Comcast sets monthly bandwidth limit for customers

Comcast, the largest provider of cable-based broadband service in the U.S., will limit residential customers to 250GB of bandwidth a month beginning Oct. 1, the company announced late Thursday. Comcast will contact customers who go above the 250GB limit and ask them to curtail their use, Comcast said. If a customer goes over the monthly limit again during the following six months, Comcast will suspend service for a year.

Currently, Comcast contacts high-bandwidth customers and will suspend their accounts if they don't curb their use, but it has not set a firm bandwidth limit until now. Most customers contacted about their bandwidth usage agree to limit their activity, according to Charlie Douglas, Comcast's director of communications.

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If they are going to cap our bandwidth then they should provide some sort of Advertisement blocker that blocks all of the tons of bandwidth that those advertisements are eating up. After all we are paying for the service and being bombarded by advertisements for our money. I average 65 gig a month and I would bet that if they blocked the advertising from it I would use less then 10 gig a month. I am a paying customer and you are limiting my usage and forcing me to read tons of advertisements for my trouble. Fine you block the ads and we will use less bandwidth. Some sites have gotten so bad that the popup blockers can't even stop all the popup ads (respected news sites are the worst).

In July I moved 453 gb's. I know because I received a call from their "internet enforcement agency" and was told that if I show up on their list again that my service will be suspended for a year. I asked how much bandwidth has to be consumed before I make their list again and they couldn't tell me then.......now I know. I do know for sure however, that if they do suspend my internet account for a year that my phone and television service with them will be canceled by me. I imagine others will follow suit, and if comcast can live with losing customers for all of their services then more power to 'em.

**** i'd love a 250gb cap as of right now im payin 59.95 for 25gb all on a crap 3.2mb dl 768kb up connection and if your going through that much a month you seriously need to look at what your downloading christ is there realy that much pron on the net

That's so ridiculous. Think of the futur MS OS that will be hosted (could be after S7ven). If you have a virtual HDD of 500Go online (with a 100mbps internet connection) and you want to back it up. How are you going to do ?

We have to fight now for this type of limit not to exist. It's 250Gb today, it will be 50 in 5 years and 10 in 10y.

It's 250Gb today, it will be 50 in 5 years and 10 in 10y.

Exactly. I think people are missing the big picture. It could be 200 gig in 2 years, 100 gig in 5 and so on. When does it stop?

LOL at all of the people complaining. Seriously. If you really do the numbers on what it takes to download 250GB per month, it's really the compulsive users which make up less than 1% of their customer base, and that's over 6 million subscribers if some of the numbers floating around are correct. What a lot of people don't know is that the 250GB limit has always been in place, Comcast just grew a pair of balls and made it public.

If you want to rape the internet and use all of the bandwidth you possibly can, start buying your bandwidth from the core providers like a lot of ISPs do and see how quickly you run back to Comcast, Time Warner, Charter, Cox, etc when you can't afford at least a few thousand a month. People are such crybabies.

It's people like you that they are counting on to naysay the REAL implications of this.

You should be FURIOUS about ANY cap. We all should.

The amount is not the issue since they WILL drop this over time. There is no reason to introduce a cap, which is defacto data metering, unless you intend to ratchet it down in markets with no competition (95% of the US) or up in markets where, say, FIOS exists.

You are playing right into their hands.

I made the comment in the forum post on this: I wonder how this will affect me. My cable service is with Comcast, but my actual ISP is Earthlink. In theory, Comcast shouldn't be able to cap my connection, and if they do I'll be raising hell with them, as they are NOT my ISP.

This is little more than an attempt by companies to overcome the limits of their poorly designed infrastructures and even worse business plans. They have not really been very successful at packet shaping or throttling of bandwidth because of limits on the technology. It, however, is really the business side of things (more so for select cable companies) that offer new customers unlimited downloads at insane speeds for $19.95 (with no commitments).

I think you probably could justify a 250gig cap a few years ago, but not today with streaming video (Netflix), podcasts, massive Windows updates (or Linux ISO downloads) and standard video downloads of 720p to 1080p (not just porn or illegal torrents, but tech shows and other free content). Don't even get me started on caps that are less (like 50gigs or the ridiculous 5gig measures).

