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
    Forge, 14 Jul 2011 @ 7:06pm

    Re: Re:

    You've "been doing network engineering for over 30 years", yet you can't tell bits from bytes? 56K modem = 44Kbits = 4.4KBYTE/s.

    250GB/month = 8.33GB/day (using 30 days/month for round math)
    8.33GB/day = 0.34GB/hour, 340MB per hour
    340MB/hour = 14MB/minute
    14MB/min = 0.236MB/second

    I'm not saying that 250GB is fair, and I think it SUCKS, would never patronize Comcast with this nonsense.... But running about 230KB/s at all times, 24/7, that's not nothing. Sure, it's aggregate across upload and download, but it's a lot of data. You have to bang on the pipe pretty hard to hit that with only 8-12 hours/day usage, I used 24/7/365 rates above.

    Oh, and returning to the original point... 230KB/s is way more than "double what you could get out of a robust connection with a 56K modem". Fail. Try about 54X faster than a theoretically perfect 56K connection.

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