christopher miller discusses marketing, technology and emerging media in the digital space


The Comcast pipe is closing up

Posted by Chris under Broadband, Comcast

So Comcast has now announced that they are going to, as of October 1, restrict monthly data usage to a threshold of 250 gigabytes per account for all residential high-speed Internet customers, or the equivalent of 50 million e-mails or 124 standard-definition movies.

As they say, “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,” according to the company’s updated Frequently Asked Questions on Excessive Use.

And I pity the fool who exceeds 250 GB in a month twice in a six-month timeframe as they could have their service terminated for a year.

Although maybe it’s not all bad as what you could get else where as it’s far above what other ISP’s are looking at. Cox Communications’ monthly caps vary from 5 gigabytes to 75 gigabytes depending the subscriber’s plan. Time Warner Cable Inc. is testing caps between 5 gigabytes and 40 gigabytes in one market. Frontier Communications Co., a phone company, plans to start charging extra for use of more than 5 gigabytes per month.


Your bits are better then mine

Posted by Chris under Broadband, Comcast, Security, Technology, Uncategorized

Yesterday CNET reported on the latests over the the FCC 3-2 ruling on Friday to “declare that Comcast’s throttling of BitTorrent traffic last year was unlawful, marking the first time that any U.S. broadband provider has ever been found to violate Net neutrality rules”

Big news right except that there were not fines, penalties or even a slap on the wrist, and Comcast’s comment from a company spokeswomen: “We believe that our network management choices were reasonable, wholly consistent with industry practices,” isn’t really one of apology.

Remember this is the same Comcast that denied in August 2007 that it was filtering BitTorrent traffic. But when experts showed a few months later that Comcast really was throttling BitTorrent after all, and the company was forced to concede to the FCC that it blocks only “excessive” traffic.

Now I’m a Comcast subscriber. I’ve been using their highspeed broadband for almost 10 years and their broadband and TV for over four. It’s fast, reliable and for the most part like the electricity in my house, it just works. Clearly their are network bandwidth issues, some of which along with some solutions are pointed out in the recent MIT Technology Journal. As a side note I’d suggest you add this magazine or the website to your regular reading.

The FCC needs to get it’s act together to work with ISP’s and create solutions to packet/data management as the problem is going to get worse before it gets better.