Feeds

ISP whacks game fan with $24,000 bandwidth fine

Halo movie posting made mincemeat of 500MB download limit

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

An online gaming fan has been hit with a $6000 invoice from his ISP and is set to receive another, for $24,000 - all for posting a movie of upcoming Bungie X-box title Halo on his personal Web site.

The movie is a copy of an Nvidia advertisement that features Halo in action, running on the 3D graphics company's hardware. The ad appeared back in July, and was shown at MacWorld Expo in New York. US-based Halo fan 'Cannibal Harry' managed to grab the ad, digitise it and decided to post it on his site, for other fans to enjoy.

And enjoy it they did. Harry posted two versions of the movie - one a whopping 45MB, the other, at 32MB, not much smaller - and both proved something of a hit among gamers. Together they led to 62GB worth of data that was downloaded Harry's site during July that his ISP, Earthlink, now wants paying for.

Bad enough, you might think, but a closer look at his site access log showed that during September, some 4500GB (4,500,000MB) were downloaded - resulting in a $24,000 charge.

The scale of the bills appears to arise because Cannibal Harry has a total monthly transferred data limit of 500MB, and, like a bank faced with an overdrawn customer, Earthlink has slapped him with massive extra charges. Earthlink isn't alone here - many ISPs levy significant penalties from customers who surpass their bandwidth limits.

That may explain why the ISP didn't drop its customer a line to let him know he'd reached his limit. Harry is talking to Earthlink at the moment to reduce the extra charge.

Now, Earthlink charges ten cents for every megabyte downloaded above the 500MB per month limit. By our reckoning, Harry owes around $450,000 for September, so we assume his bandwidth usage was somewhat lower than claimed (ie. 240GB), or Earthlink has already cut his bill down to 24 grand. The figure of $24,000 comes from Rampancy.net, which first revealed Cannibal Harry's woeful tale.

Either way, it's one hell of invoice to receive, and the guy is undoubtedly going round the bend with worry. Who wouldn't? For its part, Earthlink probably has little chance of recovering the debt, and would do well to come to an arrangement.

So let this salutary tale be a warning to any of you folks thinking of posting the odd QuickTime movie of Doom 3 or whatever: careless posting costs hard cash. ®

Related Link

Rampancy.net's story

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV
Pureed-carrot-in-ice cream C++ surprise
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Twitter: La la la, we have not heard of any NUDE JLaw, Upton SELFIES
If there are any on our site it is not our fault as we are not a PUBLISHER
Facebook, Google and Instagram 'worse than drugs' says Miley Cyrus
Italian boffins agree with popette's theory that haters are the real wrecking balls
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79
An era disrupted by the advent of the PC
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?