Comcast bandwidth throttling effective in all markets

Comcast is fighting back against what it calls excessive bandwidth users. The company confirmed that it has successfully deployed throttling technology to all its markets. Comcast claims that the technology is to help make everyone get the same experience and have equal opportunity to the bandwidth.

The throttling works in a manner that your data can be put in two classes; PBE (Priority Best-Effort) or BE (Best-Effort) with preference being PBE. This is determined by "sustained use of 70% of your up or downstream throughput triggers the BE state, at which point you'll find your traffic priority lowered until your usage drops to 50% of your provisioned upstream or downstream bandwidth for up to 15 minutes. A throttled Comcast user being placed in a BE state may or may not result in the user's traffic being delayed or, in extreme cases, dropped before PBE traffic is dropped." Essentially if your little brother decides to download the internet he will be placed into BE and experience much slower speeds to help spread the bandwidth out to other Comcast users.

On top of this throttling technology Comcast has also placed a 250 GB monthly cap for all users. If you exceed the 250 GB monthly cap your account can be terminated and you can be banned for using the Comcast service for up to one year.

Comcast is cracking down hard on heavy users of the internet. If you have Comcast and have experienced any of these barriers we would like to know your story!

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Not only an employee, but I rape the newsgroups constantly and never have speed issues. I get no special privileges other than complimentary service, and use the same service the customers use. I don't have loyalty to the company by any means, and I feel I am underpaid, however I do not have service problems or speed problems. Never have, except for the time I used their crippled joke of a router solution. A DD-WRT'd WRT54GL fixed that problem.

So basicaly if your paying for a certain speed and if your not getting what you paid for, your being ripped off and comcast should lower there prices because of it.glad i dont have comcast.

I haven't noticed anything yet, although they don't define what sustained or prolonged means. Then again, my upload isn't going crazy. I'm able to max out my connection however for multiple hours. When the 250gb/month cap was implemented earlier, I decided to drop my 16mbps Blast service down to the next tier of 8mbps, more because the promotional rate expired and it went up $15/month however.

I'm pretty much waiting for a reason to cancel Comcast though and this may be it. When paying for services in addition to the ISP for HD movies and the like, there shouldn't be limits on what you can do, as long as it is considered legal.

LOL, This is a common thing in Europe. You guys always want the best. Sorry, but you will get what others are getting: caps!
And Verizon is stealing a lot of money, even in my poor country, i can get 100 Mbps for 60 € + unlimited calls to the world's most popular countries landlines.
ON FIBER OPTICS

I love that they are advertising how they got faster and offer even faster plans all over the place but throw caps and throttling on all their users at the same time. I've recently noticed that during peak times 6-10PM (usually weekends only, but can happen during the week) traffic gets so high that web browsing slows to a crawl, vent will stop working, and I'll get disconnected from WoW every minute. Tracerts show pings being lost all over the place, roughly 1/3-1/4 of all the pings never even get a response back. I find it amazing how they can try to sell even higher bandwidth accounts without improving their own damn network to support THEIR CURRENT TRAFFIC.

That's such *BS! so now with the advances of technology instead of getting faster speeds and more bandwidth we get a new daddy who tells us what we can and can't download! You pay for 24/7 broadband use and can't use it 100%!? WTF? These user should sue the hell out of these greedy companies! If there having bandwidth problems they should upgrade there hardware! we mere home user have to do it every year to get there bloatware to run on our systems so now we pay them and they can't do it there selves?

I would be overwhelmingly dismayed about this if I weren't underwhelmed with the service already... I was on the phone for an hour and a half during my vacation last week trying to explain to three different people there that I had intermittent problems. I pinged a root DNS for an hour, to make sure, then Comcast's DNS in Boston. Eventually, I made enough of a stink that I got a supervisor, who said he would "check it out" and call me back. Twenty minutes later, I got a call from a Florida number, saying "oh yes, there is a problem within your area, no had said anything so thank you for letting us know." I lose minutes on my phone to prove to Comcast I'm not crazy and to do something about it. So, again, if I felt that it was stable in the first place, I might worry more.

If they advertise certain speeds then they should provide those speeds regardless of how much data is actually being transferred. When I had Comcast, their service was beyond pathetic and with this latest addition, I'm certain I'll never be a willing customer of theirs again.

Now you get to experience what we've been experiencing here in Australia. Many ISPs here have shaping to 64k for rest of month if we exceed a certain number of usage.

I used to have Comcast when I lived in the US (back in the UK now), but my dad is still there. To be honest, sure it will help increase speeds for all users, not because they are throttling but because people will begin to cancel their subscriptions. They will lose money, they will increase throttling to save money, they loser more customers. They will go bust.
I've always disliked Verizon for some reason, but I might just suggest my dad switches to them, even though all he uses the internet for is email and bbc.

Living in the UK, I'm with talk talk (I don't really have much choice in what our internet provider is as I'm living in a shared house), but the throttling is absolutely stupid. During peak hours, connection is throttled every 7 or so seconds. Resulting in my pings going from 50 to about 800, making online games unplayable for me.

