Feeds

Comcast mulls overage fees for bandwidth lovers

250GB monthly cap

Top three mobile application threats

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. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.