Beware the bandwidth usage cap…you could lose your internet service for a year

So, Comcast and other ISP’s want you to use all of the new and existing  services that they provide.  Things like online video on demand, online backup, photo sharing, streaming services and other things that involve data usage.  And, for the most part, the services are included in your monthly bill and are of a decent quality too.  But, there is a catch.  One big, gigantic catch.

Bandwidth.

Comcast has a now public cap of 250 gigabytes per month.  If you exceed that cap, you get warned the first time.  Do it again and you lose service for a year. Yep. A YEAR.  Great way to keep your customers, huh?

What most people do not realize and what these company’s fail to share is that this cap is a two way street: it applies to UPLOADS as well as downloads.

What that means is that all of those music, video and photo sharing services as well as those BACKUP services count.  Those photos you upload to flickr, Facebook or the ISP provided service eat into your bandwidth usage.  Try to do the right thing by performing your online backup and, well, yeah, that counts too.  Saving your music collection to a cloud service? Yep.  It is probably the single biggest offender here too.

Watch Netflix or Hulu much? Or Xfinity? Better watch that meter.  These companies do not bluff either.  They WILL cut you off.  Comcast did so recently with a gentleman who was trying to upload his music collection to an Amazon ‘storage cloud’ service that would give him access to his music from anywhere.  Now, he’s with out service for a year.  He told them to cancel his service and they send him to-yep-customer retention who promptly asked what they could do to keep him as a customer. He replied ‘restore my Internet’.  He’s no longer a customer of Comcast.  Nice.

These caps are ridiculous.  Yeah, the average user probably won’t use a tenth of that, but if these companies keep advertising these services then more and more people will take advantage and could easily end up like that guy.   It costs Comcast no more if I use 300 gigabytes or if I only use 20 gigabytes.  The egregious people…those uploading terabytes of questionable material…should be dealt with, but your normal user (and this guy was normal, he just had a lot of music) should never have to worry about things like bandwidth cap and losing service just because they used a service that the ISP provides.  That’s ludicrous and just bad customer service.  Maybe if enough of Comcast’s users blatantly did this for two months and were cut off, it could put a dent in the earnings picture and make them take another look at this now antiquated method of network management.  Nah.  It wouldn’t.

Have you received a warning or been cutoff by your ISP?  If so, please comment and share your story.

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One thought on “Beware the bandwidth usage cap…you could lose your internet service for a year

  1. [lion[ox[man[eagle]

    Thursday, February 23, 2012
    Put an end to Comcast Bandwidth Use(Usage) Capping!

    I write this around Hertz’s Birthday. My Birthday is coming up… the 7th of March. The only gift I ask is that you help spread the word. Share!

    To all whom read this, you are free to copy in whole or part this entire message and share it with anyone, including your friends and family! Brief quote: For every injustice, there are a many (millions of) words that follow (either in favor of or against the injustice.)

    Instead of words, we need action!

    I appeal to anonymous to seek a means of protesting this outrageous limitation that has been placed on the every day home connection.

    “Re: 250GB Cap questions

    02-27-2012 04:00 AM

    For the people that said Comcast does not call it abuse, Funny we went over a couple months ago, I woke up to no Internet. When I called I was put through to the ABUSE Department. So yes they ^^do call it abuse”

    My response: That’s exactly what it IS… Customer ABUSE Department. it’s a question of who is doing the abusing. In this case, it’s CON-CAST! To hell with them!

    It’s natural for a fish to want to swim deep into the sea. It’s natural to surf the internet to it’s furthest extremes.

    To an industry that says copying and peer to peer file sharing of content is the moral equivalent of attacking a ship (with accusations of being a pirate / piracy)
    Every thug is subject to another thug. Con-cast will have their day in court, when enough people have incentive to complain outright. It needs to be organized with no cash settlement. We cannot allow greed and corruption to persist in this multi-billion dollar thug company to continue.

