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Comcast Bandwidth Cap Goes Live Oct. 1
Claims impact for only the top 0.1%
incrediBILL




msg:3734134
 6:35 am on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Comcast has talked about this before but it appears now it's official that all customers will have a bandwidth cap of 250GB per month.

[comcast.net...]

Today, we're announcing that beginning on October 1, 2008, we will amend our Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) available at [comcast.net...] and establish a specific monthly data usage threshold of 250 GB/month per account for all residential customers.

More tidbits and details here:

[dslreports.com...]

the new system should only impact some 14,000 customers out of Comcast's 14.1 million users (i.e. the top 0.1%).

Wonder how many WebmasterWorld members will be impacted by this change?

 

phranque




msg:3734142
 6:49 am on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

i moved to a new house 9 years ago and ran, screaming, from cable service.
i haven't regretted or missed the cable company for a second during that time.
dsl and dish tv, baby!

incrediBILL




msg:3734145
 6:59 am on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Unless you live on top of the phone switch your DSL won't touch the download speeds we're getting.

Anyway, it's not the issue, the P2P crowd is ruining it for the rest of us so now that it's a protocol neutral environment they just cap everyone.

Granted, Comcast is being quite generous compared to other companies putting a 5GB cap on the bandwidth usage, but they have fired a shot that plainly says they don't plan to upgrade their network just to accommodate the abuses of a small fraction of their service.

wheel




msg:3734235
 11:38 am on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

>>> Unless you live on top of the phone switch your DSL won't touch the download speeds we're getting.

When I went from wireless at 1mbit to DSL at 5-6mbits DSL, I didn't really notice a difference. For most stuff, getting higher and higher download speeds means little in terms of perceptible speed. It it takes 2 seconds to render the page and a 10th of a second to download it, I only see 2 seconds. If the download speed goes to 1/100th of a second, I still see 2 seconds per page.

The people that really care about all that download speed are just the large file downloaders - and not just that, but the ones who download large files all the time. Yeah, the folks downloading movies and music from the web. And that's the folks this is designed to fix. I doubt anyone else will care.

It's also my understanding that with cable, you're on an internal network. So large file downloaders hog bandwidth and slow everyone else down on that network. Around here, cable users complain that things get noticeably slower when the kids get home from school and start downloading.

Lord Majestic




msg:3734244
 11:55 am on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

accommodate the abuses of a small fraction of their service.

Those people pay money for advertised unlimited service - this is not abuse but usage of what they paid for.

I agree though that they don't want to upgrade network to solve this problem.

tangor




msg:3734296
 1:04 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Comcast is now advertising a cap of 250gb per month. Don't like it, find another service. Read their TOS...they can change their method of operation any time they like.

Lord Majestic




msg:3734329
 1:34 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Don't like it, find another service

They are a monopoly in many cases - people have no alternatives. TOS changes like this should never affect existing subscribers anyway - I really hope they will be punished by the users who can move elsewhere.

tangor




msg:3734336
 1:44 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

No disagreement! For the vast majority of their customers (99.9%) this cap means nothing. But "unlimited" should mean "unlimited". When limits are placed, that's what applies.

Me, I'm not a P2P'er so this kind of thing will never affect me.

pageoneresults




msg:3734338
 1:53 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have some questions. Didn't Comcast get purchased by Time Warner? Or was it only segments of the Comcast network that TW purchased?

250 GB/month per account for all residential customers.

250 GB per month? Exactly what does that equate to? I mean, how much can one do with that type of limitation?

When I first purchased where I'm at now, Comcast was the provider. They were purchased by Time Warner which I've used since the mid 90s. I believe I was one of the first cable customers in Southern California back in the day. In fact, they had a crew out there wiring the entire complex the day after I requested cable. :)

I have a business account with dedicated IPs so I'm going to guess that the limitations are a bit more relaxed. I'll have to check into it now. I don't think I'm even close to 250 GB per month. Are we all going to get dashboards that allow us to see our usage realtime with a 250 GB countdown each month?

For the price, Cable Rules!

They are a monopoly in many cases - people have no alternatives.

If I'm not mistaken, I don't think there are many places where two cable providers share the same territory. I don't have any other options for cable other than Time Warner.

