updated 04:30 pm EST, Wed December 3, 2008
Comcast bandwidth tracker
Comcast will soon provide its subscribers with a tool to monitor how close they are to the 250GB cap imposed by the Internet service provider at the end of August. The online bandwidth meter will be available on January 5th, according to an anonymous tip, and will have a three-hour delay as opposed to real-time monitoring. The meter will retain up to three months of usage records and will allow users to monitor multiple MAC addresses.
Currently, Comcast is instructing its users to find bandwidth meters on their own via Internet searches or use the meter included in the McAfee Security Suite provided to subscribers by Comcast. Comcast claims the cap is generous and it believes less than 1 percent of its users will ever hit it.
Comcasts' competitors, including AT&T and Time Warner Cable, already offer their customers an online web usage tool in certain markets where they have introduced bandwidth caps. Their maximums are much lower, with AT&T topping out at 150GB and Time Warner Cable at 40GB. Also, the two companies charge fees to users who go over these limits, and the meter is necessary if Comcast ever introduces similar methods. [via BBR]