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Comcast Thinks 250 GB Monthly Transfer Cap And Overage Charges


Los Angeles (CA) - Comcast wants to put the brake on its top downloaders and is mulling a monthly transfer cap and overage charges. According to Broadband Reports, the cable Internet company plans on imposing a 250 GB soft cap on transfers and would charge $15 for every 10 GB excess. Customers would get a free pass on one month’s overage in a 12-month period.

The soft cap would affect approximately the top .1 percent of the 14.1 million Comcast customers - about 14,000 customers. While 250 GB may sound a bit low to some people, we did a quick Excel number crunch and found that you would have to sustain nearly 100 kilobytes per second for an entire month to break this barrier. That’s a lot of downloading!

Of course any such plan would necessitate some type of bandwidth calculator or display as to prevent a flood of calls to customer service. Broadband Report’s internal source says there is some talk about having such a tool, but Comcast hasn’t confirmed this point.

Apparently the plan has a lot of internal support and Charlie Douglas, a Comcast spokesman, confirmed the plans to Broadband Reports, but added "We have not made any changes to our current service offerings and have no new announcement to make at this time."

Read more ... Broadband Reports.

  • vherub
    sounds fair now, but if we envision a future where most media will be primarily digital distribution and you pull music, movies and games it's going to get tighter. Ultra HD with extras could clock in at 10s of gbs per title.
  • This kind of thing happens all the time elsewhere i.e. other countries. It's also the model we used to have for cell phones. The tools for monitoring have been created years ago and refined. I personally think that the pendulum is swung a bit too much. If the intent by major ISPs is to stop the "abuse" then when they reach their cap, shape also known as throttle them down. "Abusers" will continue to use exactly as much download is given to them "free". Programs will popup (no pun intended) that will turn off bandwidth usage so that there are no overcharges. The programs already exist for the previously mentioned other countries. My solution of course is truly about stopping the abuse. Comcast and others are still in to make a buck, hence their approach. They're not stupid just foolish, they've investigated other business models at determined this to derive the greatest profit.

    They forget that in these other countries, market conditions are different than the U.S. Customers here will move to another provider. Instead of increasing margin on the intensive use of bandwidth, they'll lose customers altogether.
  • Cox doesn't cap. Perhaps this is their chance to take some market share from Comcast. If Comcast starts losing subscribers then they will get the idea.
  • Mr_Man
    While I personally would prefer a cap rather than a slower bandwidth if I had to choose, I think this is a bad idea. As things like online movie rentals increase, people will be more likely to go over their limit, and it's just best not to have something like this. Though, like the article says, almost no one exceeds that amount as it is.
  • Well 100KB for a month might sound bad, but when you pull a constant 2.5-3MB's It's only 3-4 Days of sustained downloading
  • virtualban
    If they sell "Unlimited" it should be unlimited. People might go for a cheaper "Limited to 250 GB" or for the "Unlimited" version, but as long as it is clearly stated beforehand in the contract. And no, throttling the speed in an unacceptable practice, deserving lawsuits of all kinds.
  • virtualban
    The 404 happened to me, but due to just having just read it on a comment, I tried the old fashioned, back and refresh and voila...
  • Christopher1
    There doesn't need to be a cap on bandwidth. Personally, I have stopped using Bittorrent except to download Naruto Shippuuden episodes from Dattebayo for the past month.
    I requested to see how much bandwidth I had used from Comcast (I was watching a LOT of online video on and others this past month)...... 100GB's. I was like "WHAAAAAAT?!"
    Now, each month I usually download about 100GB's of stuff using Bittorrent..... so I'm getting PRETTY dang close to that cap adding my usual downloading AND Bittorrent together, so close that I think the cap, if any, should be a little closer to 400GB's, at least.

    That said, I really don't want ANY cap at all. The facts are that people are going to start buying complete movie ISO's online in HD and burning them to Blu-Ray discs (I've just ordered a Blu-Ray burner for my parents computer) so..... bandwidth caps aren't going to work.
    Comcast and other internet companies just have to increase their bandwidth and speeds.... that is the ONLY real solution in the end. They are trying to do that now, but from what my cousin who works for Comcast has told me.... they are not moving very fast.
  • Broadband provider and users are at a crossroads. It is not in the interest of the broadband providers to continue to increase the amount of bandwidth because it will cut into their sales of CableTV, OnDemand, PPV, and VoIP services.

    This is the 800lb elephant in the room that is rarely mentioned in articles discussing bandwidth caps and limitations by ISPs.

    I can watch streaming TV shows over the internet for free from sites like Hulu, Joost, and iTunes that cover 99% of the tv shows I watch. Why should I continue to pay $65 a month for my cable TV subscription?

    The Broadband ISPs are going to fight tooth and nail against increasing bandwidth, not because upgrading their networks costs money, but because it will cause the downfall of their own services.