StoutFiles




msg:3734374
 2:41 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Those people pay money for advertised unlimited service

As many people should know, the term "unlimited" just means "unlimited at normal usage". There is no such thing as unlimited.

To the 250 GB limit I say good. To break this you're probably downloading a lot of movies/music that are most likely illegal. Of the 1% that Comcast is taking on, I'd say 80% of that 1% is doing something illegal to break that limit. To the others that just use the computer a lot...well, going outside once in a while is always an option.

thecoalman




msg:3734379
 2:53 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

250 GB per month? Exactly what does that equate to? I mean, how much can one do with that type of limitation?

Quite a bit, for example I believe youtube video is about 250kbps. You could watch youtube video 24/7 for 40 days straight.

You could download about 60 1 1/2 hour bit for bit copies of DVD's.

Or roughly 10 bit for bit copies of HD movies.

-------------

It's the sharing of video files that is probably the biggest impact. With all the new HD content on the scene.... Generally the video downloaded on p2p networks is not bit for bit copies. DVD's for example are usually re-encoded using Divx at a much lower bandwidth.

Lord Majestic




msg:3734389
 3:02 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

One HD movie can easily take 45-50 GB. So this traffic limit is 5-6 HD movies.

pageoneresults




msg:3734402
 3:19 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

One HD movie can easily take 45-50 GB. So this traffic limit is 5-6 HD movies.

Ah-ha, there's the culprit! I would never think of downloading 40-50 GB. I'm not a hard core movie person either. I'll spend a few bucks and buy the DVD and then pass it off to family members afterwards, share the love.

So, this is really about the movie fans, the gamers and all those "big bandwidth" users? Nothing for me to worry about then.

I see nothing wrong with these types of limitations. If you were to use that type of bandwidth from a website hosting perspective, you'd pay for it there too. Why should this be any different? The FREE Internet won't last forever. Enjoy it while you can. :)

Lord Majestic




msg:3734425
 3:52 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Nothing for me to worry about then.

Wrong attitude. First they crack down on "abusers", you will be next - don't think that just because you are not affected right now you will be immune in the future. What will make them change 250 GB to 50 GB in the future? The biggest threat from this attitude is that Comcast will just prefer to "manage" existing network like this rather than develop it, adopt DOCSIS 3.0 and whatever new protocol will be in the future. So what good will come out of this? All industries need to move forward, to improve their products, why would they bother doing it if they can "manage" network like this?

The worst effect is this - they will undercut other ISPs that actually need money to invest into network, so in effect Comcast will be able to unfairly compete thus forcing other ISPs to abandon capital expenditure on improving network. Indeed, why by new CISCO stuff if you can just kick the "abusers" off the network? Well, they did that first, but more and more users user video so they can't anymore kick 0.1% of "abusers" they claim use most of network - they already did that! So don't hold your breath - if this is allowed to stand then be sure your time will come. :(

thecoalman




msg:3734433
 3:55 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

One HD movie can easily take 45-50 GB. So this traffic limit is 5-6 HD movies.

Depends on the bitrate, HD-DVD... long rest its soul is has a max of 30GB on a DL disc. Blu-Ray is either 25GB for single layer or 50GB for dual layer. It would only be the 50GB discs that could produce movies that size. Half the releases to this point are on BD25. I don't have any numbers but the ones on BD50 are not utilizing the entire disc or even a large part of it from my understanding.

You also have releases that were on single layer HD-DVD that only have a 15GB capacity.

Just to add those on p2p generally use just the movie file. Filler ,extras and the other stuff like menus that take up space are not utilized.

[edited by: thecoalman at 4:05 pm (utc) on Aug. 29, 2008]

Lord Majestic




msg:3734435
 4:00 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

I don't have any numbers but the ones on BD50 are most likely not utilizing the entire disc.