For more information:
http://www.petitiononline.com/no2cmcst/petition.html
http://stopthecap.com/

(bluarash said @ #26)
This is little more than an attempt by companies to overcome the limits of their poorly designed infrastructures and even worse business plans. They have not really been very successful at packet shaping or throttling of bandwidth because of limits on the technology. It, however, is really the business side of things (more so for select cable companies) that offer new customers unlimited downloads at insane speeds for $19.95 (with no commitments).

I think you probably could justify a 250gig cap a few years ago, but not today with streaming video (Netflix), podcasts, massive Windows updates (or Linux ISO downloads) and standard video downloads of 720p to 1080p (not just porn or illegal torrents, but tech shows and other free content). Don't even get me started on caps that are less (like 50gigs or the ridiculous 5gig measures).

For more information:
http://www.petitiononline.com/no2cmcst/petition.html
http://stopthecap.com/

Exactly! These guys want to be your total entertainment provider, but they also want to limit you? I got news for you, If I listen to streaming music and watch streaming movies/television shows (especially HD stuff) I'm sure I could use 250, considering I also do a LOT of work from home, including constant monitoring of and remote control of a number of corporate server and SAN systems.

I agree with the ones who say "vote with your wallet," just make damn sure they ALL know why you are leaving them when you do. I mean phone calls, emails and hand-written notes on your paid bills. These ivory tower decision-makers don't have a clue why customer retention is failing unless you tell them ... loudly and clearly. I also inform them that I will be sure to educate ALL my friends and associates about it ... and I have a long memory.

How much bandwidth do you think people will need in the near future with everything but electricity being piped into homes and offices? Throw a couple of PCs, a connected gaming console, VOIP, set-top movie delivery box and feed for a couple of full HD TVs and you are talking some serious data transfer. That is just for a two-person household!

Ha I have Time Warner 10mb connection with 512kb upload w/ no limit atleast as of now...I have no clue on how much we use a month but we have 3 computers and a 360 on the connection with zero problems and blazing speed...I am sure Time Warner will follow suite one day. A little off subject but don't you love the Time Warner commercials that say free HD and try to compare it to the $100/year u pay for HD with DirecTV and you get over 100 channels in HD and only a handful with cable sorry cheap asses :P

In my opinion, no cap is a good cap and holds back innovation. It may seem resonable now but what about in a year or 2 when more and more new internet driven apps come around. This is just an excuse for them to sit back and hold their sorta-monopolies and increase their profits instead of upgrading their networks. This is the kind of thing that's going to keep us back. I'm just worried as to when roadrunner's going to do this as I share my connection with other people in my apartment.

Most ISP's would be happy to see the back of people that dl obscene amounts. It costs their network more for that 1TB of data than your $50 a month is worth to them.

Hurray for having a small local ISP with no caps at all. Of course I could never use anywhere near that much a month anyway but just knowing there was a cap would drive me crazy.

I don't play WOW anymore, but let's say you play 5 hours a night M-F and then 12 hours Saturday and Sunday. How much bandwidth do you think that uses? Don't get into the "if someone plays a game that much they need to get a life."

For the record, online games like World of Warcraft do not consume very much bandwidth at all. I play a lot of online games and I run a bandwidth meter (mostly for curiosity sake). The highest I've ever seen was around 15KB/s; usually it's between 2KB/s and 6KB/s. Even if you had your favorite online game running 24/7, you'd still only eat up about 2% of your not-so-Comcastic bandwidth cap.

The companies that designed these games have gone to great lengths to make them as bandwidth-efficient as possible. If something like World of Warcraft, with around 10 million accounts, used any more than trace amounts of bandwidth, then Blizzard would need to operate its own ISP.

Ah but online games consume UPLINK bandwidth, the most expensive kind, for them. And make no bones about it, Caps are TOTAL upload and download. Unless real competition comes into each marketplace, there is no incentive not to cap service.

(SVG said @ #17)
250GB is a LOT.. Come on.. There are ppl with 5-10GB cap here :P

Where is that? That's like in Africa or something, right?

(toadeater said @ #17.1)

Where is that? That's like in Africa or something, right?