    If we do, they [the rapists – ISPs] will keep on [raping their customers up the behind.]
    Rape is an act committed in darkness. Normally the attacker hides him or her self and conceals his or her true identity. Just as before the act of rape, they give us a pill in our drinks offering “Unlimited” services and give us an STD, a bandwidth use/usage limitation while charging us for the act of being raped. Unfortunately we don’t have a doctor that can treat this STD.

    Comcast started rape when BitTorrent became a prevalent file transfer method. They got an STD from the Media Thugs at the RIAA and MPAA. This STD was like Herpes. They just had to keep scratching and scratching in order to block the Torrent packets from reaching their intended destination. They don’t like it when they can’t track you 0r what kinds of files you are sharing… . When they can’t stalk you and watch what you are doing in private.

    From a concerned Comcast customer:

    To Comcast about Bandwidth (Throughput) Use (Usage) Capping

    An insult to customer intelligence.

    Though this issue is not local to Comcast, the idea that Comcast first implemented has infected AT&T’s internet service as well. I prefer to call them AS&S but that’s just my opinion. Limitations create a lack of trust in an established customer base. Why offer high bandwidth connections and limit the transfer? The way you guys advertise it is a 30 day all you can eat buffet. These technological measures were made under the assumption that people were using their internet for illicit activities. The company treats us as though we’re guilty by default and thus restricts our sharing capacities. Now not all sharing is illegitimate. Netflix is a paid service. They had to dumb down i.e. add options to reduce quality their service for dumb ISPs that have caps on service. Recently while attempting to post this letter on their forums, I encountered a censorship of the word nazi and gestapo. Now that is NAZI AND GESTAPO to prevent such words as naughty or bad! It’s time to file a class action lawsuit against Comcast and sue for the bandwidth caps and limitations while they advertise under the label Xfinity as in infinite. They also advertise unlimited internet. (They should be foreced to advertise 250GB (in big noticeable print) internet not unlimited for consumer protection.) They have disconnected untold amounts of people from the internet for violating their vile bandwidth cap twice in a year. Search Google for customers that got violated by the fine print in their contracts. This needs to be brought to the attention of any legal body that can conter these measures– courts and mainstream media like a stop bandwidth cap day similar to Occupy Wall St movements. Many people live with children and other people that they need to share their internet connection with. Some houses don’t have more than one cable outlet to provide services, so a Router/NAT Is used. It’s time to get litigious against Comcast. Put an end to this absurdity. At the far end of this letter there is a transcript from another site about the $16 million dollar lawsuit for their throttling of P2P traffic. They got off easy. The reason is that maybe millions to tens if not hundreds of thousands of potential dollars in revenue and or innovation to programmers and Linux distributions were lost in the time that they disconnected BitTorrent users from such services. Internet is now a necessity in this generation with everything becoming digitized– similar to electricity. Now electricity is metered due to the fact that it consumes natural resources. Routing and ISP technologies do not consume natural resources, but pretend to consume artificial resources creating artifical scarcity. I feel uncomfortable paying a flat fee for a metered service. To place a limit on communications is similar to violating the First Amendment in the United States.

    Say no to Comcast Arbitration : http://consumerist.com/2011/10/cablevision-lets-you-say-no-to-arbitration.html

    They have no right to market fast connections if the fast connections cannot be sustained with continual transfers. It is not only speed but amount of transfer that is valuable and worth paying $60 of a customer’s hard earned cash. They depend upon our ignorance to be able to continue such insidious policies. When I inquired about their business service, they said I’d need to pay $200 for installation and the monthly fee would go up dramatically. Is not their current load balancing mechanism enough to deal with traffic issues and or concerns? In a country that started from a revolt on taxation, what has become of our people? How many people need to bitch before something changes. I read the site of their Customer Relations guy Rick Germano… He says they aim to get it right the first time, but they have been getting it wrong all the time when it comes to incredulous policies such as these.

    We pay monthly and expect to get a full month;s of service at the current transfer rate. If you add small print that says otherwise, and tell us how or why 250GB is unacceptable, when people download from iTunes, play and update video games and software regularly, e4c. Each of these can be upwards of 30GB easy. 250 just doesn’t cut it. Remove all bandwidth caps and your customers will be happier and more pleased to do business with you.

