Comcast Puts a Chokehold On Bandwidth

Comcast, the 2nd largest cable and Internet provider in the US, has released the details of their new "network management" system recently. The company came under fire last year when it was revealed that they were silently blocking some peer-to-peer network traffic, prompting a rebuke from the US Federal Communications Commission.

While Comcast is no longer targeting specific network protocols, they have essentially imposed a cap on the amount of bandwidth you can use before being throttled. This is in addition to the maximum of 250 GB of data you are allowed per month before they will warn and then terminate your service for a year.

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ftwrthtx3969d ago

I remember when dial-up accounts that were supposed to be unlimited ended up being capped as well, but for time and not bandwidth.

What does it actually cost them, the ISP's of the world, to have users using too much bandwidth?

T3mpr1x3969d ago

Nothing. Absofreakinglutely nothing. Well maybe a bit more power to send the bits, but I'd imagine that is next to nothing.

decimalator3969d ago

Well, that's not entirely true. It's been awhile since I was in the telecom business (I used to work for a Tier 1 bandwidth provider), but there are "peering agreements" between each bandwidth provider. The peering agreements are dependent on the amount of traffic that gets pushed from the particular ISP across the other ISP's network. On top of that there are infrastructure costs.

But still, it's not like they are losing money on every bit that I send.

The issue that *I* have is that I paid for N Mbits per second, not N/2 or N*.7 or whatever fraction of my bandwidth that I'm allowed to use before they start killing my connection.

It is only a matter of time before they get sued, change their service terms or pricing or whatever, or change their new throttling thresholds. Any bets on which will happen first?

CyberCam3969d ago (Edited 3969d ago )

This is the reason why disc based media is going nowhere, it'll be here for at lease another 10-15 years.

Imagine for a minute, purchasing & downloading the games & HD movies you've purchased this month alone. I personally bought 5 games and 6 Blu-ray movies this month alone!

Keeping up with the future of media content on demand, only to be penalized for going all digital, it's the price you'll have to pay!

fear883969d ago

Are the very same people that pay to play on Xbox Live year after year and still get shafted.

Darkstorn3969d ago (Edited 3969d ago )

We need net neutrality now. That is, if the legislation can get past Phil Gingrey, Lamar Smith, Joe Wilson, John McCain, and the rest of those anti-net neutrality, anti-regulation Republican numb skulls.

IdleLeeSiuLung3969d ago

my speed is screaming compared to my DSL for less cost. Let's hope Comcast don't screw me over....

Darkstorn3969d ago

'Screaming fast' and 'DSL' don't go together. DSL sucks compared to a cable broadband connection, and costs at least as much where I come from (Oregon...)

Golfcoachh3969d ago

with a super majority in the senate, that means 60 votes, a majority in the house where you only need 50% +1 votes and the messiah in office this should be a no brainer. Even the fcc chief is in favor of it. I guess the money the telecom lobby has, must have reached those great senator and representitives in the congress. hmmmm Maybe they all suck, not just the few you noted.

Information Minister3969d ago

"Subscribers using over 70% of their allotted bandwidth for 15 minutes, will be “throttled”."

Wait... What?! So you basically can't use the service that you paid for? That sounds like extortion to me. It's like buying a car equipped with a powerful V8 and then when you go pick up your ride from the dealership, the guy tells you "Oh yeah... We disabled two of the cylinders so now it's a V6, but the good news is that the price is still the same".

Imagine the kind of problems this can cause when you're streaming an HD movie (And you're still nowhere near the bitrates of Blu-ray). And this is one of the reasons why digital downloads will co-exist with disc-based media instead of taking over the market as some predict.

If I pay for 20 Mbps, I expect 20 Mbps... at all times!

The Great Melon3969d ago

You may pay for N Mbps, but you also have to abide by that stuff burried deep in that small fine print.

facepalm3969d ago (Edited 3969d ago )

It's ComCastic!!

::hugs FiOS box::

Golfcoachh3969d ago

They never guarentee it, it always says up to. Mine is a 16mb/sec cable plan, I pay 10 bucks more for 16 compared to 8, it makes a dif too. When I was on the 8 I would usually run about 3-5 during busy times, so my netflix would not do full quality, now that I am 16mb/sec I am always around 15-17 wehn i do helps alot. I don't mind paying for it since it actually performs. But if it was still in the 3-5 at times, I would be p!ssed.

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DoucheVader3969d ago (Edited 3969d ago )

Who knows its a nebulous mystery. It's all just infrastructure costs, electricity and the supply of people who want access. Everything gets smaller, cheaper and faster year by year.

T3mpr1x3969d ago

Wow this pisses me off to no end. I rarely ever use that much bandwidth, but I am SOO glad Time Warner isn't doing this...yet.

decimalator3969d ago

Last night I was downloading some stuff from the PSN, sure enough after awhile my download slowed to a crawl.

ballsofsteel3969d ago

damn i'm a Comcast customer and i download a lot of PC games of steam and such along with downloading stuff of PSN

cyclindk3969d ago

Yep, way to slow down THAT market huh. If there's a disc alternative, in the future I'll just have to go back to THAT 'ancient' technology. Especially with the ever-increasing size of video games.

truehunter3969d ago

250gb divid by 30 days = 8.33GB per day. I doubt thats a problem unless u do alot of movie steaming,Dling alot of etc.

Pandamobile3969d ago

Unless you torrent like 10 DVD movies a day, this shouldn't be a problem for anyone.

Gish3969d ago

How much bandwidth does normal online gaming take per hour roughly? I have no clue.

Darkeyes3969d ago

@Above... Around 60-80 (I usually monitor since I have a 30GB cap/month and while playing KZ2, 1 hour results to around 60MB). I guess that is if you don't host the game as hosting on P2P means your bandwidth get hogged.

The Great Melon3969d ago

Yeah its not much at all. I remember my roommate in college was really worried about not being able to play halo if he ran out. It was fun to watch him realize that it wasn't even physically possible to run out of bandwidth if he played 24 hours a day. Now streaming or downloading videos on the other hand can kill you far more quickly.

El_Colombiano3969d ago

Panda I am downloading more than half the day, every day. I do not torrent so this will be a problem for me. Arrrrrgh!

Pandamobile3969d ago

But are you really going to near 250 GB? :o

cyclindk3969d ago

Multiply that number by more than one person in your household that uses the internet everyday, 365 days a year.

DoucheVader3969d ago

You get throttled for 15 minutes of 70% or more bandwidth use man. This will effect anyone that does any downloading for more then 15 minutes.

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