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Comcast launching broadband meter: Watch your limit!

2010-01-12 09:15 by
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Comcast is introducing a "data meter" to broadband customers in Washington state on Tuesday to help custemers keep track of broadband consumption -- and avoid hitting the company's controversial data usage cap.

In October 2008, the company began limiting residential broadband customers to 250 gigabytes of data usage per month. Before that, the company had periodically cut off service to people using too much broadband, but hadn't specified an amount, drawing complaints that it was throttling users.

After the limit was specified, customers asked Comcast for some kind of meter so they could keep track of their usage, spokesman Steve Kipp said in announcing the meter.

"Our hope is that this meter will help give our customers a better picture of their overall bandwidth consumption. We believe many will be surprised by how little data they actually consume,'' he said in the release.

Comcast will send broadband customers an e-mail Tuesday about the meter.

Kipp said most customers don't consume enough data to be concerned; customer consume at the median from 2 to 4 gigabytes per month and 99 percent use less than 250 gigs per month.

"For the fraction of less than 1 percent of our customers who are concerned about exceeding our excessive use threshold, we believe this meter will help them monitor and calibrate their usage," Kipp said. "It may also help them identify potential problems such as the presence of a bot or virus or excessive use of their bandwidth via an unsecured wireless router."

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  User Reviews/Comments:
by Sava700 - 2010-01-12 16:25
The data cap is a joke... many that stream in HD video and so on will eat up alot and with this its only the start of limiting what we need to give the rest of the country that doesn't have broadband. This only stops growth rather than spur it.
by Philip - 2010-01-13 13:24
I don't see how this limit relates to expanding broadband access to rural America.

It's rather Comcast limiting what is being given to you for your money so they can improve their profit margin by selling the same bandwidth to more customers... It's pure capitalism, nothing to do with redistribution according to need.
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