Feeds

Comcast mulls overage fees for bandwidth lovers

250GB monthly cap

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

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. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Trying to sell your house? It'd better have KILLER mobile coverage
More NB than transport links to next-gen buyers - study
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Speak your brains on SIGNAL-FREE mobile comms firm here
Is goTenna tech a goer? Time to grill CEO, CTO
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.