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.

Filed Under: broadband cap, cloud
Companies: comcast


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Jul 2011 @ 7:31am

    I have my own theory about why Comcast imposed the limit, and it has nothing to do with either IP infringement or limitations on available bandwidth.

    They are a cable TV company and they don't want customers getting all their TV programming via their internet connections, foregoing the need to subscribe to their regular cable TV services. Keep in mind that they imposed these bandwidth limits a few years ago when many more TV shows and movies were not yet available on the Internet (Bitorrent, ect., notwithstanding). But they could see the trend, that of most TV programming eventually becoming available online, enough so that eventually people would be able to get most if not all of what they want to see without resorting to regular programming. So they imposed the bandwidth caps at a time when very few customers had reached that point, when very few customers would have reason to complain about it other than as a matter of principle. Now, a few years down the road, as more people start to hit the limits and complain about it, they can point to the rules and say "these restrictions are not new; they've been in effect for x number of years now".

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