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Comcast: data caps will rise over time

updated 02:45 pm EDT, Wed September 24, 2008

Comcast Data Caps Flexible

Comcast on Wednesday told GigaOM that the company will adjust its Internet bandwidth caps if it becomes clear that overall use is increasing. Although not explaining any specific corporate policy, provider spokesman Charlie Douglas says the company's 250GB threshold isn't fixed and that the cap is liable to change over time either as the average use goes up. A large number of complaints is also likely to trigger changes.

The monthly cap, which goes into effect at the beginning of next month, has drawn mixed reactions for its effect on Internet use. Although the set limit addresses earlier problems with Comcast instituting varying, secret caps, the company so far has not provided any means for customers to buy more bandwidth or outlined a specific point at which it would change the cap. Other providers, such as Rogers in Canada, have already instituted clear limits but also allow overage charges with their own cap to prevent excessive fees.

Critics have likewise charged that the very existence of a cap discourages the use of Apple TV and other media devices and services that would otherwise challenge Comcast's legacy cable TV business. Although Douglas claims the average user depends on just one hundredth the amount of data used in the cap, a single online HD movie often consumes between 4GB and 6GB of data by itself.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. WiseWeasel

    Junior Member

    Joined: Apr 1999


    complaints, eh?

    All in favor of organizing a national "complain to Comcast" day raise your hands...

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Re: complaints

    Not me! Then again, I refuse to do business with Comcast, so I don't give a rats a** what they're up to.

  1. bhuot

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2003


    not fair

    First they need to provide a meter that measures it just like they measure it supporting all the platforms they claim to support. They also need to tell people about this before they sign up for Comcast and on all the promotional venues like their TV ads and brochures.

  1. ender

    Junior Member

    Joined: Mar 1999


    How many movies?

    So they say a typical movie is 4-6 GB. let's say 5 on average. 250 Gb/month. So that's 50 movies in a month! Seems reasonable to me. Unless you are streaming ALL of your TV watching (which would also not likely all be HD), you really shouldn't have an issue with the cap. If you are exceeding the cap for non-movie use, I'd begin to wonder if you were running a business network on an internet service intended for personal, non-business use. (Yes, I admit there may be instances of personal use exceeding the limit, but surely that must be a very, very small percentage of users?)

    On the other hand, I'd also argue that Comcast's OnDemand service should be classified as downloaded content that goes against the cap so that it's on a level playing field with iTunes, Unbox, Netflix, etc. That would also likely force Comcast to raise the cap higher.

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