updated 12:40 pm EDT, Thu August 28, 2008
250GB Comcast cap in Oct.?
Cable Internet provider Comcast may be implementing a 250GB transfer cap as soon as October 1st, anonymous sources claim. The company has been moving towards more neutral bandwidth-limiting techniques, following an FCC ruling that sabotaging BitTorrent traffic violates net neutrality policies. Although BitTorrent seeds are frequently used to share pirated material, they are also used for legitimate peer-to-peer distribution, and the FCC has noted that blocking BitTorrent unnecessarily favors some forms of Internet traffic over others.
Comcast has officially laid plans to throttle traffic in 10- to 20-minute bursts if a particular user is saturating the network.
The cap would allegedly target people who "consistently download far more than the typical user," without affecting people who may occasionally need to download large files. It is also expected to apply only to downloads, not uploads, and affect only about 14,000 of Comcast's 14.1-million subscriber base.
Such restrictions could still prove controversial however, as legal downloads of software, music, movies and TV shows have become increasingly popular. The last two categories could be hardest hit, as an individual TV show is often sized at several hundred megabytes, and movies are often rated at 1GB or larger.