    They just transferred the throttling that they got sued over and lost in court into caps.

    Don’t advertise unlimited service and offer unlimited actually means limited.

    “Defendants have disseminated and [continue] to disseminate advertising that they know or should have reasonably [known] is false and misleading,” the lawsuit stated. “This conduct includes, but is not limited to, promoting and advertising the fast speeds that apply to the service without limitation, when, in fact, defendants severely limit the speed of the service for certain applications.”

    In light of the FCC decision, Comcast has since changed its policy and imposed a 250GB cap for residential broadband customers.

    Under the class action settlement, class members must file a claim by Aug. 14, 2010.
    Proof of their advertising unlimited usage:
    http://consumerist.com/2010/03/comcast-unlimited-usage-doesnt-mean-unlimited-usage.html

    Until you remove the caps on your bandwidth, everyone should have to call your company CON-cast!

    if somebody buys an internet connection called Xfinity, there should be no bandwidth caps or limitations. I asked about these matters when the install guy came, and he called his superior about this topic. Your sales “professionals” don’t know anything about internet. You should offer training! They said that the cap was download only! Yet once I read your site, it said that it is for both streams combined. This is confusing and sketchy marketing. There are no one-size-fits-all sneakers. All of your residential plans include this ridiculous limitation. Your business grade service is relatively too expensive to install and maintain for people such as myself. I download updates to my operating system software and sometimes it can take hours. Other times I distribute my legitimate torrent files that can be up to 5GB In size… If people download GNU/Linux DVDs (an operating system alternative to windows) from a torrent, it is not only legal, but, free (as in food and freedom), and neighborly to share! If 50 people download the file, the bandwidth cap is reached immediately. If I get a notice from Comcast, I will immediately resort to going on websites such as rip-off report and make sure that the policy is exposed to the public in a much more clear fashion. It is a severe threat to terminate somebody’s connection to the internet for a ‘bandwidth infraction’. Why have that limit? Too hard to track and sell your user’s connection and usage information to the government or third parties?

    Your marketing schemes think the average computer user is dumb and that they don’t understand what you are doing. I will highly publicize this and call up political representatives, the FCC, EFF and make it known that companies should make it blatantly clear what their limits are! You will never again be able to call it Xfinity! Verizon is right across the street and they have no bandwidth caps or limitations on their service and throughput. SOPA and PIPA protests were just the beginning to put an end to internet tyranny by corporations and governments. It is anticompetitive to offer unusual bandwidth caps in a generation of people that frequent media sites such as Youtube and other such bandwidth consuming franchises. Once your bandwidth throttling (of torrents and other data) was exposed to the public, the FCC took Comcast to court. Even though they lost, it does not mean that they will again if they attempt to impose net neutrality legislation from infractions such at bandwidth capping instead of throttling.

    Instead of using bandwidth notation, you should say clearly to customers, it’s 15 megabits (not BYTES) a second not 15mbps. Your company sells in bits to create a wow factor, then you restrict use in bytes. This way the customer can understand what you are talking about. 1.875 megabytes per second. That is ridiculously fast for the every day user of the internet. This goes without saying that modern technological thresholds peak at about 100-1000MBps. Verizon is working hard to develop a platform in which residential users can get speeds of up to 100Mbps download. Also with cloud computing, home users are more inclined to run their own servers. I laud your company for the fact that there are no restrictions on which ports may be used after the Torrent issue was raised a long while ago. Listen to your customers and your business will fare well for longer times than other companies. Attempt to subjugate them to undue policies and silence them.. You lose them. It’s true many are addicted to convenience and don’t like the effort it might take to switch providers, but they may be displeased overall. Use Google to search for “Comcast bandwidth caps” and see for yourself the expressed opinions of your customer base! You will find more than just disgruntled customers, but an array of intellectuals and artists that oppose this bizarre limitation. The only ones not to oppose undue legislation are lawyers. They financially thrive off of conflict. Let us break the chains of ignorance and share freely and openly as ones who love our neighbors as ourselves.

