Comcast To Roll out Monthly Usage Cap

Rafat Ali
Friday, August 29, 2008; 1:07 AM

Comcast ( NSDQ: CMCSA), the country's largest broadband provider, is rolling out restrictions on its service usage, and subscribers whose use of the internet exceeds 250 GB of data a month will first get a warning call, and then on the second instance, their service will be suspended for a year...its current usage policy was amended online today, and this policy will start October 1, the company announced today. The more interesting part is that Comcast will NOT be provding any tools to monitor bandwidth usage, but has told users to search online for bandwidth monitoring tool, reports The FAQs about excess usage are here.

Here's how it justifies it: "250 GB/month is an extremely large amount of data, much more than a typical residential customer uses on a monthly basis. Currently, the median monthly data usage by our residential customers is approximately 2 - 3 GB. To put 250 GB of monthly usage in perspective, a customer would have to do any one of the following:

-- Send 50 million e-mails (at 0.05 KB/e-mail)-- Download 62,500 songs (at 4 MB/song)-- Download 125 standard-definition movies (at 2 GB/movie)-- Upload 25,000 hi-resolution digital photos (at 10 MB/photo)." Of course HD streaming will also speed up that limit.

This move from Comcast comes after its brush with FCC, where the regulator lambasted the company for blocking and slowing down P2P traffic on its service. Comcast insists this latest move has nothing to do with the FCC ruling against it.

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