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), 25 Jul 2011 @ 12:17pm

    Re: More Personal Experience

    You are a case in point in favor of caps.

    You do all that, and you don't think you should be paying more than the average family that does email, web browsing, and facebook updates?

    For example, you listen to XM for 8 hours a day! This is a signal that is sent from a satellite, 22,000 miles overhead to cover the entire USA in order to achieve scalable distribution. Yet, you choose to receive it in a separate, low-efficiency, unicast stream. That's wonton disrespect of a shared resource. I understand that this is a good way to listen to XM indoors, but YOU gotta pay the price for your choices.

    You seem to think that 'no torrents or P2P' means that you are one of the good guys. But the whole problem with non-neutral networks is that they assume that some things are "bad" like P2P, and other things are "good" like email. But the reality is, there is no good or bad. It's all just bits, and we the users should decide which we choose to send. A carrier that does DPI or filters torrents is meddling with my freedom to choose whatever content or sources I wish. So, that leaves the carrier the cap option, which is blind to what you do, but just cares about the quantity.

    If you're online at home EVERY DAY for 8 hours or more, and you're doing WebEx/Logmein daily, well then it sounds like you are not the average home user. That sounds a lot more like a business user. It sounds like you, like me, work from a home office. So don't come on here acting like a *consumer* who's been done wrong. You are expecting business-level service at consumer-grade prices.

    When you signed up for service, your contract did not include caps. So this is a significant change. When you signed up for service, you probably also did not stream music 8 hours a day, nor use cloud service, nor stream Netflix. So that is also a significant change. Yet you don't think the price should be different?

    Lastly, EVERYBODY "admits that right on time for cloud services", the telecom pricing models are changing. Absolutely. People are raising their consumption exponentially. Prices/caps are changing in response to cloud and streaming media. The ISPs are scared @#$less of runaway bandwidth demand. Why wouldn't they react?

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