To be honest, if companies can't handle the traffic they get, they should:
-Put a cap on the amount of customers they can have from a specific area
-Upgrade their networks to accommodate
-Continue their co-operation with the RIAA or FBI or whomever, and terminate any users for are found using bittorent to download illegal files. Not just warn them.

I used to have Comcast when I lived in the US (back in the UK now), but my dad is still there. To be honest, sure it will help increase speeds for all users, not because they are throttling but because people will begin to cancel their subscriptions. They will lose money, they will increase throttling to save money, they loser more customers. They will go bust.
I've always disliked Verizon for some reason, but I might just suggest my dad switches to them, even though all he uses the internet for is email and bbc.

StealMySoda said,
I used to have Comcast when I lived in the US (back in the UK now), but my dad is still there. To be honest, sure it will help increase speeds for all users, not because they are throttling but because people will begin to cancel their subscriptions. They will lose money, they will increase throttling to save money, they loser more customers. They will go bust.
I've always disliked Verizon for some reason, but I might just suggest my dad switches to them, even though all he uses the internet for is email and bbc.

They will not loose customers because they throttle .01% of there customer base. But then again they may **** that .01% off and loose those subs but that is sort of the point. Loose the very small quantity of abusive customers and in turn improve the service of the rest, then pick up replacement customers.

They surely will not lose my sub. They provide by far the best service in my area. I have been with ComCast (well, it has changed names 20 times) for about 15 years. All the way back to the old hybrid cable/dial up days. I have always been impressed.

I am a long time user of Comcast, and honestly, have not noticed any change in service since they instituted throttling technology. If anything, my connection rates have become more consistent. I am an online gamer, so connection speeds are important to me. Comcast is merely targetting those that use an EXCESSIVE amount of bandwidth; usually for illegal activities such as trasnsferring copyrighted materials.

Oh, and for those saying that Comcast sucks ... then just let me say that I consistently (speedtest.net) get 20Mbps downstream and 10Mbps upstream. Really, with those speeds, what could you possibly do with more bandwidth. I can easily pull down GB files in minutes. And again, being a gamer, since my connection is conistent, my online gaming experience is smooth (in other words, I pwn).

As a gamer, "speed" to you refers more to ping times and less to overall transfer capacity. I'll admit that I haven't gamed for a few years, but I'd be surprised if games these days require sustained transfer rates of more than even 50 kb/s (in fact, I'd be surprised if they required more than 20 kb/s but that may be a bit too conservative). Comcast's marketing applies nicely to you.

What if you're streaming video off of YouTube? The new "HD" content takes anywhere from 75 kb/s to near 300 kb/s, based off of the limited viewings I've done, and I'm sure that in some cases it either takes more or you can find a streaming application that takes more. Now suppose we have a household with a family, and there are multiple people who are streaming like crazy. Even with three people streaming at those speeds that's approaching 1 mb/s (or 8 mbps). 75% of Comcast's total, assuming you're on a 20 mbps down line, is 15 mbps. Based off of streaming alone (a legit application, mind you), you're already halfway toward hitting your cap limit. Throw in a few large attachments on an email, some videoconferencing, or perhaps browsing photos online (or any combination of those) and you've hit the peak.

I won't venture into the debate about whether filesharing automatically incriminates you as doing something illegal, because we all know that there are valid uses for it. However, as I've tried to explain above, it's quite possible to saturate your line for "long" (as defined by Comcast) periods of time without doing anything illegal. If Comcast is really facing issues then this current measure should be temporary at best, and they should aggressively be expanding their network to accommodate more traffic.

Ledgem said,
As a gamer, "speed" to you refers more to ping times and less to overall transfer capacity. I'll admit that I haven't gamed for a few years, but I'd be surprised if games these days require sustained transfer rates of more than even 50 kb/s (in fact, I'd be surprised if they required more than 20 kb/s but that may be a bit too conservative). Comcast's marketing applies nicely to you.

What if you're streaming video off of YouTube? The new "HD" content takes anywhere from 75 kb/s to near 300 kb/s, based off of the limited viewings I've done, and I'm sure that in some cases it either takes more or you can find a streaming application that takes more. Now suppose we have a household with a family, and there are multiple people who are streaming like crazy. Even with three people streaming at those speeds that's approaching 1 mb/s (or 8 mbps). 75% of Comcast's total, assuming you're on a 20 mbps down line, is 15 mbps. Based off of streaming alone (a legit application, mind you), you're already halfway toward hitting your cap limit. Throw in a few large attachments on an email, some videoconferencing, or perhaps browsing photos online (or any combination of those) and you've hit the peak.

I won't venture into the debate about whether filesharing automatically incriminates you as doing something illegal, because we all know that there are valid uses for it. However, as I've tried to explain above, it's quite possible to saturate your line for "long" (as defined by Comcast) periods of time without doing anything illegal. If Comcast is really facing issues then this current measure should be temporary at best, and they should aggressively be expanding their network to accommodate more traffic.