    Everything is subject to abuse. A knife can be used to cut food or murder the next door neighbor. Who cares if people make “illegal” copies of software? There are no lost revenues in software that is copied if the end user would not pay for the software to begin with. In fact it’s good advertising. When people get to test software or listen to music, it makes them more inclined to purchase from the companies in the long run. I don’t put invisible chains on anything I give to others in the real world, saying you can only use this piece of plywood to make a boat, but not a house. That plywood company would go right out of business. Your company does the same type of thing, except in a very sneaky way that is in the fine print of a signed contract. Copyright is outdated (currently restricting true lasting innovation and enlightenment for our human species as a whole) and intellectual ownership is a childish idea in a generation of vast fluid local and international communication. Let the media whore giants be ****ed and let the purchasers have the right to do with what they bought as they please.

    Your company may esteem your residential customers of being of lower worth than businesses, but the truth is, every resident may be a business owner. Love all lest the king be concealed. Consider, Now the $720 a year that I am currently subscribed to paying your company each year may not amount to much. if your policies agitate even one potential customer with these undue business practices of concealing caps and limitations that you claim is so the service can be fast, he may speak to your current customers and potential customers and inform them of these unjust limitations and get 100-1000 people to choose to take their business elsewhere. Say for each of these 100 to 1000 people, 20 more become disinterested. Especially in the era of instantaneous social communication over platforms such as twitter and Facebook (news flys), you lose 2,000 to 20,000 potential customers at 60 dollars a month. This equates to $1,200,000 to $12,000,000 in lost potential revenue. Bad business practices endanger future sales, no matter how convenient your current service platform might be. I am blogging this entry right now. Fortunately if I am mailed a letter about excessive bandwidth use, I am entitled to get my money back. I will take it back and take my business elsewhere in the event I receive such a letter. I noticed that my router says
    In the past 21 days, I haveused 400GB of data transfer to and from the internet. Why should people have to give an account to you for what kind of services they have used? This is a severe violation of customer privacy. The customer is always right when it comes to exposing ill intent in companies. To have to think about how much bandwidth you are using each month can keep a person paralyzed and paranoid, especially if they like to run an open wifi access point when their friends come over with their computers and download from iTunes, etc.
    Sorry Jake, but you can’t download the music you purchased onto your device! My _BANDWIDTH CAP_ is like a HANDI CAP that makes it so I can’t do things without fear of corporate reprisal! It retards online movement and flow! That is what bandwidth caps are… Retarded! Instead of offering slow throttled internet, you have offered something akin to a month rental of a Ferrari that can go real fast but it can only go from New York to New Jersey with no return ticket. You can’t ride for the sheer joy of riding. You have to be paranoid about having used it for a long distance. OH my the road nazis are going to notice that I went too far! The car looks beautiful and cool from the outside, until you notice the fine print in the contract and meet the road nazis at comcast that complain you used the car too much. If you were to turn off somebody’s internet service (i.e. freeze the car while somebody is driving it) (instead of mailing them after they payed their monthly due) at the moment they crossed the cap, I am certain you would lose hundreds of thousands if not millions of customers overnight.

    Instead of increasing your carrying capacities by buying new technologies to balance loads of data coming through, you choose to make people only use the internet less. Any good ISP knows that the more the product is used, the more the user will like the provider of the product. What comcast does is an evasion of innovation.

    It costs you little to nothing to turn on some computers and routers, and let cables do the work for you while you rake in cash for the said bandwidth. Make it so the customers can make full use of expansive technologies and they will love you and your service!

    (words these companies use for people such as you and I, _consumers_ and _users_ (much like a drug dealer might consider their customers to be)

    Plan Blast 15mbps download and 5mbps upload
    I calculated that if I used the full bandwidth of the connection constantly for 24 hours per 30 days the maximum transfer I can download for my current plan is 15mbps(1.875MBytes/s) x 60 seconds x 60 minutes x 24 hours x 30 days, a whopping 38,880,000,000,000 bits (4.86TB TeraBYTES!) of data– . That The limitation is absurd! You are only giving me 1/19.44 the maximum amount of what is offered (if it weren’t capped) for a month! And that is only for DOWNLOADS! I can sit here and calculate the uploads, but it would be time consuming.

