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Comcast putting 250GB Cap on All Users

Old 08-29-08, 08:37 AM
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Comcast putting 250GB Cap on All Users

Looks like Comcast is limiting the use of home users to 250GB/month. May seem like a lot to some, but those of us who stream movies or download HD content on the 360/PS3...we will hit that really quick.

Plus, demos/downloads for the PS3/360 top at over 1GB (Quest for Booty was 2.5GB for the PS3).

I think it's time for me to join WOW pretty soon. I just had Comcast lower my bill also....

http://news.yahoo.com/story//nm/2008...st_internet_dc

From Comcast also:
http://www.comcast.net/terms/network/amendment/
Old 08-29-08, 08:43 AM
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Am I missing something when cell phone providers keep giving away more and more minutes for the same price, but broadband providers keep limiting data flow?

Still, 250GB/mo seems like a pretty decent amount. I consider myself a pretty heavy internet user and I doubt even when I was heavy into napster and warez I was doing more than 250GBs...

-jason
Old 08-29-08, 09:23 AM
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I think people who watch a LOT of HD content is where the bandwith limit will suffer. I see Comcast is probably doing this because they assume heavy users are downloading "illegal" stuff. I just find it annoying. I download all the demos and free content on my 360/PS3....I figure a download ranges from 40MB - 2GB. So, even 10 trailer I'm at 1GB or more....

I'm sure I will be fine, but this isn't even accounting for daily internet usage by my wife....uploading pictures, etc etc.
Old 08-29-08, 09:32 AM
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I have Cablevision myself but I can say this much...

The reason broadband companies want caps is because of they amount of illegal downloads clogging the pipeline. Cell phone companies can (and do) have more control over the content being sent. On a computer, it is very easy to dodge a lot of the protective measures set by the broadband companies (not this one), this is more or less a stop gap to a much bigger problem for them.

Buddy of mine is an installer at Best Buy (and he does Geek Squad type work on his time) and when he goes to houses a majority of people who have broadband complain about the service. He explains to them how cable works (more users on the lines, the slower things get) and most people don't/didn't know that information. You have to figure in numerical terms that the percentage of illegal downloaders on the networks is probably about 10% (+ or - about 5%) in any given area of the country. So that means there is probably 90% that legally download (iTunes, Netflix, and such) or just browse/email. So all that extra bandwidth that the 90%ers are not using will go to downloaders, plain and simple. I was a bandwidth thief for years and I can say without hesitation, up until maybe 2005 (when I moved), I was probably downloading between 250 Gigs - 1 Terabyte a day in content. It was easy because my old neighborhood was all young kids (5 and below), old folks (70 and up) and businesses. There was nearly ZERO traffic in that area. When I moved, that totally changed.

Also in my experience, suburban areas tend to get hit with more than the urban areas. I know my download speeds are down at home, but if I go to my cousins in Long Island, I pick up about 50% more speed. So when you think about it in absolute terms, the urban areas are going to be the areas that will probably see the most impact.
Old 08-29-08, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by fuzzbox View Post
Am I missing something when cell phone providers keep giving away more and more minutes for the same price, but broadband providers keep limiting data flow?

Still, 250GB/mo seems like a pretty decent amount. I consider myself a pretty heavy internet user and I doubt even when I was heavy into napster and warez I was doing more than 250GBs...

-jason
voice is very low bandwidth and all the extra minutes are on weekends and off hours when most people don't use their cellphones. and they aren't giving minutes away, they give you more minutes than even the most phone addicted woman can use in a month. they make up for it by charging you a lot of money on data

with Comcast and other ISP's the problem is that people are running P2P 24x7 and a lot of the big downloads take hours and clog up the network.

and the ISP/cell phone business models are completely different
Old 08-29-08, 09:52 AM
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I saw this and finally dl'ed a bandwidth monitor because I spend a lot of time streaming video and downloading demos on the 360. Also now that I can stream HUlu through the 360 probably even more. So far though they are not adding price penalties, or disconnect letters so this is more of a guidline, the worst punishment so far is possible temporary throttling of your speeds (to dsl range) and letters.
Old 08-29-08, 10:02 AM
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From the comcast link

http://www.comcast.net/terms/network/amendment/

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)
It appears the 250GB limit is total usage, not just download.

