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Comcast to implement 250GB cap in October?

updated 12:40 pm EDT, Thu August 28, 2008

250GB Comcast cap in Oct.?

Cable Internet provider Comcast may be implementing a 250GB transfer cap as soon as October 1st, anonymous sources claim. The company has been moving towards more neutral bandwidth-limiting techniques, following an FCC ruling that sabotaging BitTorrent traffic violates net neutrality policies. Although BitTorrent seeds are frequently used to share pirated material, they are also used for legitimate peer-to-peer distribution, and the FCC has noted that blocking BitTorrent unnecessarily favors some forms of Internet traffic over others.

Comcast has officially laid plans to throttle traffic in 10- to 20-minute bursts if a particular user is saturating the network.

The cap would allegedly target people who "consistently download far more than the typical user," without affecting people who may occasionally need to download large files. It is also expected to apply only to downloads, not uploads, and affect only about 14,000 of Comcast's 14.1-million subscriber base.

Such restrictions could still prove controversial however, as legal downloads of software, music, movies and TV shows have become increasingly popular. The last two categories could be hardest hit, as an individual TV show is often sized at several hundred megabytes, and movies are often rated at 1GB or larger.

by MacNN Staff



  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969


    That's not bad.

    250GB is a huge amount of data. It's hard to download that much data in a month.

    Though, I'm sure the throttling is not going to be well received; and it shouldn't be.

    I'd rather the cap be lower and they charge heavy users extra, and use those charges to invest in more infrastructure. Then they'll be able to raise the caps over time, as user demands increase.

  1. JackWebb

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Glad I don't have them

    Glad I don't have them. What if I'm running an mp3 stream out of my house? Now I'd have to calculate what I'm allowed to do. Or they'd probably want to switch me to some professional higher rate thing. They remind me of themselves about twice a week with a new flyer in my mailbox. That's been going on for at least two years. We must have received a few hundred so far and it is a household observation of how much we get from them. If they had only put that money into the bandwidth instead.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    That would suck for me.

    Being that i work from home for a Multimeida company and can push that in under a month between work and 5 home users. That would hit me hard. I am constantly pulling files that are 1Gig off our servers for testing. Did 70 GB overnight and doing another 50-60 GB today. Heck 2 hrs of MPEG2 HD conent is 9 gigs. It wouldn't take me long to over fill that amount of data. Now mind you i am not a typical user but for those of us working at home that pull lots of data, this would be bad.

  1. nhmlco

    Joined: Dec 1969



    If they really wanted to knock out most P2P traffic, while still allowing "legitimate" downloads of movies and TV shows, they'd throttle, cap, and/or charge more for UPSTREAM traffic. It's all well to say that P2P has legitimate use, but you, I, and everyone else knows that's NOT why most people use it.

  1. Zaren

    Joined: Dec 1969


    maybe not that bad

    By my rough calculations, playing a 128k streaming radio station for 8 hours a day would come out to about 110 gig a month.

    Toss in web pages and youtube and email and gaming, and if they hold to a flexible top end, that might be tolerable. Not exactly the "unlimited" we signed up for, but it's a pretty decent amount.

    I've always wondered just how much bandwidth is consumed by games like WoW and EQ and CS (not updating, just playing).

  1. slider

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Dear Comcast

    The only reason I am a customer is because there is no other high speed internet service available to me. In fact, I was once a FiOS customer but moved to an area where FiOS was not available. FiOS had consistently high speeds, always better then 10Mb/s, but usually close to the service I was paying for of 15Mb/s. Your service, on the other hand, rarely, if ever, gets to the 8Mb/s service you charge me for which tends to come in at 4ish Mb/s. And to top if all off, the FiOS service was much less expensive than your service. Please be aware that as soon as FiOS becomes available to me, I will be terminating my service with you. Instantly.

    Thanks for nothing,

  1. PBG4 User

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Uploads

    Uploads are already capped. Until a couple months ago, 384Kbps was the fastest you could go up. I'm glad the upload speed cap was move to about 1Mbps because now I can actually host a Gears of War room on my connection without someone lagging out.

    Not everyone who wants faster upload speeds wants it to share pirated content. :\

  1. bhuot

    Joined: Dec 1969


    have to measure

    "Not everyone who wants faster upload speeds wants it to share pirated content. :\"

    Agreed. The only big things I download is free software or software I bought. I don't do any near 250 mb a month, but I don't like to have it limited because I will have to measure it somehow.

  1. ncx5

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Don't have to Measure

    Been with Comcast for 4 years.

    Cancelled Comcast 8/21/2008, Verizon FIOS installed 8/28/2008.

    These tactics are just plain ugly, the sooner people get away from Comcast the better off everyone will be.

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