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


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    txpatriot, 15 Jul 2011 @ 3:06pm

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

    Steven wrote: "They want to advertise big numbers for download speed, but they don't want to actually build a network that can support that speed for all their users."

    Actually, you are correct. By analogy with the telephone network, when the telco sells you a telephone service, you expect to be able to use it at anytime, for an unlimited duration, and do it all for a flat monthly fee.

    If EVERY telco customer made a phone call and stayed on that call indefinitely, it would break the network because the telco network isn't designed to support that kind of load, even though each customer paid for their access.

    The telco uses statistics to size their network; those statistics were compiled over years of experience, using queuing theory, hold times, etc.

    I don't know whether or not ISPs use a similar kind of traffic analysis to size their networks, but basic engineering economics tells me they cannot size their network in such a way that would allow every one of their users to max out their individual connection 24x7.

    Even if competition over the last mile were allowed, I don't think ANY ISP could design and build a network that would allow ALL of their customers to max out their connections ALL of the time.

    In this particular case, the guy violated his TOS. It had nothing to do with WHAT he was using his connection for; his problem was HOW MUCH, and the fact that he did it twice.

    Whether he read his TOS or not was up to him. It seems to me after the first instance, he would've been more careful.

    Live and learn . . .

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.