Um try texas..... Time Warner just started a 5GB Cap down there for "new" customers

I use Qwest Connect Silver (5mbit) at home and probably use about 10-15GB per month. Qwest has a similar limit set that they have available on their website in their EUP, albeit theres is a bit vague, saying anywhere between 160GB and 320GB. At least at this time Qwest isnt ALSO throttling torrents, which is why I chose them for an ISP. Comcasts practices are becoming more and more anti-customer. As stated above, they did violate their contracts with customers just like Sprint/Nextel did about two months ago when they switched from an "Unlimited" to 5GB limit on aircards, therefore you have the 30 day time window to cancel without penalty.

actually, this has always been the case for comcast, atleast for the last 5 years, they are just now making it public knowledge, as long as you arent constantly downloading movies or games, you shouldnt have a problem, then again, any standard def movie is only 700MB or so, so it would take a LOT of movies to cap it, games and apps on the other hand can eat it up quickly.

I guess telco companies are seeing the mistake they did by promising unlimited bandwidth contracts. They attempted to attract more users, but it is backfiring at them. Bandwidth cost money you know, and an unlimited contract can lead to abuse.

Anyway, if you are not happy with the limit, they broke the contract they currently had so you are free to cancel 30 days after the notice without penalties.

250GB for a normal consumer is more than enough, I'm stuck with 20GB/month because there's no other high speed companies in my area, and that's for 40$ per month.

Ramp up your useage, ramp down the caps, ramp up the charges. This is all about moving towards a metering per mb/gb one way or another.

At least they're upfront about it. My previous ISP just quietly started throttling my speed without any warning, and I had to argue with their service rep to finally get him to admit that "unlimited" doesn't really mean unlimited, but rather, some random number they pulled out of their corporate butts and didn't (and wouldn't) document anywhere.

That was after they stopped offering the unlimited usage package I was on (the new maximum being 60GB/month). Then, burried deep on their site is a page that says, hey, for an extra $25/month, on top of what you're already paying for your 60GB, you can get unlimited usage! Yay!

Only, their service rep admitted that their artificial/undocumented limit also applied to that package. Despite that page's "download all day long!" claim.

Deceptive enough for ya?

(_dandy_ said @ #12)
At least they're upfront about it. My previous ISP just quietly started throttling my speed without any warning, and I had to argue with their service rep to finally get him to admit that "unlimited" doesn't really mean unlimited, but rather, some random number they pulled out of their corporate butts and didn't (and wouldn't) document anywhere.

That was after they stopped offering the unlimited usage package I was on (the new maximum being 60GB/month). Then, burried deep on their site is a page that says, hey, for an extra $25/month, on top of what you're already paying for your 60GB, you can get unlimited usage! Yay!

Only, their service rep admitted that their artificial/undocumented limit also applied to that package. Despite that page's "download all day long!" claim.

Deceptive enough for ya?

That's just bull****!

250GB is massive alone. i'm only on 15GB/month. But they should just do as everyone else does instead of making a show over people who break this limit just cap them to dial up speeds till month clicks over problem solved.

whoever makes these decisions at comcast is a complete idiot.

250 GigaBytes = 2147483648000 bits

which means you would need a constant speed of 808kbps over a 30 day month, for every second (2592000 secs)

which in theory is a 8mb connection
so it is possible.... but unlikely with server congestion

Good point...unless the 250GB is meant as 250 gigabits :P. It shouldn't be with the two caps in the acro.

My guess is that next year it will be half that. Comcast should copy cell phone providers in this regard. Charge the customer a ridiculous amount per KB over their monthly limit.

I think you had a brain fart when you did the calculations. You converted Bytes to Bits, then converted Bits to Bits again. hahaha.

808Kbits/Sec doesn't equal a 8MBytes/Sec connection.

It is in theory a 808Kbit connection. I have a 6,000Kbit connection (Silver Tier with ComCast). So in theory it would be VERY easy to hit this limit if you had xfers using full bandwidth 24/7.

If I streamed full speed 24/7 then I would use 1.9TB. Way past the 250GB limit. But running a full 6Mb 24/7 is a good trick.

I just installed a plugin on my router to keep a monthly total of my usage. I am curious what I use. I would guess only 20GB if that.

