U.S. ISP claims 5GB of downloads is too much

By Justin Mann on August 8, 2008, 8:23 PM
ISPs implementing bandwidth caps is something that has waxed and waned since the first days of the Internet, and is something that is coming back into focus as they look for ways to solve the issue of ever-increasing bandwidth demands. Comcast, for instance, has toyed with the idea of a 250GB monthly cap, something that on the surface seems reasonable.

Other ISPs are looking to be a little more draconian. One ISP in the U.S., for instance, apparently has decided that a mere 5GB of traffic is too much and can warrant termination. Only 5GB? Even though the ISP claims that they will not be terminating anyone who exceeds that, they are certainly making it clear that they see 5GB as excessive – and could decide to terminate if they saw it fit.

Were this 1997 and broadband a rare thing with Internet backbones in their infancy, I might understand. But today, when a few hours of streaming from Netflix or a few days of YouTube can burn that much data, it seems many ISPs have lost touch with reality on what constitutes “excessive” consumption. An interesting report based on documents uncovered from an ISP indicate that a lot of the bandwidth caps are being put in place to increase profit, not to combat a saturated network – which could easily leave a bad taste in the mouths of customers should they find out. While a bandwidth cap is something that is understandable, there is definitely a point where you leave the realm of providing “acceptable service” and simply start ripping off your customers.

User Comments: 9

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Cox ISP around here is the biggest rip off possibly! I know for a fact that my neighbors and I were getting shut off because we basically ran out of our bandwith. There totally in it for the money and it pisses us off so much!
windmill007 said:
I hope competition drives out these underdeveloped ISP with crappy networks. Those are the only ones worried about bandwidth. It should stay unlimited especially in today's multimedia world. People who see this as a good idea have no idea what the internet has to offer or how to get there.
Buckyg66 said:
It's about time we all faced the facts that the ISP's are having their pocketbooks lined with money from the movie industry. There's not much we can do about that unless someone can prove it.
Xempler said:
I agree some people do abuse the system and should be cut off. Especially if you're on shared bandwidth like cable internet where speeds are so damn slow because your neighbors likes to download full blu-ray movies 24/7.Having said that, 5GB/month is ridiculous. I'd like to know what ***** said that. In today's world of MP3's, online video, VOIP, etc, 5GB is nothing.
Shigawire said:
Hahaha.. 5gigabytes a month. There are 720 hours a month, 2`592`000 seconds. That means 5`000`000 kilobytes divided on 2`592`000 seconds. That's 1.9 Kilobytes per second, which translates to a measly 15kbit/sec. Why don't they just limit it to dual ISDN speed if that's what they want to do? :P
Old101 said:
Internet did very well without any taxes or restrictions on it, and I am opposed to add any now, no matter what form they take. If the download volumes are set too low people with only one ISP available will suffer most. In the short run we will all suffer untill competition takes care of the bad actors.I am surprised that the satellite companies have not been more aggressive in developing and promoting high speed, high capacity internet service. This would certainly take care of the remote areas.
eafshar said:
250gb sounds really good and pretty reasonable.. but 5gb?! what r they smoking?
howzz1854 said:
are they pointing us back to the stone age??i watch internet TV, and watch all my netflix on internet. not to mention other misc downloaded here and there and browsing. this is pathetic.
Quantex_rox said:
The problem with most satellite companies is that they have somewhat slow, unreliable connections, and they too have a point where they throttle your connection. At my friend's house, he has wildblue, and they are suppose to give him 128KB/s until he reaches 100GB, then slows down to 14KB/s. But it seems they just slowly throttle the connection, he can check and he has about 32GB so far, and his connection is down to 64KB/s. My other friend has a service that transmits the internet over a 900mhz radio wave, and you get a reciever for your house, and its hardly effected by weather, and it's unlimited and runs at about 350KB/s.
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