Yes gaming is more dependent on latency which I have found to be very good with ComCast. I am into SimRacing and connect to servers all over the world and never have problems with disconnects, warping or anything like that. This is an impressive quality to have in addition to raw bandwidth. Not all providers can deliver low latency. Every DSL provider I have ever dealt with has 100 - 124ms pings yet ComCast typically ranges from 30 - 80ms. FiOS sounds interesting but I isn't available in my area and will not be anytime soon. FiOS may be great now but I am sure they will have their growing pains too.

It is quite possible that ComCast is monitoring upstream and not downstream. If you tie up all the outgoing bandwidth then you have nothing left to send out new requests. ComCast biases their network to give more downstream then upstream because most people will be downloading and not uploading. People who run BT clients all day can easily tie up %100 of their upstream. You get enough people in a node doing this then you have problems. But still, who knows what they are up to without seeing all the details. We probably never will see what they are really up to.

The madness of ISP's. In their adverts that make outlandish claims regarding bandwidth and performance. When the customers buy in, they are then throttled. Which is it?

Read George Orwell's 1984 for the answer ( "double think" ) Folks, "keep voting with your feet" churn costs them money. Select by personal recommendation and best price. Don't be fooled by empty promises - they cost nothing. Don't be locked in, by using the ISP email address, use one of the "free" Web-mail accounts, they all can be configured for POP etc.

I'm so glad I got FiOS! I have to say, Comcast worked well but the speeds were inconsistent. I would go to a speed test website and get 21mb, 2 mins later I would get 10 (on a wired connection and no other net activity going on). Now with FiOS ALMOST EVERY ******** TIME (when I'm not doing anything else) I HIT THAT SPEED TEST BUTTON, i get between 20,701 to 20,799!!!!!! I swear, it's that consistent. Fiber Optics FTW! :-P

Tikitiki said,
My little brother downloads the internet all the time. This is gonna really slow things down for me.


Yeah,
I caught that too!!

bdsams said,
i only wish i could...I have time warner which isnt as bad as comcast, except for there crappy tv guide UI

Uhm... doesn't Time Warner have the ridiculously low download caps though?

I wish I could get FiOS, but it's not available in my area yet.

Comcast's crossed the line...they'll lose a lot of customers cause of this. One of my friends has Comcast and today we were downloading the exact same things, me on my Qwest 5Mbps DSL Line and her on her Comcast 12Mbps Cable Line...Mine finished every file faster than hers, and im pretty far away from a hub. Comcast just sucks.

Why would you need an ISP which doesn't allow you to download large, legit files?
Having to implement this, Comcast must be a weak provider with weak infrastructure and a weak income

theyarecomingforyou said,
It makes sense to them: charge for a service but don't allow users to actually use it at the speeds advertised.

The article didn't say you could only use %70. It said you couldn't use over %70 for a prolonged period of time. The question is, what to they consider a prolonged period of time. This sort of trips me out though. First ComCast wanted to shape BT and P2P traffic which is primarily abused by pirates. It kind of made since. People bitch, FCC comes in and tells them they can't do it. So now we all get hit with shaping. Nice.

I suspect that what they call prolonged is something like 5 hours. That sounds reasonable to me. So if you doing something legit like downloading a Win7 iso from Microsoft, you wouldn't be effected because it would only use %100 of your bandwidth for about 1.3 hours. It is people that run BT clients 24/7 that they are looking for.

I would love to see all the details of this plan.

ermax said,
I suspect that what they call prolonged is something like 5 hours.

The article says "sustained," not "prolonged." Neither term has any legal meaning though. And when you undefined terms like that, it means that Comcast can put a connective choke hold on just about anybody who downloads large files. Just a couple nights ago, I downloaded a mod for rFactor which was over a gig. I didn't notice any slowdown, but it makes me wonder if somewhere in the dark caverns of Comcast there isn't a record saying that I was "bad" that night and should be watched more closely for actually using the services I'm paying for...

theyarecomingforyou said,
It makes sense to them: charge for a service but don't allow users to actually use it at the speeds advertised.

Exactly, what a rip off. I ditched Comcast becuase it was getting too Comcastic for me (Might get sued for using their term here ), and went with FIOS which is cheaper atm, however I'm sure Verizon will find a way to rape and pillage as well.

blackcat77 said,
Just a couple nights ago, I downloaded a mod for rFactor which was over a gig.

Cool, a fellow SimRacer.

Good now hopefully the neighborhood pirates will stop killing my bandwidth while I'm trying to work... YYAYAAARRRGH!!!

those 'neighborhood pirates' aint really a issue overall unless they just download EVERYTHING to 'collect it' cause i hate when people just collect **** they never going to use and basically WASTE bandwidth.

i think a 250GB is 'reasonable' cause you can still download alot of 'stuff' and not go over the 250GB cap... if they put it to 100GB a month then it would be a major issue.