I've known about this for a while. There were articles about this happening a while back. I think Time Warner may be going to some extremes on this one. If I recall correctly they were going to do a 5GB cap on their 5Mbit plan. Now then. I can transfer 5GB on a 256Kbit plan in one month. The 250GB limit that comcast has placed is at least reasonable. Don't agree with it but it is still reasonable.

Welcome to taking the Internet a decade back.

How exactly does the industry want to advance web-based usage of applications, Operating Systems and various other services that people are touting to transform from offline to online based solutions?

Nothing is going to happen if companies like Comcast hold progress back in the name of not improving their infrastructure. Suspend service for a year? How about we don't use your service at all? Anti-consumer at best.

Do a little math. This limit isn't that bad. Unless you are pirating the crap out of movies, music and apps then I don't see how one could reach this limit.

It isn't bad NOW. But they are trying to set the precedent. And then they will ramp it down as they move more and more of your services to their pipe.

Today it's $1 per 5 gb. Tomorrow it'll be $5 per 1 gb.

Do they math. They CERTAINLY are.

They're testing the water with this 250GB limit...

Next they'll start bringing the limit down... Yay.

I hate what's happening with technology, and this is only the beginning.

(Burst404 said @ #6)
They're testing the water with this 250GB limit...

Next they'll start bringing the limit down... Yay.

I hate what's happening with technology, and this is only the beginning.

Yeah you are right!

This is all about metering. They want to get ALL of your services (VOIP, tv, hi def, email, gaming, etc. etc.) on their line, then apply a cap. They start with a very high one so no one complains excessively, but then they will ramp it down.

Right now, that's say $50 per month for 250 gb, or $1 per every 5 gb. They will move you to use more and more data download applications (since that's the future) and lower the caps year after year.

Stop it NOW or everyone will follow and we'll be paying per megabyte, one way or another, in years to come.

This is DIRECTLY intended to counter things like WiMax, sharing your connection with friends, family, town, etc.

Internet access was becoming free, fast, and ubiquitous, and they don't want that to happen. No way, no how.

And what about those who do use this much bandwidth and aren't pirating, etc.? There shouldn't be limits on bandwidth usage. Most people don't use that much, so why should a few suffer because they're actually getting their money's worth? I'll admit, though, 250 GBs is a lot, it might not be so bad... ^_^

I hope Comcast at least gives you a bandwidth meter so you know when you're reaching the limit... >.<

Edit: And if Charter follows suit, I may be looking for a new ISP when my contract is up, unless they have a higher limit like Comcast. Then I'll think about staying (maybe).

Suspend service for a year?

Surely they can't make you pay for the service during this time? Woudn't most people just move elsewhere?

(jonnytabpni said @ #2)
Suspend service for a year?

Surely they can't make you pay for the service during this time? Woudn't most people just move elsewhere?

Basically they're saying they'll shut off your Internet. You can still get Digital Cable, regular cable or phone service if you have those, but they won't provide you Internet. They would rather not have you as a customer than deal with excessive bandwidth usage. Sadly, if my ISP kicked me for a year, I don't think I'd come running back when my sentence was up. 250GB is a good bit and if your using that much, your downloading WAY to much....switch to a business account and your problem is solved.

I changed the cap on my modem back in the day from 1.5Mb to 4Mb and about two months later I got a call from "ComCast Legal Demands Center" saying that they knew I hacked the modem and that my account was terminated. Not suspended but terminated. I said, "So you don't want my money any more", he said, "Nope". Hahaha. I was in an apartment wail building a home for me and my soon to be wife. When we moved into the house I started a new account under my wife's name without a problem. Needless to say I don't uncap my modem anymore. 8Mb with PowerBoost to 12Mb is fast enough anyways. hahaha.

(MrWizard81 said @ #2.1)

Basically they're saying they'll shut off your Internet. You can still get Digital Cable, regular cable or phone service if you have those, but they won't provide you Internet. They would rather not have you as a customer than deal with excessive bandwidth usage. Sadly, if my ISP kicked me for a year, I don't think I'd come running back when my sentence was up. 250GB is a good bit and if your using that much, your downloading WAY to much....switch to a business account and your problem is solved.

Why would I want to have to pay more for a business account?

Thanks a lot Comcast for f****** over your customers!