back to article Comcast trials bandwidth cap meter

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 …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Terribly, terribly sad yes?

    I don't mind caps.

    Caps are fine and dandy. If an ISP has (or rather HAS) to resort to using caps well it says something for its infrastructure, marketing and management techniques.

    On the other hand an upper cap seems to be rather, well, lacking symmetry without an equal and equivalent lower cap. Yes?

    So for all those iSPs using upper limit caps or whatevers how about they define lower limit caps as well?

    Something along the lines of: if your lower cap is breached we will throw money at you. Yes! This means you!


    <Yawn> am I awake now? That was a wonderful dream no?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Next thing you will suggest something sensible

      How about actually charging for line + bandwidth used. O... Sorry... That is sensible, we cannot allow that. The user has to punished, made to bend over and ... And we are not in this for the money, we are here to serve the right people a service ya know

      How about not accounting for own services? O... Sorry... That is sensible, we cannot allow that. The user has to punished, made to bend over and ... And we are not in this for the money, we are here to serve the right people a service ya know

      How about not including your own services in a bandwidth trottle? O... Sorry... That is sensible, we cannot allow that. The user has to punished, made to bend over and ... And we are not in this for the money, we are here to serve the right people a service ya know

  2. Dave Bell

    Nothing new under the sun

    Tiscali had a usage meter in 2005. Then they dropped their cap, and stopped providing the meter.

    How much do people use? Who really knows?

    1. Anton Ivanov

      Whatever, we had it in 1998

      Probably the first customer selfservice portal we put online at the time. Also, comcast is doing this region by region so they cannot even complain that "we are big so it is difficult for us"

      By the way, the forum rendering is completely buggered in Konqueror - you press reply and the effing thing votes, you press vote and the effing thing asks you "do you really want to report this post".

    2. mmiied

      usige meter

      was it a in excanhe meter of a in home meter cos I need to find a simple way of messering download usige for one of my smaller customers and a simple plug in meter would be usefull if anybapody knows of one

  3. Antidisestablishmentarianist

    Bandwidth? Usage Capping?

    The article starts off talking about bandwidth and then moves to usage capping. So what does this meter do, tell the user how much bandwidth they are using, or how much data they have downloaded (towards the cap). Shirley they are different things?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bandwidth? Usage Capping?

      The usage cap appears to be set at 250GB/month, which is, technically, a measure of bandwidth, just not what most of us would consider a useful one.

  4. dr2chase

    I'd be tempted to take a run at it.

    The only thing that has me still using Comcast is that I'm too busy to switch to DSL, and we are paying (quite a lot) for internet and nothing else (I save an entire dollar per month in not receiving TV over their cable).

    I installed Tomato on my router because of this cap (not knowing anything for sure about what we were using), discovered that the IT guys at my wife's work had installed some phone-home backup software that was chewing up quite a lot of it (and with Tomato, I blocked it). Unless you can get realtime feedback on your use from Comcast, there will be problems like this for other people.

  5. Dave 129

    11 months?!

    It took them that long to err sum a few numbers that they are already logging?! How slack is that?! I am on Cogeco, and we've had bandwidth figures (and the last 3 months available) since we signed up over 18 months ago.

    @Dave Bell: you use more than you think, especially if you download games on Steam. I just bought Dragon Age: Origins, Ghostbusters and Riddick. That's 35GB right there. I get 60GB/month. Hell if I'd bought any more games from the Steam sale, I'd have ripped through my quota.

    And in final answer I average about 20-30GB a month bandwidth according to the stats. I dunno if that is a lot, it's about half my due.

  6. Nexox Enigma

    Oh Comcast...

    I can't wait until they put a 250gb cap on my 50mbit cable line. That'll last me less than 12 hours at full tilt downloading.

    As it stands Comcast sucks:

    Their advertised speeds for everything but the 50mbit line include the temporary speed boost misfunction, so after 20MB of download in an unspecified time, at an unspecified frequency, your 30mbit down / 7mbit up connection goes to 22/5, where it stays.

    They managed to get confused when I moved and continue charging me for 2 accounts, even though I verified with them when I called to tell them I moved that they would stop charging me. They still owe me a decent amount of money despite over a dozen calls confirming it had been credited to my account (it took as many to simply stop billing on the disconnected address as well.) I've talked to multiple other people to whom this exact thing has happened, and I'm reasonably sure Comcast does it on purpose, since the only way to get that money back is to take them to small claims court.

    After I moved they saw that I had 2 accounts and decided to cut off my new one by having a technician drive out and unplug my connection at the street. A week after that was fixed, the previous resident of my flat called to cancel their old account, so Comcast drove out yet again and unplugged my connection. Each time a technician had to drive back out to re-connect me, and I had to get my call escalated 3 times to get someone that could schedule that tech to get there in less than a week. If you accidentally unplug something that I'm paying for (I was unable to get a refund for their accidents) you better damned well fix the mistake quickly.

    Whenever I call to report an outage, the tier 1 tech support tells me that my router is at fault, because it's only 802.11G, and I should buy one that's 802.11N to fix it. They told me that both times their company physically cut my connection, and they can't contemplate the fact that my wireless AP is separate from my router, so my wireless speed can't possible affect my wired network - it isn't even on the same vlan.

    The technician that installed my modem (Because I can't apparently can't be trusted to call in with a mac address.. oh well that would have meant hours on hold on my cell phone) was clearly stoned out of his head, didn't bring the right equipment, and neglected to record the other equipment which he collected. Comcast later tried to bill me for the items that he forgot to record.

    And the saddest part is, that even if they do put a 250gb cap on my connection, it'll still be the best ISP available in my flat, where the only alternative is 256K DSL for nearly the same price.

  7. Gordon is not a Moron

    Just one question

    as the meter is on Comcasts's website, does looking at your usage increase your usage?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Gordon is a Moron*

      What would you expect!

      I suspect it does.. I also suspect they are trying to do this either via a modem firmware packet count or at the exchange again by packet count.

      (* thats a reference to Graham Fellows)

  8. Bassey

    This is new

    Really? My ISP (WiManx) has offered these figures for years. I can currently view the Monthly upload and download figures for the last twelve months and then break them down into daily figures if I wish. November 09 was 19.6GB down and 2.6GB up.

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