If I upload 1gb it counts the same as if I download 1GB to the 250GB total, that part is really shitty. I wouldn't care too much if it was 250GB up and 250GB down
Old 08-29-08, 10:17 AM
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That's the first thing I looked for, too. This means that we can't use more than about 8 gigs per day up and down. Shouldn't be too much of a problem, but I do stream a lot of stuff some days...
Old 08-29-08, 10:50 AM
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Dont have comcast and I cant stand the company. The fact that they are limiting usage is also total BS. But I would be able to live within those limits. Im probably in the 20-100 gig any given month. Thats with alot of Azureus Vuze and Newsgroup activity.
Old 08-29-08, 10:53 AM
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We have Comcast at work for downloading drivers, going to blocked sites, etc. when the work internet is too slow or down. I don't think we come close to the 250GB limit but if we are, someone is downloading movies and/or music.
Old 08-29-08, 11:27 AM
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It's situations like this that lead me to believe that we are not as close to a physical media-less world as many think we are.

And I'm cool with that. I like my shiny little discs.
Old 08-29-08, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Spicollidriver1 View Post
So far though they are not adding price penalties, or disconnect letters so this is more of a guidline, the worst punishment so far is possible temporary throttling of your speeds (to dsl range) and letters.
Not according to the FAQ on their website:

"If a customer exceeds more than 250 GB and is one of the heaviest data users who consume the most data on our high-speed Internet service, he or she may receive a call from Comcast's Customer Security Assurance ("CSA") group to notify them of excessive use. At that time, Comcast will tell the customer exactly how much data per month he or she had used.

If a customer surpasses 250 GB and is one of the top users of the service for a second time within a six-month timeframe, his or her service will be subject to termination for one year. After the one year period expires, the customer may resume service by subscribing to a service plan appropriate to his or her needs."

And considering their less than stellar customer service skills I would doubt you actually get notified prior to getting your service cut.
Old 08-29-08, 11:52 AM
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So, what is a good bandwith monitor? I am curious what I use a month between the 360 and PS3 downloads.

I may be a WOW customer in 6 months now (I just got my price lowered by Comcast for the next 6...so I will stick it out until then).
Old 08-29-08, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by macnorton View Post
I was a bandwidth thief for years and I can say without hesitation, up until maybe 2005 (when I moved), I was probably downloading between 250 Gigs - 1 Terabyte a day in content.
let me just say WOW.

Terabyte a day? that's some data. what crazy type of disk array do you need to have to store that much? I don't even think I even have 1TB in total on my computer....

-jason
Old 08-29-08, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by logangrey View Post
Not according to the FAQ on their website:

"If a customer exceeds more than 250 GB and is one of the heaviest data users who consume the most data on our high-speed Internet service, he or she may receive a call from Comcast's Customer Security Assurance ("CSA") group to notify them of excessive use. At that time, Comcast will tell the customer exactly how much data per month he or she had used.

If a customer surpasses 250 GB and is one of the top users of the service for a second time within a six-month timeframe, his or her service will be subject to termination for one year. After the one year period expires, the customer may resume service by subscribing to a service plan appropriate to his or her needs."

And considering their less than stellar customer service skills I would doubt you actually get notified prior to getting your service cut.
Yes but you notice that the terms are vague for a reason. They don't want to spend a bunch of money on people that flirt with the cap so long as you stay close then you should be fine. I am not guaranteeing it but this what I've noticed on the broadbandreports.com of what seems to happen.
Old 08-29-08, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by fuzzbox View Post
let me just say WOW.

Terabyte a day? that's some data. what crazy type of disk array do you need to have to store that much? I don't even think I even have 1TB in total on my computer....

-jason
Before I answer the question posed, let me state that I do not condone illegal downloading, nor will I tell you how to do it. I am simply stating my previous experiences what occurred. I now currently only legally download through DAP (Digital Archive Project), iTunes, and any material from sources that will allow me to upload it (like the newest Nine Inch Nails album, public domain films/shorts, and podcasts) to sites such as Demonoid. I would also like to state that many (close to 85%) of items I did download, were already owned by me in some physical form. These were merely digital backups of what I already had. This again in no way condones my actions and I stress again I will not tell you how to download, where to go, or what you need to do it. Thanks.

I work in IT, so I always got hard drives that I could make into external drives. At last count I had the following:

Four 80 GB drive (laptop drives, USB)
One 160 GB drive (WD Passport, USB)
Three 250 GB drives (Firewire/USB)
Eight 500 GB drives (Firewire/USB)
One 1 TB drive (Firewire/USB)

So if you total all that out...I have 6 terabytes of external storage at the present moment.

To answer your question though, the 1 TB a day wasn't really all at once, it would be over a 24 hour stretch. And when something would complete downloading (through eDonkey/eMule, not something like Azereus, which required me to stop the download and then move data) it would automatically go from one hard drive (my main PC) to external storage through an automated process roughly ever hour. Firewire drives allow you to daisy chain them, so I can power four drives with one cable (although you can do more, I had power issues with more than four). So three firewire cables need to power twelve devices and these drives would turn off when not in use and turn on when needed. After all this was complete, I would burn the items off to DVD (or CD depending on the size of the content) and delete it off the drives.
Old 08-29-08, 03:27 PM
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So you'd download enough content to have to burn 250 DVDs a day?

