Opposing Comcast's Internet Bandwidth Cap (Opinion)

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Calebrulez

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Oct 11, 2016
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To add some math, the current speed that Comcast sold me was 150 mbps for a month, however if I use 150 mbps for 16 hours 17 mins 21 secs i will use up 1TB of data, so essentially they sold me something they said I can use for a month that will actually be used up in less than a day. This sort of behavior is only possible because of their monopoly status.
 

amtseung

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The problem here is not the practice, but the mindset. The new data caps are akin to extortion, and that anybody that's already paying the extortion fee (already paying for unlimited), is still going to get throttled anyway, just to further reinforce the idea that "1TB is all you'll need". I'm sorry, but this is not fair practice, nor is this a good practice. I can pretty much call Comcast the Italian Mafia of the ISP world: monopolize an area, provide a "service", extort, profit, repeat.

And I'm currently a Comcast customer, because that's all we have in this area.
 

wysiwygbill

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My choices are either Comcast or my current provider, CenturyLink. With CenturyLink I can stream at a speed which drops to a whole 140p on youtube between 6pm and 1am or so despite having a 12 megabit DSL. This goes for a PC or Roku; on Sling or Youtube. I can download files (and videos), and get the right scores on internet speed tests; just not effectively stream. The only reason I'm still using CenturyLink is because of how much I despise Comcast/Xfininity. My municipality rejected the available state wide community fiber and opted to keep the "duopoly" where we pay through the nose for a substandard product.
 

Kewlx25

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Datacaps cost more than no datacaps. Bandwidth is so cheap that the administrative overhead to track the bandwidth costs more than the money saved.

Spend $10 to save $1. Actually, not even that. According to ISPs that offer unlimited bandwidth, less than a nickle on the dollar goes to to bandwidth and infrastructure. Offering the Internet is actually the cheapest part of being an ISP. The other $0.95+ of every dollar you pay for your bill goes for support and advertising.
 

jpishgar

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The only reason I'm still using CenturyLink is because of how much I despise Comcast/Xfininity.
This is the critical problem presented. In that where choice is available, it is extremely limited choice. For a significant number of people in America, there is not even the options provided by a duopoly, and they are stuck with Comcast/Xfinity.

And I'm currently a Comcast customer, because that's all we have in this area.
Likewise. And, while I am in one of the few areas that is not immediately impacted by this roll-out of caps, I was compelled to speak out about it. I know that I'm next on a list of eventualities here, and that after the roll-out is complete, there's the inevitability of hitting the cap, and then the tiers, and then the plans following the tiers. And then the add-ons to those plans. And then the fees associated with the plans. And then, would I like to add streaming? How about Steam access? Do I want to pay for Premium Extra Platinum Skype & VOIP package on top of my tiered upload/download speed and volume package deal?

No, this is a critical utility. It should be treated AND regulated as a utility if there are no valid alternatives. If they don't want to be treated as a utility, then the practices employed thus far in eliminating competition in municipalities should be investigated as anti-competitive.

-JP
 

DookieDraws

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"The FCC should investigate Xfinity’s recent capping of data usage at 1TB. For existing customers, this stands as a bait and switch. Consumers were sold something that came with a set of expectations, and then that something was changed, leaving many with no choice or leverage."

Exactly! I am currently on year 2 of a 2-year promotion. When I signed up, I had no data limitations, and this is the way it should be until my promotion expires next August. But I doubt it will be.

To be honest, I do not think I have ever went over a TB of data, but there's always a first for everything. Plus, I wonder how accurate their data meters are? Wasn't there some complaints about inaccurate readings during the trial periods?
 

none12345

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First take 1TB and mulitply by 0.8 for overhead. So you are left with about 800GB of usable data.

4k video @ 60 fps is ~60 megabit/second = 7.5MB/s = 27GB/hour

So you get about 29 hours of 4k video. Youd use up your terabyte in less then a week if you watch any tv/movies/youtube.

Sure, most people dont watch in 4k yet, but its coming quick.

1TB is approx 27 hours worth of 4k content. You could use that up in 2 days.
 

TMTOWTSAC

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Jun 27, 2015
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You don't even need to watch 4k.

Step 1: Buy Gears of War 4 with Play Anywhere and download to your Xbox and PC...
 

Wolfshadw

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4K Video is probably why they are implementing this right now. They know/claim that the increased data usage of 4K video will bog down their networks and restrict usage for everyone else. So if you *REALLY* want to watch a ton of 4K streaming, cough up the extra $50/month which, of course, will go towards improving their infrastructure so they may continue to provide you with the excellent service you've come to know and expect from Comcast/XFinity.

-Wolf sends
 

yorkhung

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Mar 21, 2015
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This article is exactly what a reputable technology news outlet should write about. Comcast has purchased some news outlet to defend their new cap.
 

memadmax

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"Comcast seems to be employing the boiling frog approach with data caps, rolling them out slowly with limits that seem reasonable at first. The temperature-sensitive amphibians among us have taken notice, and now you can croak your loudest in response."

