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5 Devices That Spell Trouble For Your Comcast Bandwidth Cap

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[qi:_newteevee] Comcast’s new 250 GB bandwidth cap is that, as Om points out, is metered without a meter — Comcast doesn’t provide you with a central tally of all your data use. The company instead suggests its customers install bandwidth metering software on their machines and then add up the numbers. Got multiple home machines consuming data every day? Better bust out that spreadsheet — and get ready for some wild guesstimates. After all, you can’t just install a bandwidth metering application on your Slingbox. For a rundown of five innocent-looking devices that could get you in trouble with Comcast, head over to NewTeeVee.

11 Responses to “5 Devices That Spell Trouble For Your Comcast Bandwidth Cap”

  1. Stephen Stiles

    I take issue with anyone who doesn’t have a problem with 250GB caps. If the cap was 10GB would we have a right to complain? 5GB? 4GB? There will always be someone who says, “I never use 4GB therefore there is no problem.” What about those of us who telecommute and are constantly exchanging data and information over a VPN to an office far away? Forget those guys.

    The issue is with the cap itself. This is not forward thinking. Everyone is looking to do more with the internet not less. 250GB may seem like a lot now, but, what about 5 years from now. 10 years from now. The whole idea of caps is counter-productive.

    The other issue is that if you go over the cap a second time (first time is a warning) they kick you off for a year. This also seems excessive for a company that won’t help you monitor it, but, heaven help you if you go over.

    ISPs should be doing more in the way of building up their infrastructure, not limiting their service. This is the wrong direction.

  2. As a Comcast user myself (with two residential accounts and two corporate accounts), I have no problem with the caps, and I have no problem with Comcast not offering metering software.

    Software, by default, is not an acceptable way to meter internet usage. If it isn’t installed on the router, it will likely miss bandwidth transfered, especially in a home or office with more than one PC connection.

    Since Comcast doesn’t specify which router you use (and thankfully allows you to set up whatever make and model you prefer), it should be up to the users to maintain their own logs of transfer amounts used. Since it is merely 1% of the market, all of them likely power users, there is no reason they can’t go out and purchase an inexpensive router that supports keeping track of all the data going in and out of their location.

    For years, geeks yelled that Comcast would advertise “unlimited” and then penalize high-usage users. Now that they’re specifying a cap, the geeks are yelling about the caps, even though most geeks aren’t going anywhere near that cap.

    In our home we have 4 heavy users. We run 3 businesses out of that same home, including a print shop where I’ll transfer up to 1GB a day of high resolution images. In the past 12 months, our average monthly usage has never exceeded 100GB, ever. And we’re regular torrent sharers, too.

    This is much ado about nothing. If you use over 250GB per month, you’re likely aware of the network within your home or office. Adding an inexpensive router that monitors usage is at most an hour of work, and $50-$100 on eBay. No big deal.

  3. I really think this means that Comcast will create a notion of “on” and “off” network traffic. If they do this, they will be able to generate additional revenue by supporting existing sites such as Fancast and others under their direct control while “penalizing” users with the meter for using the outbound internet. It is very AOL-esque…

  4. anybody who does business with comcast is an idiot.

    the internet is not a commodity, its an infrastructure.

    instead of throttling down and clamping limits, we should be expanding.

    soon we will be sold access to our own toilets.


    I use my computer 5 days a week, about 8 hours a day, to moniter my stocks with a major brokerage company.. I also use my computer about an additional 20 hours per week for various things.. I do not have HD television and I do not “download” anything I am aware of… I do have a wireless connection from my computer to a cOMCAST modem/router..
    If this usage causes me any changes in my computer availaility I will definetly figure out to avoid using Comcast including moving my home to a different part of the country. I AM NOT ADVERSE TO PAYING MORE FOR MY CURRENT USAGE WITH COMCAST.. I WANT TO KNOW IF COMCAST WILL CAUSE ME TO MAKE CHANGES TO MY CURRENT LIFESTYLE…

  6. Hi Om,

    Perhaps most aren’t aware of this, so I figured I would comment — the DD-WRT software for Linksys routers supports bandwidth graphs, so anything running through your router can be measured (which should be everything in your house.) The software can be installed on many routers, and it may be worth upgrading your router to something that supports it if you’re on Comcast.

    My boyfriend and I are pretty heavy Internet users, and we use Comcast, so we logged in tonight to check our previous usage, and we’re averaging about 50GB/month currently.


  7. Griffon

    I have a big problem with this so far quite a few people have demonstrated that comcast is very dishonest or has very poor metering tools or both. They have a responsibility to their customers to provide detailed accounting if they are going institute a real and enforced cap. It’s not just a matter of customer service they need to be able to prove the numbers and to date they have done a really bad job of that and been inanely arbitrary.