    A three strikes you’re out policy is in place for this retarded bandwidth cap. If I make use of a connection that I pay for above a certain point, I get cut off from the Internet. This is truly a fool’s errand. Either remove the cap or cease to call the service Xfinity (sounding like infinity)

    After reading this, I hope you will take the aforesaid into deep consideration. It is a bad economic decision to limit anyone or anything in an artificial manner. People will buy other services. The FCC has at least opened the way for competitive cable and internet services– that users may choose between providers. For this I am grateful!

    Oh yes, the ‘bandwidth usage meter’ isn’t even visible or accessible on the Comcast site under any heading including Home, Account & Bill, Users and Settings, Alerts, Help, etc. They don’t make it clear to their customers about these matters because people might be less inclined to subscribe. i.e. Your son can’t use the Xbox– it takes too much bandwidth to update games and download music. I cannot find any email address to contact customer support on the website. It’s hidden behind veils of javascript forums. They apparently don’t want emails from their own customers or input from subscribers. I read on Rick Germano’s (Head of Customer Relations) blog that Comcast spent $2 billion on customer relations. If they did that, why can’t I find a customer support email address that I can make use of instead of some web form that might not work with my browser? If they can afford $2 billion in customer service, they can definitely serve internet without bandwidth caps.
    While using their service, on Google, I click on links to contact Customer Support and on both of my computers it says “Connection Reset” I cannot find one email to contact customer support. I look all over the websites. To even access their business internet page, I encounter the same errors. 250GB is a retarded limit, simply put. When I read it isn’t just downloads, it’s both up and downstream bandwidth. The technician said it was DOWNLOAD ONLY. First, I ask the guy who sent the installation team and he didn’t know anything about the services he was pushing. They’re dumb sales men.. The people working for them probably get incentives to push stuff that people don’t want or need upon new and current customers. I got this response while calling for a simple cable modem reset. You don’t have phone service. They tried to push their other products onto me like a subservient minion. That isn’t a company that cares for the customer. It’s a company that cares about profit and screwing the people at the bottom of their sales pyramid. A pyramid is no better than it’s foundation. The top is supported by the layers underneath. They should call their Xfinity residential plans Xfinity bandwidth Nazi plans. I have felt compelled to write this.

    Reading through the internet, I found the following post:

    “Comcast should not limit or cap bandwidth, as you have a bandwidth limit per account and it doesn’t matter if there is one or 500 people using that line as you cannot exceed your ALLOWED bandwidth. Providing that the engineers did their job correctly and the company (ISP provider) hasn’t oversold their system. If that is true then there would be no ill effect on others in your shared tree. The problem is they over sell what they are capable of providing and of course lie about the service you are supposed to have, then they turn it around that those **** downloaders are taking all of your service it’s their fault for using what is provided to them, when in fact the ISP is not doing their job. This is normal standard business these days, they keep lying and we keep paying more. “

    From : “http://www.eweek.com/c/a/IT-Management/Comcast-Settles-P2P-Class-Action-Lawsuit-895449/”
    Quoting from
    _Comcast Settles P2P Class Action Lawsuit_

    Comcast’s throttling, the suit claimed, significantly slowed or stopped his downloads.

    “Defendants have disseminated and [continue] to disseminate advertising that they know or should have reasonably [known] is false and misleading,” the lawsuit stated. “This conduct includes, but is not limited to, promoting and advertising the fast speeds that apply to the service without limitation, when, in fact, defendants severely limit the speed of the service for certain applications.”

    In light of the FCC decision, Comcast has since changed its policy and imposed a 250GB cap for residential broadband customers.

    Under the class action settlement, class members must file a claim by Aug. 14, 2010.