EXACTLY. This little piece of wisdom is worth a million dollars. ^.^
 

razor512

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Think about this, you also have people who are buying more and more cloud reliant security cameras which will essentially record 24/7 in 1080p, and send that data to a remote server.

A neighbor who has 4 cloud reliant cameras, and DVR service, are using over 1TB a month on the cameras alone.

Many people use cloud or offsite backup solutions for their computers, which also use lots of data.

The data caps are simply a way to prevent people from using their internet connection to access new and innovative services, especially those that would compete with their TV services.

Some people may see 1TB as a lot, but as technology moves on, it becomes clear that 1TB is barely enough data to experience what the internet has to offer.
 

eklipz330

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"Comcast seems to be employing the boiling frog approach with data caps, rolling them out slowly with limits that seem reasonable at first. The temperature-sensitive amphibians among us have taken notice, and now you can croak your loudest in response."

i love this quote. comcast needs to be split a la baby bells
 

Karadjgne

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I watched Breaking Bad, start to finale, via Netflix. In less than a month. That was an expensive lesson in overage fees.

But here's what I don't get. My town already has fiber. AT&T installed it years ago, but Comcast shut it down, claiming monopoly laws, since at the time, Comcast couldn't do fiber. Now, my town is slated for Google Fiber. Hah! Craw in the works. So, I'll get the option to drop Comcast entirely for AT&T fiber for cable/net or Google etc, so why in the F would Comcast decide a cap on bandwidth now, in this area would be a good thing?
 

ledhead11

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This is much, much, deeper than Comcast. ISP's in the US have been pulling these antics for well over a decade. They're just the first one bold enough to brag about it.

Sure lets use 'em an example but the real issue is that an enforceable regulation needs to be effected.

'Internet Neutrality' strikes back. That's all this really is. The US(and many other countries) are bullied by mega-industries. Don't believe it, look at Oil, Medicine, Banking and now in the last 15 years-digital communications.
 

leo2kp

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Our two choices are Comcast and CenturyLink. Unfortunately CL only offers 25m down and 800k up, so I went with Comcast because performance was way better and I own my own hardware. Honestly I've never really had an issue with them from a service/performance standpoint - I've only ever seen one outage on their side in 5 years and performance is consistently higher than what I'm paying for. That being said, I'm pretty sure Comcast has injected some kind of page-killing advert on this post because my bandwidth is spiking and it's hard to type this without lag.
 

DRosencraft

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Writing to the FCC is not an answer, as this has broken none of their rules, nor any applicable law. Since no one has a contract - by the legal definiton - that extends past the monthly billing cycle, you are free to reject their offer of service for the specified price at any time you choose by cancelling their service. And because they are not deemed an essential service relative to life (medicine, etc), they're not under the same sorts of legal foundations. As a matter of basic contract law, they can change their terms as much as they want precisely because we the consumer are in what amounts to a rolling contract whose terms are freshly agreed to by retaining service month to month. Unless you are someone who has a two-year contract or something like that, they've told you they're going to change the terms of the contract and when. Legally the only option is for us to either accept or deny - accept by continuing to pay, or deny by cancelling the service. If you want to try to fight that from a legal standpoint on breach of contract, you're likely talking a class-action suit that will take years and years, and one that will be aiming to upset pretty hefty legal precedent.

Even Google, with its billions of dollars in cash, has decided it can't build out its high speed internet ideals and has scaled way back on the whole Google Fiber thing, so I wouldn't count on anyone entering the market and showing they can make money doing things different from the current crop. And unless the government takes ownership of the internet, basically make it like the highway system where they build and maintain it themselves, essentially charging tolls on it, they have no real way of controlling price or quality. It remains the discretion of the companies themselves to manage and finance the system, profiting how and how much they see fit. The FCC can't force them to set price. It doesn't have the power to force them to keep their prices where they are or anything like that. If not this data cap, then it'll likely be across the board price increases - which they've already been doing anyway, but will increase further in the coming years.

Sad to say, public pressure is the only way. If there's nothing anyone can do about a drug company jacking prices 1000% or more in less than five years on literally life or death medication used by millions, you're not going to get too many folks in the general public to cry foul about a data cap they don't pay much attention to and won't have to worry about for at least a couple more years. Public pressure is the only thing that will get Comcast to shift course, and there just isn't going to be that sort of pressure put on them for this.
 

IcehawkOS

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Oct 11, 2016
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1tb is enough for now, I agree that it will become limiting - how soon, I don't know. I am a "power" user and haven't hit the 1tb wall yet. The old BS 300gb? Every month. I use 500gb in an average month. I have other options but they are all even worse :(
 

wifiburger

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Feb 21, 2016
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what's that ? complaining about 1tb cap ? cause here in Canada the cap is so garbage low you can't even download / buy software off ms / sony servers without hitting the cap
 
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