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Comcast to put cap on internet usage...


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Derek McNelly

 
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http://www.reuters.com/article/inter...33325220080829

I knew it was coming.

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250GB isn't too bad but terminating your service for going over it twice in 6 months seems a bit extreme!
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Hmmm glad I don't have to worry about that in about 1 month...just have to worry about campus limits on file sharing...glad I go to a tech school
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skaheadpunk View Post
250GB isn't too bad but terminating your service for going over it twice in 6 months seems a bit extreme!
It is if you plan on downloading HD content on a regular basis - like watching movies on an AppleTV. Of course that's a boon to Comcast, since I'm sure they don't put similar caps on renting their "on-demand" movies through the normal cable TV service.

Hopefully the FCC steps in at some point and sees this practice for what it really is... anti-competitive behavior.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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CoMo

 
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Wireless carriers do it, too.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoMo View Post
Wireless carriers do it, too.
But most wireless carriers don''t advertise the service as "unlimited", nor are you locked into service with one particular vendor. In this country, it's mostly rare that more than one broadband service is available in a given area.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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the8thark

 
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250GB bandwith is a lot. But say they implement this. Fine. But what if say a year later they say hey this isn't working. We need to downsize the limit to 100GB then even less. Who's to stop them?

For that reason I am against the idea.
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comcast keeps getting beaten up for trying to implement this sort of thing. Instead of embracing new technology comcast is trying to push it away by imposing caps on what you can do and how much you can do it. as people drop their comcast internet service with their tv and phone plan as well...comcast will realize that this is a bad idea.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by the8thark View Post
250GB bandwith is a lot. But say they implement this. Fine. But what if say a year later they say hey this isn't working. We need to downsize the limit to 100GB then even less. Who's to stop them?

For that reason I am against the idea.
250GB is a lot NOW. It won't be in 3 years. Who's to stop them? No one, but you have options.

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CoMo

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
But most wireless carriers don''t advertise the service as "unlimited", nor are you locked into service with one particular vendor.
Not sure what you mean by "vendor." Do you mean carrier?

Until recently, most wireless carriers that offered flat-rate, unlimited-use data plans used the word "unlimited" in their marketing, even if it had an asterisk after it. AT&T Mobility is one example, and I know because only recently did they start mentioning a 5 GB cap.

Another example is Sprint. Their Simply Everything says unlimited, although you have to read the fine print to find out that they don't want you running a server.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
In this country, it's mostly rare that more than one broadband service is available in a given area.
If you mean the United States, that's incorrect. According to a January 2008 NTIA, report, 91.5 percent of Zip codes are served by at least three competing broadband providers.
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cwa107

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoMo View Post
Not sure what you mean by "vendor." Do you mean carrier?
Yes, carrier.

Quote:
Until recently, most wireless carriers that offered flat-rate, unlimited-use data plans used the word "unlimited" in their marketing, even if it had an asterisk after it. AT&T Mobility is one example, and I know because only recently did they start mentioning a 5 GB cap.

Another example is Sprint. Their Simply Everything says unlimited, although you have to read the fine print to find out that they don't want you running a server.
But does that make it right?

Quote:
If you mean the United States, that's incorrect. According to a January 2008 NTIA, report, 91.5 percent of Zip codes are served by at least three competing broadband providers.
Sorry, but I won't accept that report as gospel. My company deploys hundreds of work-at-home employees in home offices throughout the country and in the vast majority of cases, only one broadband provider is available (and I'm intentionally excluding Satellite and wireless providers, since those services bring with them a ton of caveats).

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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CoMo

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
Yes, carrier.

But does that make it right?

Sorry, but I won't accept that report as gospel. My company deploys hundreds of work-at-home employees in home offices throughout the country and in the vast majority of cases, only one broadband provider is available (and I'm intentionally excluding Satellite and wireless providers, since those services bring with them a ton of caveats).
Unless you've got an unlocked phone or can get the unlock code, you're stuck with the carrier that subsidized your phone's retail price. In the industry, that's known as "subsidy lock."

I don't have a problem with AT&T's 5 GB limit because they don't enforce it unless you go waaaay over that. I know because I regularly use twice that much per month, and I've never heard anything or been charged extra. Same thing for Sprint: For years I've been using my PPC-6700 as a radio by listening to stations' streams, and Sprint has never complained or charged me extra.

If you exclude wireless and satellite ops, of course it's going to be less than three or less than 91.5 percent. Personally I don't have a problem with cellular broadband in terms of speed or pricing. In fact, in some places, it's faster and a better deal than what you get from, say, CenturyTel.

On the wired side, 32 percent of rural service providers have deployed FTTC or FTTH, nearly triple from 2005. So even in the boondocks, you often can get multi-megabit service.
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cwa107

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoMo View Post
Unless you've got an unlocked phone or can get the unlock code, you're stuck with the carrier that subsidized your phone's retail price. In the industry, that's known as "subsidy lock."
My point is that this isn't an apt analogy. In the wireless phone world, you might have to pay a penalty to get out of your contract, but at least you have the ability to leave under protest and go to multiple carriers of your choosing. This is not always true of the broadband market. So, in some markets you're locked into one provider and have limited choice.