    Cable giant Comcast agrees to pay $16 million to make a 2007 class action lawsuit go away. The lawsuit claimed Comcast blocked or throttled peer-to-peer traffic in violation of Comcast’s user’s agreement, charges the FCC subsequently investigated. The FCC found the company in violation of its network neutrality principles.
    Print Version Sponsored By

    While not admitting to any wrongdoing, Comcast has preliminarily agreed to pay $16 million to settle a class action lawsuit that claims the cable giant blocked or throttled peer-to-peer traffic to its customers. The maximum payout to members of the class action suit is set at $16.

    The proposed settlement stems from a November 2007 lawsuit filed by Jon Hart, a California Comcast subscriber who claimed Comcast slowed or cut off P2P file-sharing networks like BitTorrent and Gnutella in violation of Comcast’s user’s agreement. Hart’s share of the proposed settlement is $2,500.

    Several months after Hart’s lawsuit, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) began an investigation into similar complaints against Comcast and in August 2008 found Comcast guilty of network neutrality violations for throttling P2P traffic. The FCC also found that Comcast misled customers by not properly disclosing its P2P policy.

    From http://www.frooglegeek.com/why-comcast-should-be-sued/590

    I was reading a Google+ post from Chris Pirillo about how he was surprised there wasn’t a class action lawsuit against them yet. At first I chuckled to myself thinking that Comcast may be a terrible company, they surely aren’t doing anything illegal though. However after crunching some numbers I realized that Comcast is actually misleading customers when they are selling internet packages.
    Here is my reply to Chris:
    “Chris I feel like we could talk about Comcast for hours. Their data caps don’t make any sense at all because people want faster broadband because they need that extra speed because they are using their internet more.
    At 105Mbps you are downloading 13.125 megabytes per second according to Google’s calculator.
    1GB = 1024MB and with your 250GB cap that means you have 256,000MB to use per month before you reach the cap.
    Now going back to what Comcast will let you download per second you take 256,000/13.125 and you come up with 19,504 and some change. That means you can download stuff at your maximum bandwidth for 19,504 seconds.
    This turns out to be 325 minutes or 5 hours of downloading stuff. Feel free to double select my math.
    So essentially you are paying $100+ for 5 hours of nonstop internet access per month. If you’d like to chat about this more let me know I’m here all day, and I actually think I’m going to write up an article about this for my blog.”
    Did you catch that? The plan that Chris Pirillo has from Comcast which he pays for on a monthly basis only lets him have a total of 5 hours of internet usage where he is using his full connection. There are 720 hours in a 30 day month, which turns out to be 0.69% of a month.
    How is this not illegal? From a moral standpoint and not a political standpoint this practice should be illegal.

    And more::
    Terrible response. Just awful.

    People need to stop implying that a BUSINESS CLASS account is somehow a reasonable alternative for a RESIDENTAL user. If he were doing actual business things that were putting a large dent in his data, that might make sense. But as he said, “games, movies, bit of backup.” Nothing out of the ordinary.

    Sure, it is an OPTION, but the fact that residential users need a business class account (which also corresponds to a severe drop in speed as well. Business doesn’t offer over 50mbps, IIRC) to do residential activities, is absurd.

    The residential customers pay approximately the same price for the service that the business class receives.

    Fortunately companies such as Google are close to marketing Gbps connections to the public for affordable prices, creating a new competitive atmosphere for companies such as Comcast and Verizon. Even FIOS and other no-capped services will soon be put to shame. As unified evil will always defeat dis-unified good, join with me to protest these absurdities!.Comcast got off easy ($16 million) for the lies about bandwidth throttling… Let’s take them to court again and win.
    In order to get litigious :
    Visit http://www.comcast.com/arbitrationoptout/ to opt out of arbitration in order to sue with your own representation and be able to file a class action lawsuit.

    By providing the information below, you are notifying Comcast of your decision to opt out of arbitration with Comcast as provided in the Comcast Agreement for Residential Services or the 2007 Arbitration notice. If you previously notified Comcast of your decision to opt out of arbitration you do not need to do so again. Start making a blazing buzz about it and get huffy for the good of all other Comcast residential users!

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