It does not really matter - 250 GB limit in theory would cover 99.9% of users, the distribution would be that a lot of people use a lot less than 250 GB anyway - probably 15-20 GB. The whole flawed ISP oversell model is based on overselling stuff they did not have in the first place (usually this is deemed as fraud, but they covered themselves in T&Cs), so what do you think will happen if all users would double their current usage? 250 GB limit won't save the network - it would go bust and this is happening right now because more and more "normal" people use more bandwidth on average, they can't kick them as before because it is average bandwidth usage that is growing pretty rapidly - if everyone watched just 1 HD movie per month on Comcast network then they would suffer big time.

My point is that ISPs should use the money they charge not just to pay profits to shareholders but to improve network - it should be build with upgrades in minds in the first place, it's crazy stuff - we get new CPUs every year and Intel gives us more for the same money because they invest a lot of money into R&D, why ISPs are not doing the same?

coachm




msg:3734437
 4:10 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

At first I thought the 250 gig limit is so large, it seems fair. Then I realized that many legal applications and uses can cause problems. For example I subscribe to the major league baseball subscription that allows me to watch any/all baseball games, plus archives, plus classics, in relatively high quality. I pay for this. I suspect if I was to use MLB for a game or two each day (as background while I work), I'd hit that cap level. Just for that function. Same deal with high quality streaming audio which is relatively low bandwidth, but played day after day for 15 hours....

As for terms and conditions, of course, there's always been the "impact on other subscribers" part that providers have used.

I'd rather not have these caps, particularly if there's a local monopoly but at this level, at least it's fairly reasonable, except for special situations. If I get capped, MLB loses my business, as does any other service provider of that ilk.

thecoalman




msg:3734439
 4:13 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

I certainly agree that 250 GB is plenty of bandwidth. I don't use p2p and even if I did or downloaded a lot of legitimate video there's still plenty of bandwidth to do that. The video on the web labeled "HD" is typically encoded at bitrates utilized by DVD or even lower. They are using a much more efficient encoder so they can utilize much higher resolutions than DVD and still maintain a high quality video.

vordmeister




msg:3734441
 4:15 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Well done Comcast. Maybe they'll limit it to something more realistic later on.

Cheaper ISPs in the UK seem to either deny or slow service to limit their network and bandwidth costs. When I changed ISPs this year I looked for one that had a strict cap - that way I actually get a speedy reliable internet connection.

Bandwidth costs money to provide. It's competition that has driven ISPs to offer more bandwidth than they will actually provide to everyone.

thecoalman




msg:3734446
 4:23 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Same deal with high quality streaming audio which is relatively low bandwidth, but played day after day for 15 hours...

Guess it depends on what your definition of high quality is but if you take my example using youtube 250kbps is going to be indistinguishable from a CD for your average user. Even if you had it on 24/7 you'd still be under the cap.

As far as the baseball goes it again depends on the bitrate. Comparing it to DVD for example a typical DVD is encoded at 6000kbps. Finding video on the web that is streaming above 1000kbps is rare.

Most of these legitimate high bandwidth services will not be effected by this cap.

One thing to note is I'm doing the math in my head for a lot of these numbers so they may only be close to the real numbers.

incrediBILL




msg:3734458
 4:32 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

To break this you're probably downloading a lot of movies/music that are most likely illegal.

You forget about webmasters that have massive amounts of data being moved up and down to servers. I run a nightly backup of just one of my servers databases that pulls down about 100MB in under 2 minutes.

There goes 3GB of my monthly allotment on one server and we're just getting started!

When I'm using my laptop, or the wireless broadband on the desktop, the control panel for both claim I often exceed 30-40MB/hour when I'm using the machine for work so it looks like I could easily bump into the limit in about 60 hours.

If you wonder how that happens, I have to review literally 100s of websites per day, most of them contain flash, so the bandwidth jacks up real fast. Additionally, my screen shot server runs off my machine which downloads a bunch more websites in the background making new screen shots all the time.

No movie or music downloads, just running a website.

Now the wife watches some online video, over the limit here we go!

I certainly agree that 250 GB is plenty of bandwidth.

Wish it were!

Guess I'll wait and see what happens.

[edited by: incrediBILL at 4:39 pm (utc) on Aug. 29, 2008]

SEOMike




msg:3734473
 4:54 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

They are a monopoly in many cases - people have no alternatives.

Everest finally came into my neighborhood a couple of years ago. Time Warner halved their rates because now there is competition. Doesn't seem right.

