Tech 1

Comcast: New Montly Usage Caps


Starting on October 1st, Comcast will being enforcing a 250GB monthly limit on data transfer for all of their broadband customers. If a customer goes over the limit, they will receive a courtesy call from Comcast for the first offense. However, if a customer goes over the limit a second time their account will be immediately terminated for one year.

Comcast is also not providing any tools which will monitor your monthly bandwidth usage. Making it extremely difficult to keep track of how close to the limit you might be getting. When asked, Comcast simply suggests to do a web search for bandwidth tracking tools. Personally, I suspect that Comcast doesn’t even have a reliable method of tracking bandwidth usage for all of their customers, so the fact that they are not providing any tools is not that surprising.

Comcast says that the median bandwidth usage for their customers is 2 to 3 GB a month. It is interesting that they ended up providing the median and not the average, but whatever. Those numbers would be easily broken in a matter of hours, or even minutes if customers are taking advantage of HD Video streaming (something many of the networks now provide). I used to prefer to watch Lost in HD on the web because of the much fewer commercials (and my lack of HD cable), but it looks like I wont be doing that anymore.

Also, users who use online backup/storage for files might want to be careful about how often they use such services. Those can easily suck up a lot of bandwidth. Plus, I could see families of 5 or more easily going over that limit if people in the household use things like streaming internet radio, hd video, skype, ect.

Personally, I have never had any problems with Comcast, but if I ever get one of those “courtesy calls”, you can guarantee that will be the day that I start looking elsewhere for internet and television services (possibly Verizon FIOS).