Feeds

Comcast trials bandwidth cap meter

After 13 months of bandwidth capping

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Comcast has flipped the test switch on a broadband meter that actually tells customers how much bandwidth they're using before they reach the company's 250GB-a-month bandwidth cap.

This morning, the US cable giant announced a pilot launch of the web-based meter in Portland, Oregon, saying it would reach the rest of the country "after a short period."

According to Comcast, the meter measures all data streaming over a user's cable modem. "So, if a customer is using multiple computers and other devices, such as an online gaming console, 'over the net' VoIP applications or devices, or additional wireless devices (such as an iPod Touch), the meter will report data usage for all of those computers and devices combined."

On October 1, 2008, under pressure from the FCC over its surreptitious BitTorrent busting, the US cableco said that it would cap each user's monthly broadband usage at 250GB. The cap is considerably higher than those rolled out by competitors, but many complained there was no way for consumers to know when they were approaching the limit.

Under current policy, Comcast phones customers after they exceed the cap, and if they exceed it again within six months, their accounts are subject to termination.

In the weeks following the rollout of the new cap, a Comcast insider said a user-readable meter would arrive in January 2009. But that didn't happen. And it continued to not happen for 11 months.

But a trial is now underway. Portland users can access the meter by logging into Comcast's online customer center at customer.comcast.com and selecting the “Users and Settings” tab. The "view details" button in the top right hand corner of the screen then takes you to the meter page.

It is refreshed every three hours or so, but it will eventually measure usage for the past three months. ®

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.