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Comcast finally rolls out Internet usage meter

updated 02:25 pm EST, Tue December 1, 2009

Comcast lets users track bandwidth

Nearly a year later than originally planned, Comcast today launched a test version of its data usage meter for its Internet subscribers. The gauge, currently found only in Portland, Oregon, gives cable modem users a rough benchmark for the amount of data transferred in a given month as well as their use history. It should theoretically be more reliable than computer- or router-based trackers as it checks all Internet use, including consoles, phones and other devices that aren't always covered.

The results are being independently monitored by NetForecast to allay concerns that Comcast might skew the results in its favor. No mention has been made of when the meter will be available to other regions.

The Internet provider's move addresses a longstanding complaint regarding Comcast's official bandwidth cap, which was set at 250GB in August of last year but had no official, reliable means of verifying how close customers might come to breaking that limit. Unlike some providers, Comcast doesn't allow for overage fees and has warned it will cut off subscribers that exceed the cap more than once.

Caps of the sort arrive just as Comcast is seen as increasingly likely to acquire NBC and will have a vested interest in monitoring use of its Internet access for downloading and streaming TV shows.

by MacNN Staff



  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969


    data commies - they're watching you

    Who the h*** cares how much data they're "using" over their wired internet connection? If you pay for Xmb/s speed connection, you're paying for that speed whenever you need it. That can be full-speed sporadically, or continuously. That speed is supposed to be there whenever and for however long you need it.

    This isn't an electric bill where you pay for actual usage. If the provider wants to monitor zones of households to be sure they're infrastructure can support growing demands, all well and good. To make people pay for usage when you've already tiered your pricing on speeds is ridiculous. To punish users who try to get more for their money with a cap is contemptible. This isn't a single-speed wireless carrier.

    My condolences to ppl having to put up with Comcast data commies.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    How, exactly, is it OK for the wireless carrier to cap your usage, but on a wired-based service is communistic?

    And you're missing the point. Since there is a cap, you are paying for usage, not just for speed.

    And, as you say, every other service you use you pay for usage. Why shouldn't you pay for usage with internet?

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