada, I dont think you can actually get unlimited anymore. All the big names stopped offering it long ago. (Unless they got it back :D )[/quote]I'm in Canada, and am on Cogeco Cable, get awesome speed and, although there is a limit stated in your agreement, they have never enforced it. I had a friend who monthly went well over his limit and never got charged. I have never even come close to it, I think it is something like 6gigs.250G/year seems VERY reasonable, heck, it's downright generous.
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