Comcast Caps: Scared Yet?


Comcast has come clean about their plans to cap usage on its broadband service. Starting in October, if you use more than 250GB of bandwidth in a month, you’ll get a talking-to. Cross that threshold twice in six months and they’ll kick you off the service, for a year. They’ve issues new Acceptable Use Policy and FAQ documents to try to sugar-coat this as a limit that most people will never hit.

The last time we covered this story, readers were mildly outraged. Now that we’re starting to see specific numbers associated with specific services, it’s easier to get a sense of whether you’ll be affected. Does 250GB per month worry you? If it does, leave us a note – and hop over to our parent blog GigaOM, which is challenging people to come up with plausible ways to cross the threshold.



So it has begun. I’m definitely jumping ship to Uverse as soon as it becomes available in my complex. I don’t know if I’ll ever get anywhere near the 250GB limit, but I’d rather not find out and get thrown off my internet service (which my job depends on!).

NoteScribe: Premier Note Taking Software


How lucky you are. In Indonesia we have to pay $100 to get an unlimited plan

C Phillips

Well, start at 250 and it will go down from there as they try to find more ways to rape us. Comcast is one of the highest and most poorly run providers out there with a very high turn over rate of employees (Gee, I wonder why? Could it be they are so poorly run and ineffecient?). I am against any cap whatsoever. If I could go to fios I would because comcast is an overpriced glut. Had interview for job once and hiring manager admitted they had their paying customers by the **** (private parts). Just try to a wrong bill corrected. In our area they have a payment office with one inch thick bulletproof glass and security guards (not because of the money, most pay with check) but because of irrate customers.

Adam Hill

What?! 250Gb controversial?! You don’t know how lucky you are. In Australia we’ve never had an unlimited option through any ISP I know of in the first place… and you’ll pay $100/month for 50Gb in most cases.


Ironies and shortsightedness abound. Internet increasingly is TV. That increases bandwidth. Comcast is at heart in the TV delivery business. They’re stuck needing a lot of their cable capacity for TV, for high def particularly. They apparently haven’t planned and built ahead well enough to handle the crunch (hello FiOS!), and are therefore handling it in the manner of a utility that encourages conservation to delay the fixed cost discontinuity and inelasticity inherent in building new generating plants, except with a heavier hand. It’s kind of surprising that they aren’t the ones who rolled out fiber incorporating the proverbial last mile, especially given the geographical monopolies they enjoyed before cross-industry competition started biting them. Oh wait… monopolies don’t encourage that sort of thing, so instead we get collapsible laurel chairs.


“I’m not too worried. 250GB is a ton. The average person probably doesn’t pass 2GB.”

If you download 2 movies in an entire month you passed 2gb. This does not take into account streaming video, gamers (the average PC game is 8gb up to 20+ for a one time download), etc. While still, this will keep most people under 250 gb, with the changing face of internet use, to assume 2gb is normal is silly. Out of many people I know, I doubt any of them use under 10 gb a month based on what I have seen with their bandwidth use. I doubt I’ll ever go over 250 gb, but I also do not want to monitor my use. I will probably switch providers (thank god for competition in my market) if I ever come close to 250.

J Lane

Hey, on the Lifehacker post, they mentioned some bandwidth-use-monitoring apps, but they look to be all Windows-based. Is anyone aware of anything for Mac (seems like this is a better audience to ask) that will either:

a) Cut off access at a certain point until you reset it,
b) Show you how much bandwidth you’ve used (with the ability to reset monthly)

I’ve got a friend that’s on a cellular-only Internet connection, and she’s got a 6GB cap (so 250 GB sounds great in this case!)


I’m not worried yet either. It would however be interesting to see how much I actually transferred in a month. 250GB seems like a lot, but with streaming video, torrents, online backup, VPN… maybe I’m using more than I think.

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