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Donald

Sounds like Jonathan is in one of the areas where Comcast is testing the new usage limits, if so and he goes over he may get a big surprise on next months bill as they are testing $10 per so many gigs (50 I believe) over 300.

Joe

Sounds very creepy... injecting their code into the page you are viewing that is.

lpbbear

Of course, didn't you know. The Internet is like a series of pipes and data is like water........the hell it is.

SL

For those who are unaware, Comcast customers can track their current usage by logging in to comcast.com, clicking on "My Account" at the top, then choosing the "Users & Settings" tab at the top. On the right hand side of that page, you will get a summary of your monthly data usage.

El Don

Here we go. They will find a way to bleed you dry. Now let's find the advertising they used to sign you up talking about all stuff you could do online with "blazing" speed and the ability to use as many devices as you want. I seriously f'ing hate Comcast and everything it stands for.

Frank22

They will get more aggressive in this as people cut the cord more. I have Verizon DSL and have no problems streaming. No throttling. Great for $32 a month. I would drop internet if I had to deal with Comcast. I could sign up for Netflix DVD and get my email/pay bills at work.

Jonathan Nation

I acctually have been happy with Comcast for the roughly 10 years that I have had them.

The service generally just works.

I do have issue with them altering websites I am looking at (it's worse on phones connected to our wifi) & bandwidth caps in general are bad, especally for an industry that has limited competition due to Government Regulations, Laws & Monopoly.

My message to Comcast is that bandwidth caps are not the answer & messing with websites is bad practice by an ISP.

To politicians, I encourage eliminating the government granted monopoly & treat it more like any other industry where you have a huge monopoly (in many ways, both regional control & content control).

block party'er

we had a block party last weekend and the conversation turned to why all of our comast internet speeds have slowed down. turned out many neighbors signed up for netflix streaming. when they all stream in the evening, they are absolutely KILLING the internet for the rest of us. i want comcast to charge more for people who go over their allocation and i want comcast to put time period tiered charging in place so i can get my email and do web browsing with reasonable internet speed.

Jonathan Nation

@block party'er -- I do understand this, however bandwidth caps will not change this. See, we were streaming netflix during the day, for our children who love shows like Super Why, Author, The Cat In The Hat, etc.

This has no effect on the evening, when we generally watch stuff our Tivo has picked up from OTA.

Donald

I'm of the opinion that the cable companies need to start upgrading, even if slowly, to something better than copper i.e. Fiber optics? They are making billions every year and can't afford to upgrade after all these years? Sure they can. Start in the major markets and spread out slowly until you have your entire network upgraded. Even if it takes 10-20 years it's better than just continuing to use copper, allowing your network to deteriorate and problems to become worse.

All of this said I haven't had any problems with my internet and actually get speeds faster than advertised. All in all I'm very happy with Comcast.

Frank Cirabisi

I have Buckeye cable in Ohio and I can tell you there were NEVER any bandwidth issues with Netflix. Just last month i received the same type of message and a warning they will charge me for every 50 gb over. I needed to purchase a better plan. I fear this will be Netflix's next big obstacle to overcome.

CordCutter

Right on Jonathan... look at cell phone companies. Free nights/weekends... throttle peak usage and I'll buy Block Party's excuse, but to cap all usage (even that occurring at overnight hours and other oddball times), is BULL and an obvious money grab.

Cable companies suck. They are losing video subs every quarter to SVOD alternatives, but guess what? Every quarter they are gaining Data subs!!! Read the quarterly results for these big cable companies. "Any loss of video subs was negated by gains in voice and data subs."

It's amazing they refuse to acknowledge why one part of their business is failing and the other side is prospering.

ron felder

for party goer get rid of cable internet and go with either fios or dsl. they don't slow down if there are twom amny streaming at one time. cable and especially comcast suck.

bexn

I was running up against my monthly limit so a Comcast tech suggested that I switch from Comcast Residential to Comcast Buisness, which is exactly what I did. They don't keep track of bandwitdh usage as a Business customer, there's no throttling (in fact, access speeds are much better) and if something goes wrong, Business customers have first priority. At least in the area where I live, you don't have to be a business to become a Business Class customer. You may want to check into it this in your area. I was susprised to learn that it was cheaper to be a Business customer than a Residential customer but that had to do with the way my state handles taxes on business accounts and not Comcast's costs. Comcast's costs were viritually identical for the two here.