I switched from Time Warner because my service was terribly unreliable. They even dug up my yard to pull a thicker cable to the house, installed a signal amp, and redid all the splitters in my house. Still couldn't get it reliable enough to for me. Moved my service to a T-1 and have been happy ever since.

Those people pay money for advertised unlimited service - this is not abuse but usage of what they paid for.

That's right. Unfortunately, the service providers can't keep up with growing demand and I think the caps will become more prevalent as the net becomes more and more interactive. More online videos, more online only special versions of TV shows, etc. will mean more caps. Pretty soon they will have tiered service and I'll bet the standard low-end cap will be around 10Gb. Might even become an industry like cellphones. Ugh.

asas111




msg:3734476
 5:03 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

I am so happy they did this. Maybe put a stop to all these people doing all the illegal downloading of games, movies, music etc. It is getting silly, it is like no one is buying or watching movies anymore, they just download them for free, where something paid and worked very hard for it and produced it.

Unfortunately 250 GB is still large enough for some people to download more than a few movies. I would set it at 150 GB.

Demaestro




msg:3734495
 5:16 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

I use P2P all the time and I am sure that I could live within that limit.

Even if they ask for an extra $20 a month for an upgraded account that isn't so bad.

I pay extra with my ISP for faster service and for non-metered service... although I am in Canada and we are used to getting screwed for service rates.

thecoalman




msg:3734539
 5:57 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Incredibill if you're downloading massive amounts of data for a business you'd be in the same boat as the p2p people using a service for something it was not intended for. I don't see a difference between someone using a residential cable connection that's consuming 250GB of bandwidth whether its for business purposes or p2p. I'm not pointing fingers either because I do it myself for backups.

incrediBILL




msg:3734542
 6:03 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

I don't see a difference

Let's see, my files are all legit, no stolen software, movies or music, quite different ;)

Demaestro




msg:3734550
 6:14 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

bill there should be no difference to Comcast what is contained in the packets you send unless it is child porn.

Comcast is an ISP, that should mean "Internet Service Provider" not "Internet Service Policing"

It isn't their job to decide on the legality of users content, so it should make no difference.

This is a whole different discussion then imposing limits but.... what if one day they decide to not allow their users to go to Youtube? After all we all know how much copyright infringement goes on there, so why trust your customers to use it responsibly. Just cut em off.

jimbeetle




msg:3734557
 6:36 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Unfortunately 250 GB is still large enough for some people to download more than a few movies.

Yeah, but I'm curious how it might affect customers of providers such as Netflix, Amazon and especially vudu with its HD offerings. Might really limit the use of boxes people paid a coupla' hundred bucks or more for.

wheel




msg:3734558
 6:37 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

>>>Let's see, my files are all legit, no stolen software, movies or music, quite different ;)

Actually, doesn't make a difference, legit or not. You're a power/business user. And those folks generally pay more (or in this case, it appears, get capped transfer). It's entirely possible that the TOS for a home cable connection doesn't allow for extended/permanent business use. Pretty sure mine does. If you're using a 'home' connection to backup web servers, I would think we'd expect to pay higher fees.

I pay higher fees for phone connections just because it's business (actually I don't. I said screw that and went Voip :) ). And I pay a higher internet fee because it's a business account. Same copper cable coming into the business, same speed as my home connection, another $20 a month because it's a 'business' account.

Sounds like the only thing going on here is Comcast is changing their policy from unlimited to 250gigs. Fervor over that seems like a tempest in a teapot.

pageoneresults




msg:3734560
 6:42 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

From the original Comcast link...

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 emails (at 0.05 KB/email)
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)

I'd say that was a bit of activity for the average residential customer. They make it clear that they are referring to residential customers. There are various plans offered by the cable companies. I've always had a business plan with dedicated IPs.

If you are running a home based business, you will most likely need a business plan now and pay for the privileges. They aren't that much more. In my case, it's a whole $20.00 per month. Bummer, I'm gonna freakin' starve over here! And, with gas at $4.00+ per gallon, arrrggghhh!

This 90 message thread spans 3 pages: 90 ( [1] 2 3 > >
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