updated 10:15 pm EDT, Thu August 28, 2008
Comcast 250GB internet cap
Comcast on Thursday revealed it would enact a 250GB download cap on users' Internet connections on October 1st as part of an effort to combat illegal peer-to-peer exchanges of software and rich media. Ars Technica reveals that Comcast is offering the "extremely large amount of data" to users, and would actively warn top downloaders who exceed the limit to cut back. The move comes after the FCC reprimanded Comcast for manipulating bandwidth or service availability for users running P2P software.
While Comcast insists that 250GB is plenty for users, active Netflix or iTunes video rental customers could chew through their cap fairly quickly. Ars notes that while the cap is unfortunate, it is more generous than other internet service providers, who cap their services at 60GB, or Comcast's previously inconsistent enforcing of unknown caps.
Comcast has not mentioned if there are charges for going over the 250GB limit, after rumblings in May that indicated it could charge $15 per 10GB of excess.
The limit, while higher than for some carriers already implementing caps, has already drawn attention from critics who argue that it discourages legitimate uses such as buying or renting HD videos from online video services or for regular Internet video streaming.