Feeds

Comcast mulls overage fees for bandwidth lovers

250GB monthly cap

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Comcast is considering monthly download caps for all those people on its cable-based internet service.

According to a report from Broadband Reports, America's second largest ISP is mulling a plan that would cap user downloads at 250GB a month. Under the plan, users would not be penalized if they crossed that 250GB threshold once during a 12-month period, but if they did it again, they'd be charged $15 for every 10GB beyond the magic number.

"The intent appears to be to go after the people who consistently download far more than the typical user without hurting those who may have a really big month infrequently," an anonymous person told BR.

Comcast spokesman Charlie Douglas confirmed that such a plan is in the works. "Comcast is currently evaluating this service and pricing model to ensure we deliver a great online experience to our customers," he told us. "We have not made any changes to our current service offerings and have no new announcement to make at this time."

BR's anonymous source claims there's "a lot of momentum" behind the plan, with a trial set to begin over the next two months. Another big-name ISP, Time Warner Cable, is already testing a similar cap in the little town of Beaumont, Texas.

The secret source also says that Comcast's proposed cap would affect "only" 14,000 of the company's 14.1m broadband subscribers. For those of you with poor math skills, that's 0.1 per cent of all downloaders.

Evidently, the plan would not cap uploads. But Comcast is already capping uploads using forged TCP reset flags. For nearly a year - and maybe longer - the company has systematically flagged uploads from BitTorrent and other peer-to-peer protocols - a practice that has caught the attention of the Federal Communications Commission.

Of course, Comcast doesn't call this a cap. It prefers the word delay.

Many will take issue with Comcast's proposed download cap. But in some ways, it would improve on the status quo. Currently, the company reserves the right to terminate users who exceed a download threshold it refuses to identify. Its new plan would at least tell users what they can expect from their internet service. If only Comcast would do the same when it comes to BitTorrents. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass
Operator says it will safeguard 359 jobs, plans lick of paint
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.