Frank22

How much extra is it though?

jess brit

except for the cost i generally have no problem with comcast. i'm a heavy netflix streaming user and this note is on my comcast account page ...Note: enforcement of the 250GB data consumption threshold is currently suspended.

Jason Hansen

Where I work (http://www.buckeyecablesystem.com), we use http://www.perftech.com to display similar messages when a customer is at different percentage levels regarding their bandwidth allowances. While I disagree with bandwidth allowances/caps, I was just pointing out how Comcast delivers the warning to their customers.

Donald

Frank22 the speeds are a bit slower but you can get business class 12 Mbps down/ 2Mbps up for $59.95 - with no caps. Yes slower than the home internet for the same price but you get no cap so it all equals out. The only downside is you have to pay a one time installation fee and you're in a contract for one, two, or three years. The fees are as follows: Installation Fee: 1 year contract = $199, 2 years = $99, 3 years = $49. There's a downside to everything but if you need more then not a bad deal.

Jon

If you use more than 270gb per month it's time to shut off your Internet and read a book.

CordCutter

LOL, big judgmental Jon. I need the internet to read a book. You see there are these devices called Kindles now. They require the internet to "download" the book to the device. Wake up, it's 2012 and 270gb is nothing.

kyle

i used 490gb in just over 2 weeks, heavy netflix usage in the house and xboxlive game downlaods, i got a bill from comcast for almost 200 over what the normal bill was, im cancling internet and going with fios

Donald

Good deal, I would too kyle! Maybe Comcast will rethink the extra charges and just stick with soft caps, they're supposed to be raising those based on tiers either way. Hopefully enough people in the test markets will cancel their service even if temporarily. Btw the fact that your bill is $200 more is ridiculous, I would call and complain because it should only be $40 more.
Directly quoting from Comcast's blog here: http://blog.comcast.com/2012/05/comcast-to-replace-usage-cap-with-improved-data-usage-management-approaches.html

"So as the market and technology have evolved, we've decided to change our approach and replace our static 250 GB usage threshold with more flexible data usage management approaches that benefit consumers and support innovation and that will continue to ensure that all of our customers enjoy the best possible Internet experience over our high-speed data service.

In the next few months, therefore, we are going to trial improved data usage management approaches comparable to plans that others in the market are using that will provide customers with more choice and flexibility than our current policy. We'll be piloting at least two approaches in different markets, and we'll provide additional details on these trials as they launch. But we can give everyone an overview today.

The first new approach will offer multi-tier usage allowances that incrementally increase usage allotments for each tier of high-speed data service from the current threshold. Thus, we'd start with a 300 GB usage allotment for our Internet Essentials, Economy, and Performance Tiers, and then we would have increasing data allotments for each successive tier of high speed data service (e.g., Blast and Extreme). The very few customers who use more data at each tier can buy additional gigabytes in increments/blocks (e.g., $10 for 50 GB).

The second new approach will increase our data usage thresholds for all tiers to 300 GB per month and also offer additional gigabytes in increments/blocks (e.g., $10 per 50 GB)."

Donald

At Jon: Boooo! We have 3 people in our house, 2 computers, 2 Roku dvp's and a Wii. So we can use quite a bit between the three of us. I use the lion's share and some months we only use 150 GB's or less, but for the months I use 300 - 350 about twice a year, I would like Comcast to take into account all the months I haven't used near my allowed 250 GB's per month. I've actually had month's where I've used less than 100 GB's. I think ISP's should allow a 50 GB rollover but only through the following month, then if you go over charge - of course in a perfect world we would have truly unlimited but as more people use the internet and there's higher data usage then they do have to maintain quality for all customers. I personally think a 500 GB cap across the board would keep 90 - 95% of customers happy.

CordCutter

That's the kicker Donald. These ISPs suck. If you're gonna penalize for heavy usage, why should grandma using 15gb a month be charged the same as someone using 249gb a month (or whatever is just under their cap). If the argument is usage matter and affects others, surely those who use less will get a credit or be allowed to roll-over their free cap space from month-to-month... right? Yah, F'N right! It's a money grab, pure and simple.

Donald

Absolutely CordCutter, all this crap is what got me to cut out all but limited basic cable, which is mostly local channels for $12.95 and the only reason I have that is if I didn't my internet bill would be $10 higher, so either way they'll find a way to screw you.

interhat

Can't wait for the national rollout of Google Fiber....

Nannette

We cut the cord two years ago and dropped the netflix DVD when they did the price increase. Our viewing is Netflix Streaming or dvds we rent from the library for $2 week.

