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
    Gaurav, 14 Jul 2011 @ 4:28pm

    Re: Re: Can't agree on this one

    I agree on both the points, Dennis. I am not saying Comcast is god-send and the victim here, but it's difficult for me to defend the 'victim' here for multiple reasons:

    1. He is a techie ("worked as a Microsoft technology evangelist for XBox 360 and XBox live"). So I assume he knew pretty well about Comcast and it's caps.

    2. Comcast makes it easy for you track your usage once you have signed up/registered.

    3. He is 'audiophile' - uploading music to clouds/backup etc in three different lossless formats. Also uploading all his pictures in 'raw' format. This is just few of the activities among many other. Do you think, being a 'geek', he did not know how big those files can be?

    4. He mentioned sharing the services with roommates. Not that anything is wrong with that, but if all the roommates are as much 'audiophile' as he is, the usage is just going to multiply.

    5. While I agree it would be the best if Comcast tells you what is hogging your bandwidth, but he pretty much knows why the usage went over 250G (see my #3 above). It's a lame excuse to say Comcast didn't tell me what caused it.

    My solution to this problem - meter the use and charge by it. That way, you can use whatever you want, just pay for it. If I am using just 50G a month, why should I pay the same as somebody using all 250G?

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