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Charter Implements Internet Usage Caps

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 56 comments

Internet usage caps, unfortunately seem to be becoming more common. Earlier this week, Charter Communications confirmed to Broadband Reports that it would be introducing new usage caps on their broadband Internet plans.

The usage caps will only affect users on 25 Mbps and slower speeds. Users on a 15 Mbps or slower connection will be capped at 100 GB per month, which 15-25 Mbps connection will have a 250 GB cap imposed on them. These caps will not be applied to the new 60 Mbps tier, according to Charter's Eric Ketzer.

“In order to continue providing the best possible experience for our Internet customers, later this month we will be updating our Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) to establish monthly residential bandwidth consumption thresholds... More than 99 percent of our customers will not be affected by our updated policy, as they consume far less bandwidth than the threshold allows,” said Ketzer.

Charter is just one of several ISPs who have considered usage caps for their customers. AT&T and Time Warner began trials with bandwidth caps back in 2008. There's a good chance that more trials from other ISPs are on the horizon as they jump on the bandwagon.

While 100 GB may seem impossibly restrictive for some users, users in other western countries such as Australia would jump on a chance to have 100 GB and 250 GB caps from most of their ISPs. Many Australians are using broadband caps under 15 GB per month. In fact, you could be paying $29.95 (AUD) per month for a mere 200 MB cap, with $150/GB fee after the cap is exceeded. Perhaps that is why 22 percent of Australia is still on dialup.

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  • 1 Hide
    jerreece , February 7, 2009 8:16 PM
    I suppose 100GB / month is probably fine for most users. At the same time though, I don't like the idea of having a limit on my own internet usage period.

    Just don't see this as a step forward. I think I'd switch internet companies just to find a company that had unlimited usage.
  • 3 Hide
    MotorMouth , February 7, 2009 8:32 PM
    I wonder why the cap on all of the older and cheaper plans and not the new 60mbps? Could it be they want us to buy the new more expensive plan, just so we can be capped again? I'm a Charter customer if they cap me I will lower my Internet package. Plain and simple why should I pay for a service I can't use. All of the idiots that don't will be stupid to give into them.
  • 1 Hide
    MotorMouth , February 7, 2009 8:38 PM
    jerreeceI think I'd switch internet companies just to find a company that had unlimited usage.


    That's not going to be feasible much longer. They all clam unlimited usage as long as you don't exceed the cap.
  • Display all 56 comments.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , February 7, 2009 8:42 PM
    What's interesting: at 15mbps download, you could technically achieve your cap within your first 15.5 HOURS of the month. ((100gb*1024*1024*8)/15000kbps)/60s/60m = 15.53 hours
  • 1 Hide
    noahjwhite , February 7, 2009 8:46 PM
    I was afraid something like this was going to happen. Ultimately I think it comes down to profiteering. I doubt they will EVER lower the cost to people that use little bandwidth, yet, I find it likely that they will impose higher and higher rates on those that use high rates. With streaming HD video services like netflix popping up you could reach that 100GB limit faster than you think. I would estimate that my monthly rate is somewhere closer to 300GB. And that's just download. I have an always on torrent client server.
  • 1 Hide
    jhansonxi , February 7, 2009 8:55 PM
    Charter will now have bad network service to match their bad customer service.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 7, 2009 9:18 PM
    I wish in here we would have such big usage caps (Europe, Portugal) o_o
    We don't have connections faster than 30 Mbps. Even though some ISPs already have unlimited traffic, many have caps like 20GB limit on downloads + uploads for a 10Mbps connection or 40GB limit on a 20Mbps connection (both have something called "happy hours", with unlimited traffic between certain times during the night, for example between 1am and 9am).
  • 1 Hide
    eklipz330 , February 7, 2009 9:40 PM
    darnit, now its gonna take me forever to download the entire internet...
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 7, 2009 11:41 PM
    I hate the idea of this, though I hardly ever reach those levels. I wish they would also implement something like ATT where if I don't use my bandwith one month, it would roll over to the next.
  • -6 Hide
    Anonymous , February 7, 2009 11:50 PM
    The cap really don't make all the difference, I think there are very few people downloading over 1,2TB/year.

    The only issue might be if I'd have a very busy month, and need to download 150GB, I'd have to spread it over 2 months.

    In Belgium ISP's are just plain stupid!
    There's a 15GB limit,which is way too little even for the average internet fan. In order to download your material you need to download the first 10-15GB on highband. Then they set you on lowband.
    You basically will be using internet 24/7 on lowband to get an additional 30Gb downloaded per month; or, pay eur. 27 per month extra (which is outrageously much for many).

    Imagine you're running a business and you just capped 100GB,you all of a sudden can't receive any mails anymore?
    I hope the ISP will understand this and not cut but lower internet bandwidth instead to say dual ISDN speeds (112kbs up/dn)

    On high times (and I view a lot of streaming TV) I use upto about 45-50GB download a month, that translates in viewing TV every evening after work for about 2-3 hours.
    On low months I'm not using more than 2GB.
    For the end user 100GB should be enough, and whatever is getting close to the limit can always be downloaded a next month.

    Though I agree that I wouldn't want ISP's to make abuse of it, and keep on lowering the monthly limit.
  • 0 Hide
    randomizer , February 7, 2009 11:54 PM
    Australia typically throttles speeds on the mainstream plans to 64kbps (8kB/s) once you reach the tiny caps we have. The uber expensive ones, or the ones with VoIP get 128kbps or 256kbps.
  • 1 Hide
    seboj , February 8, 2009 12:57 AM
    Quote:
    Charter will now have bad network service to match their bad customer service.


    QFT.

    I just switched from Charter to a slower DSL connection. I was regretting the switch until I heard about this.
  • 4 Hide
    afrobacon , February 8, 2009 1:42 AM
    I hope they at least implement a meter of some sort that tells your how much you have left...

    Mainstream wireless protection is a joke and is far too easy to hack into. What if someone goes over their limit by a few hundred gigabytes because their neighbor found it more convenient to use someone elses internet?
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , February 8, 2009 1:59 AM
    Watching Cable TV generates about 1 gig an hour. How can they argue that internet needs to have these usage caps? They might as well put a cap to how many TV shows we can watch.
  • 0 Hide
    randomizer , February 8, 2009 2:03 AM
    WPA/WPA2 will stop most 13-year-old kids trying to be l33t with others' connections, but the problem is most people still use 64-bit WEP or nothing at all. :p fft:

    Usage meters aren't entirely accurate because they only measure traffic which reaches the client they are installed on.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 8, 2009 2:11 AM
    I agree with noahjwhite. It is just another way to gouge their customers.
  • -2 Hide
    Sad Panda , February 8, 2009 2:12 AM
    randomizerUsage meters aren't entirely accurate because they only measure traffic which reaches the client they are installed on.


    Usage Meter goes on the router not the computer, dumbass.

  • 1 Hide
    Tindytim , February 8, 2009 2:13 AM
    ProDigit80The cap really don't make all the difference, I think there are very few people downloading over 1,2TB/year.

    Sure, very few people download 1.2TB of content to their hard drive each year. But in a day and age when even YouTube has HD content, it's easy to hit that limit. If you like to stream Movies from Netflix, or with all the Networks offering streaming of some of their episodes, TV shows, or playing games online, VOIP, all of these things are bandwidth intensive.
  • 4 Hide
    randomizer , February 8, 2009 2:13 AM
    sad pandaUsage Meter goes on the router not the computer, dumbass.

    That depends on which usage meter you use.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , February 8, 2009 3:32 AM
    OMFG, I ain't going to move to a Charter occupied city. But again, TimeWarner will follow too.
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