My husband is an IT guy. Two years ago, I was working for a remote technology company. Between my 40 hrs a week working from home and his working when he got home, we were constantly flirting with Comcast's cap. We finally changed to a business account which has no cap. Since my husband does work from home (I no longer work for the remote technology company), we qualified for a business account.

I know college students who have qualified also. Verizon in our area does not fiber optic/fios yet so Comcast is the only one with decent speed.

TJ

I'm just as guilty, but we really need to get off our butts and get outside more often, then no worries about bandwidth caps. Or may be Internet access should go the way of the power company where you pay for what you use! Yah, that'll do it! :D

Talldog

If they'd get rid of all that cable-tv traffic, there would be plenty of bandwidth. ;)

Seriously though, the problem is Comcast sees Netflix (and other internet entertainment) as a competitor to their cable-tv service. Consequently, they are are going out of their way to make it difficult for people use internet based entertainment.

The solution isn't more regulation. It's more competition among high-speed internet providers.

Talldog

@CordCutter--what's fair is both sides living up to their contract agreement. If Comcast sold "unlimited internet" then it's not fair. But, it's perfectly reasonable to have price tiers for data usage levels--as long as they are spelled out and clear.

Again, competition in the broadband industry would solve this. Remember the old cell-phone days? If you went over your monthly limit, you got socked with huge overage charges. The industry got more competitive, and huge overage charges became a thing of the past.

CordCutter

Talldog - That is another thing, I don't know if I would trust comcast's monitoring (or any ISP for that matter). Remember the story making the rounds on tech sites a year or two ago, someone with AT&T somehow managed to use data according to AT&T over a 2 day period their phone was off. If you're tech savvy you can do it on your own and compare, but 99% of folks out there aren't going to be able to.

On a completely different topic, I also think Caps are B.S. on the grounds that ISPs are getting millions in govt. grants (our tax dollars) to roll out broadband (mainly to rural areas). If you're going to take tax dollars you open yourself to a whole other level of scrutiny.

Then of course you have ISP's with their own services not counting against the cap under the B.S. reasoning that it's not really an internet service. That again, is a whole other topic.

Judging by other comments on here I find it very alarming when people break their cap, complain, they are immediately directed towards "business" lines that have 2-3 year contracts. Which leads me to believe this has nothing to do with monitoring network traffic and everything to do with customer retention.

RedEarth

An ISP (or any other 'middleman') injecting code into a site without permission of the owner is a clear violation of that site's copyright, as they are using a copyrighted work almost in it's entirety with only a small modification for commercial purposes.

Jon

@Cord Cutter. How many books do you download and READ every month. Let me guess..zero. Do you know how much data is actually downloaded with Kindle (a book)? The fact is the overwhelming majority of people do not download over 270 GIGABYTES a month. Those that do need to get a life.

CordCutter

LOL - look guys, keyboard tough guy Jon is back! Glad you could take a break from listening to Joe Esposito's You're the Best and patting yourself on the back for being such a cool guy.

Donald

Hmm maybe Jon should get his nose out of a book once in a while and get a life!

CordCutter

I just can't stand judgmental fools that are clueless to what they're talking about.

http://www.multichannel.com/blog/BIT_RATE/32372-Delivering_HDTV_to_Typical_Household_Entirely_Over_the_Top_About_600_Gigabytes_Per_Month.php

In short, if the average U.S. household viewed their TV over an IP-based infrastructure they would use 600gb a month. Heavy users would use 1.4TB. But no, Jon believes anything above 270gb is too much. 600gb.... average U.S. household. Hello!?! People are cutting the cord more and more, I already watch the overwhelming majority of my entertainment this way (with the lone exception being CBS/ABC/NBC/FOX OTA). More and more people are joining me in this method. So that 600gb/month stat is important and the 270gb amount is a joke. To judge people when you're ignorant to the technology is what pisses me off.

Donald

Interhat, wow I forgot about Google Fiber. I hope they start rolling out nationally soon. Gigabit Internet for $70/mo or free internet for a $300 one time fee or $25/mo for 12 months.

Direct quote from the site (https://fiber.google.com/plans/residential/):
"Up to 5Mbps download, 1Mbps upload speed • No data caps • Free service guaranteed for at least 7 years • Includes Network Box
$300 construction fee (one time or 12 monthly payments of $25) + taxes and fees"

As for the Gigabit Internet:
"Up to one gigabit upload & download • No data caps • 1 year contract • $300 waived construction fee
Network Box included • 1TB Google Drive • $70/mo + taxes & fees"

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