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 @ 8:42pm

    Re:

    "Video over IP is by choice, because it is cheaper."

    Video over IP is orders of magnitude more expensive than broadcast video. It is done by the telcos not because it's cheaper, but because it is new potential revenue, and they don't have broadcast resources available to them.

    "new technologies are developed and implemented." "networks have been built to excess capacity"

    Right. For example the fiber in FiOS and uVerse that we have both been discussing. So who do you think pays for this implementation? They put it the ground, spend the capital, and then they expect economic rents on the investment. You can't just say "that investment is already made, so now broadband is free".

    And which of us should pay? Well, given that...

    "The top 1 percent of broadband connections is responsible for more than 20 percent of total Internet traffic. The top 10 percent of connections is responsible for over 60 percent of broadband Internet traffic, worldwide." [cisco vni]

    ...I propose that it's fair that the heavier users should shoulder an heavier share of the economic rents that we pay to our ISPs.

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