by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
broadband cap, cloud


Guy Kicked Off Comcast For Using Too Many Cloud Services

from the why-broadband-caps-suck dept

One of the key concerns we've had about the rise of broadband caps is that they don't take into account the fact that more and more data and services are moving online. When companies put in place data caps -- such as Comcasts' 250 gigs or AT&T's 150 gigs, they always highlight how this really only impacts a tiny percentage of users. But, the truth is that as more things go online, and more data is moved to "the cloud," it's really not that hard to bump up against these caps... and apparently the penalties are harsh. Andre Vrignaud lost his Comcast account for going over 250 GB two months in a row, mainly from using various legal online services, including Pandora and Netflix. He had also switched to a new online backup service, and the initial upload used up a bunch of bandwidth. He did admit to downloading a few things via BitTorrent (a UK show not available in the US), but it seems clear that most of his internet usage was perfectly legitimate. And now he has no account, and Comcast won't let him back on for a year. They won't even let him buy a more expensive package.

Yes, his data usage may have been extreme, but these kinds of services are becoming more common, and as we start to see even more new services, there are going to be a lot more stories of people bumping up against these caps. The truth is that the ISPs could upgrade their networks to handle this traffic. And it's not even that hard to do so. But with these caps they don't have to move as fast, and can slow down improving things -- which is what Wall Street likes. It just sucks if you're someone who, you know, actually wants to use the internet for what it enables.

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  1. icon
    Chargone (profile), 15 Jul 2011 @ 7:14am

    Re: Re: Mike, how DO you reconcile your demands that

    indeed. it only works in NZ despite the competition because absolutely everything going into and out of the country (most web traffic, who knows what else) must go through one of two cables, both of which are owned by the same company. That is where the monopoly kicks in, and it actually has very real physical limitations. thus, data caps.

    which are actually mearly an assignment of Priority, not an absolute limit like the Comcast example here. once you hit the cap, your priority expires. your ISP then either puts you through the system at a lower priority than Every Other Signal that still has priority available (which is Crazy Slow at peak times and occasionally, through some screwy weirdness, briefly Faster at off peak times. not by much or for long though.) or buys the right to more priority allocation from further up the chain to assign to you. (my ISP does the latter. the bigger ones do the former, mostly.)

    this is completely different from Comcast's stupidity in this instance.

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