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. icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), 15 Jul 2011 @ 3:36pm

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

    See Europe? I have worked for some of those French ISPs. Heck, you probably read about the European market in something I wrote, for example this:

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090603/2307475117.shtml#c639

    That IS overall much better than what we have. We need more competition badly. But that doesn't change the fact that capacity is NOT unlimited here nor there, and as a scarce resource, greater use should incur greater cost.

    The EU competitive case offers a better result, but still has problems. They are serving the same buffet as if they had caps, but without caps, yet not increasing the amount of food, and just calling it all-you-can-eat.

    In the US case, they put in caps to assure that everyone can approach the speeds they are promised, where in the EU case, they offer unlimited, and users are unlikely to reach their purchased speeds in and around 'busy time'. Our model 'punishes' the heavy user, and their model 'punishes' everyone for the heavy users.

    The competition yields the much better prices.

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