Hey man, that's awesome!
Old 08-29-08, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by DJ_Longfellow View Post
So, what is a good bandwith monitor? I am curious what I use a month between the 360 and PS3 downloads.
If your router supports SNMP, you can use the freeware version of this tool:
http://www.paessler.com/prtg7/download
http://support.jodohost.com/showthread.php?t=5992

Alternatively, your router might have some monitoring tool built in.

I think Comcast should provide some sort of bandwidth monitor themselves, preferably something that shows the customer what Comcast sees as their usage. Even if this was some number updated daily in the customer's account page on their site.

Last edited by Jay G.; 08-29-08 at 04:15 PM.
Old 09-03-08, 05:05 PM
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Hmmm.. wonder what the cap on my dial up is?
Old 09-03-08, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by dvdcrazee View Post
hmmm.. Wonder what the cap on my dial up is?

28.8*24=691.2k
Old 09-03-08, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by emanon View Post
So you'd download enough content to have to burn 250 DVDs a day?

Hey man, that's awesome!
Since you can get over 4 gigs on a DVD lets call it 200 DVDs a day. At the ridiculously impossibly fast speed of burning of 4 minutes per disc that would take 13 hours 20 minutes a day of burning. Although I'm sure with an operation like that you'd have a nifty parallel burning system set up.

Not to mention you would need an OC192 to download a terabyte in under a day (22:13:20 with 0% overhead, to be precise). OC192s are used as backbones for large ISPs so macnorton would have had to have access to one which allowed him to utilize 92.5% of the bandwidth available.

Yeah, I'm calling BS on that
Old 09-03-08, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by dvdcrazee View Post
Hmmm.. wonder what the cap on my dial up is?
56.6kps * 60sec * 60min * 24hr * 30days = 146707200kb / 8b / 1024KB / 1024MB = 17.5 GB
Old 09-04-08, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Mordred View Post
Since you can get over 4 gigs on a DVD lets call it 200 DVDs a day. At the ridiculously impossibly fast speed of burning of 4 minutes per disc that would take 13 hours 20 minutes a day of burning. Although I'm sure with an operation like that you'd have a nifty parallel burning system set up.

Not to mention you would need an OC192 to download a terabyte in under a day (22:13:20 with 0% overhead, to be precise). OC192s are used as backbones for large ISPs so macnorton would have had to have access to one which allowed him to utilize 92.5% of the bandwidth available.

Yeah, I'm calling BS on that
No I was not burning DVD's at all hours of the day. I would usually burn a bunch on the weekends, and it usually only takes about 6 mins a disc. So sitting at my desk for 6 hours on a Saturday would give me 10 disc an hour over 6 hours would be 60. That would be frequent occurrence on my weekends.

As for the bandwidth issue, you are a little off. You have to keep a few things in mind. One, you can download only as fast as some one uploads. Two, the bandwidth you steal from your neighbors does make things go faster. Three, your applications (eMule and such) can be set to make sure you only grab files from other users at a certain speed, thus speeding the process.

Factoring all that in, I would queue up something like 500 downloads a day in eMule, all of which are downloading concurrently. So if we take the average file...

For the sake of argument, you have to take into consideration there really is no average file size, movies tend to run like 1.5 - 3.0 gigs a piece. So my download queue would have scattered file sizes, with no real median because something was different. I am just going to pick the average TV show rip that is out on the networks, with is 350 MB. Also, take something like DAP rips of MST3K, 4.7 gigs a piece roughly. With the average download speed hovering around 300k a second, you can download a lot, especially when you steal from other people in the neighborhood.

which would be around 350 MB, and lets say for the sake of argument that all 500 files downloaded half of that over the course of 24 hours, that would give us this equation:

350/2 = 175
175 * 500 = 87500

So for every four files that reach this point, that is 1 GB. Then 500/4 = will give you 125 GB over the course of a day. Do that by 7 days, I think you get my point.
Old 09-04-08, 09:02 AM
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did you ever watch or listen to all the stuff you downloaded? i have a 40GB ipod and when it's full ITunes tells me that i would have to listen to it for a few days straight.
Old 09-04-08, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post
did you ever watch or listen to all the stuff you downloaded? i have a 40GB ipod and when it's full ITunes tells me that i would have to listen to it for a few days straight.
Yes. Since most of the stuff I did download was a backup of things I already owned. I am going to have to take a picture of my desk with the stacks of home brew DVD's I have.

I have been falling behind on the music side of it lately, I download a lot of podcast, and some tend to be very long (This American Life, is about an hour for each one). The video side, I am all caught up.

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