Broadband

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
broadband cap, cloud

Companies:
comcast



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.

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  1. icon
    theangryintern (profile), 14 Jul 2011 @ 6:39pm

    Thankfully, Cox hasn't implemented caps in my area yet. I checked my router software, which keeps track of the past few months of total bandwidth (DD-WRT firmware) and the past few months we've been well over 100GB a month. The highest was May which was 154GB and half way through July we're already over 100GB. I don't do any illegal torrenting and I don't think my roommate does (the upload numbers seem to support this) so this is all just from online gaming, Netflix streaming, watching videos online, music streaming, web browsing and downloading Steam games (damn you Steam for having such crazy cool sales!!!) for just 2 people. We have a third roommate, but he's so rarely at home he doesn't really contribute to the bandwidth used all that much.

    So to everyone who is scoffing saying it's really hard to hit caps like this, just look at my example - 2 people, "normal" usage, hitting over 100GB/month easily. I was actually pretty surprised that we had gone that high. Unless you are paying attention just normal usage could get you into trouble if you have caps.

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