Quote:
I don't have a problem with AT&T's 5 GB limit because they don't enforce it unless you go waaaay over that. I know because I regularly use twice that much per month, and I've never heard anything or been charged extra. Same thing for Sprint: For years I've been using my PPC-6700 as a radio by listening to stations' streams, and Sprint has never complained or charged me extra.
I'm sure it's not a big deal in that industry - but the many and varied uses for broadband keep on growing, so instead of beefing up their infrastructure, Comcast has chosen to crack down on utilization. To me, that's wrong - especially when one of the primary benefits of broadband has historically been "unlimited" service. I can certainly understand if Comcast wants to offer tiered service for less money. But to take an existing service and subtract value from it, without lowering the cost is a problem for me.

Quote:
If you exclude wireless and satellite ops, of course it's going to be less than three or less than 91.5 percent. Personally I don't have a problem with cellular broadband in terms of speed or pricing. In fact, in some places, it's faster and a better deal than what you get from, say, CenturyTel.
My problem with it is that it's too unreliable. There are too many factors that can cause a connectivity drop or increase latency. That's a problem when you're running session-based protocols that require low latency. So, to me, it's just not in the same class as landline-based broadband service.

I just want to be comparing apples to apples here.

Quote:
On the wired side, 32 percent of rural service providers have deployed FTTC or FTTH, nearly triple from 2005. So even in the boondocks, you often can get multi-megabit service.
I find that surprising. I live in Middletown, PA - just outside of the state capital, Harrisburg. Middletown is known for being the home of Three Mile Island, and although there is still a bit of farmland in the area, it's not what I would classify as rural. FTTC/FTTH is nowhere to be found until you get closer to Harrisburg. Now, this is anecdotal at best, but looking around in my neck of the woods, I'd say penetration is very limited.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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CoMo

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
My point is that this isn't an apt analogy. In the wireless phone world, you might have to pay a penalty to get out of your contract, but at least you have the ability to leave under protest and go to multiple carriers of your choosing. This is not always true of the broadband market. So, in some markets you're locked into one provider and have limited choice.
Again, it depends on the types of networks (e.g., DSL, sat) that you're willing to limit yourself to. I'd love to have FiOS, but it's not available in my area. So I content myself with cable, which is about 12 Mbps down.

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Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
I'm sure it's not a big deal in that industry
It's a huge deal. For example, in a suburban or urban area, if the carrier has enough high-bandwidth users, it either has to add radios and more backhaul to each cell site, or it has to start splitting cells to add capacity, at $100K-$250K per base station. That's part of the appeal of WiMAX, which supposedly has a cost structure three to five times lower than 3G: They can cater to heavy data users without charging more than the cellular ops -- or at least that's what WiMAX ops hope.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
but the many and varied uses for broadband keep on growing, so instead of beefing up their infrastructure, Comcast has chosen to crack down on utilization. To me, that's wrong - especially when one of the primary benefits of broadband has historically been "unlimited" service. I can certainly understand if Comcast wants to offer tiered service for less money. But to take an existing service and subtract value from it, without lowering the cost is a problem for me.
Or Comcast, et al are adding limitations to an existing service rather than raising prices, which they probably can't do in many markets because of the competitive environment.

How do you know that Comcast hasn't beefed up its infrastructure? You can find out by looking through their SEC filings to see what their capex is. Somebody has gotta pay for that, and I don't think shareholders are going to be willing to foot that bill. Neither are most customers, so caps might be their only option to make the numbers add up.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoMo View Post
Again, it depends on the types of networks (e.g., DSL, sat) that you're willing to limit yourself to. I'd love to have FiOS, but it's not available in my area. So I content myself with cable, which is about 12 Mbps down.
Sure, but in the context of forming an analogy between wireless providers and broadband providers, my point is that in general, there is less consumer choice when comparing broadband providers that provide the same degree of service.

Quote:
It's a huge deal. For example, in a suburban or urban area, if the carrier has enough high-bandwidth users, it either has to add radios and more backhaul to each cell site, or it has to start splitting cells to add capacity, at $100K-$250K per base station. That's part of the appeal of WiMAX, which supposedly has a cost structure three to five times lower than 3G: They can cater to heavy data users without charging more than the cellular ops -- or at least that's what WiMAX ops hope.
Agreed.

Quote:
Or Comcast, et al are adding limitations to an existing service rather than raising prices, which they probably can't do in many markets because of the competitive environment.

How do you know that Comcast hasn't beefed up its infrastructure? You can find out by looking through their SEC filings to see what their capex is. Somebody has gotta pay for that, and I don't think shareholders are going to be willing to foot that bill. Neither are most customers, so caps might be their only option to make the numbers add up.
I could care less how they foot the bill. If it weren't profitable, they wouldn't be in the business. My problem with Comcast is that the product was sold as one thing, but morphed into another and many consumers are left in the lurch as a result.

Clearly Comcast isn't willing to invest in the appropriate infrastructure to maintain the established performance level without limiting consumption. That may be a wise move from a shareholder's perspective, but it's still anti-consumer.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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