Consumer Outrage at NTL Download Cap

By Phantasm66 · 14 replies
Feb 11, 2003
  1. According to The Reg, NTL customers in the UK who could be effected by a possible download cap from their service provider, NTL, have been taking the whole prospect really rather badly. In case you didn't know, NTL provides an "all-in-one" package covering telephone, cable TV and cable modem connection at a variety of bandwidths.

    "Angry NTL customers are trying to drum up support for a public demonstration of defiance against the cableco following its decision to cap its broadband service.

    Some are calling for a "mass cancellation" of their service on Valentine's Day (this Friday) while others want to use the day simply to disconnect from the service in a bid to register their dissatisfaction.

    Now, I am an NTL customer, and so far, a happy one. Otherwise I would switch to ASDL. I don't download anything like 1GB a day, generally, but if I want to then I should be able to. I pay the £25 per month or whatever to download as much as I like, using the bandwidth that I have paid for. Hacking your cable modem so that it breaks the bandwidth cap and so forth is wrong. Its stealing. But using the bandwidth I have paid for to the best of its capabilities isn't. Stop me from doing so, and you are stealing from me.

    If that level of activity is detrimental to NTL's cable modem service overall, then they need to upgrade their networking infrastructure. They have to improve the technology used in their service to reflect the increasing number of users.

    "It's clear that NTL has badly misjudged opposition to this move. "

    More here.
  2. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 5,734   +8

    There's an official statement from NTL here.
  3. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 993

    1.00GB aint bad at all, my download quota is like 2.0GB every 30 days.
  4. Cucumber

    Cucumber TS Rookie Posts: 154

    I've had NTL Broadband since it came out nearly 2years ago.

    At the time, it was super fast, because i was like the only person in my town using it! But over the last few months, it has become ridiculously slow:mad: and i've phoned up several times to complain!

    I think this idea isnt so stupid, but there should be different limits for people with the different connections.

  5. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 5,734   +8

    Even at about 70kbps, you can download 1/2 GB in about 3 hours.

    On average on NTL broadband, this is the kind of speed I for downloads.

    This means that you can download 1GB in 6 hours, or 4GB per day.

    If I've paid for 512kbps, I should be able to download as much as I want, that's possible within the capabilities of my bandwidth.

    If that slows down the NTL network for other users, then NTL need to invest in a network infrastructure that supports the users that they have.

    Now, I probably don't download 1GB a day. But I should have the choice to if I want to. I am paying £25 per month!

    The statement from NTL in my 2nd post does make the point that NTL won't actually disconnect you if you go over the limit, just "advise you on how to lower your bandwidth usage..."
  6. Spliffmeister

    Spliffmeister TechSpot Paladin Posts: 508


    I'm not happy about this. I pay £40 per month for the all inclusive broadband/Cable TV/Telephone package, and while it will be a pain in the arse to change, I'll be able to get a much better deal elsewhere.

    I've got the same connection as Phant. Sometimes I do download more than 1GB a day, while not often, thats not the point. I should be able to download what I want, when I want. I pay for an 'unlimited service'.

    I'm going ADSL, and buying a Digi Box for £100 for some cable TV. I'm not bothered about losing the phone line, It doesn't get used for weeks at a time as we both have mobiles.

    NTL will soon learn when other angry customers do the same as me.
  7. Just take 1 day off in 14
  8. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 5,734   +8

    It would be nice if it was like that, mr unregistered. However, NTL will be monitoring users on a per-day basis.
  9. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,244

  10. Look at the amount your average hosting company will charge you for bandwidth (rackspace, for example, works out at around £3/month/gigabyte), if you download 30 gig a month (as anyone using a gig a day clearly would be) at those kind of prices you'd be looking at £90 a month.

    Obviously there are differences here between what a hosting company charges and what an ISP like NTL would charge, but as a comparison it shows why NTL can't afford to provide enough bandwidth for it to be even close to uncontended.

    I have to admit though, over 1 gig for 3 days in 14 seems odd and confusing to implement, over 30 gig a month would seem a more sensible restriction.
  11. The Price of bandwidth

    £90 for 30GB!!!!, what a rip. I get 40GB (not Gigabits, GigaBytes) bandwidth usage a month, with unlimited peak bandwidth, 800MB of webspace, root access, databases, etc, for £16.99 a month from my hosting and that is still not cheap compared to what you can get if you are using SERIOUS amounts of bandwidth and shop around. It is also notable that ADSL is available at 512kbits down 256kbits up for just £18.99 with no cap, which is rather less than £24.99 that NTL charge for 600kbits down 128kbits up. Admittedly you have to buy your own modem, but we bought our own modem when NTL first offered broadband, although it has unfortunately become unreliable since NTL reconfigured their network with the result that we must now rent one off them or go to ADSL. The latter is certainly very tempting.
    Cambridge, UK
  12. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 5,734   +8

    Funnily enough, every time I call NTL they seem even more clueless about what's going on on their network.

    When I phoned to report a fault, I gave them my customer number. They then had to ASK for my MAC address. Why don't they have a database containing this information?

    They also suggested that, when I upgraded to 1Mbps, that they carried out only occasional, sporadic scans on their networks to monitor bandwidth useage.

    But in any case..... If any spotty **** calls me from NTL and says I have been breaking some 1GB per day rule, then I will simply threaten to go with Sky for my digital TV, and with BT for ASDL. Someone else can have the extortionate amount of cash I give NTL every month. They should be grateful that they have customers like me, who are willing to buy their high rates for 1Mbps access. And, as such a customer, I believe I am entitled download however the hell much I like.

    Is hosted in germany, right? Is bandwidth there that much cheaper than here?

    I know you can get it that cheap in the states, but I've not known it that cheap here.

    What you're saying in unbelievably cheap if it's in this country.
  14. theyh do have a database caontaining ur mac address - its for security purposes u numpty.

    unlikly any ntl AUP investigators are spotty twats but nevertheless enjoy ur adsl - glad u wont be sapping my bandwidth on ntl :D
  15. Don't look for skills in frontline staff

    Of course they are spotty t****, and that applies to all high volume staff, ie. the ones where the staff numbers have to scale with customer numbers because of direct contact.

    Experienced adult engineers cost money, a heck of a *LOT* of money. The vast majority of all regular staff are young and clueless, or at least just clueless. It's like that in all ISPs, and it might actually be worse at NTL than at most places because of their very downmarket non-tech approach and their financial problems.

    You only find highly skilled technical engineers working at the back ends. The people we customers talk to are paid a small fraction of skilled salaries, and it shows. You get what you pay for --- the main interest of most is universally whether it's time to go home.

    Such is life.
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