Comcast New AUP Defines Limit and Excessive Use with 250 GB Threshold
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Internet provider Comcast has issued a statement in which they define limit and define “excessive use” as, essentially, anything over 250GB (i.e. 250 gigabytes). Starting on October 1, users will be bound by the Comcast AUP (Acceptable Use Policy) and TOS (Terms of Service) to keep their Internet traffic below the 250 gig threshold.

In a letter that went out to their Comcast high speed Internet customers this week, Comcast says:


“Dear Comcast High-Speed Internet Customer,

We appreciate your business and strive to provide you with the best online experience possible. One of the ways we do this is through our Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). The AUP outlines acceptable use of our service as well as steps we take to protect our customers from things that can negatively impact their experience online. This policy has been in place for many years and we update it periodically to keep it current with our customers’ use of our service.

On October 1, 2008, we will post an updated AUP that will go into effect at that time.

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In the updated AUP, we clarify that monthly data (or bandwidth) usage of more than 250 Gigabytes (GB) is the specific threshold that defines excessive use of our service. We have an excessive use policy because a fraction of one percent of our customers use such a disproportionate amount of bandwidth every month that they may degrade the online experience of other customers.

250 GB/month is an extremely large amount of bandwidth and it’s very likely that your monthly data usage doesn’t even come close to that amount. In fact, the threshold is approximately 100 times greater than the typical or median residential customer usage, which is 2 to 3 GB/month. To put it in perspective, to reach 250 GB of data usage in one month a customer would have to do any one of the following:

* Send more than 50 million plain text emails (at 5 KB/email);
* Download 62,500 songs (at 4 MB/song); or
* Download 125 standard definition movies (at 2 GB/movie)
* Upload 25,000 hi-resolution digital photos (at 10 MB/photo)”

 

The letter goes on to allay the concerns of online games by saying that “online gamers should know that even the heaviest multi- or single-player gaming activity would not typically come close to this threshold over the course of a month.”

So what will happen to a user who exceeds the 250gig threshold?

Says Comcast, “As part of our pre-existing policy, we will continue to contact the top users of our high-speed Internet service and ask them to curb their usage. If a customer uses more than 250 GB and is one of the top users of our service, he or she may be contacted by Comcast to notify them of excessive use. At that time, we’ll tell them exactly how much data per month they had used. We know from experience the vast majority of customers we ask to curb usage do so voluntarily.”

So, basically, it seems, business as usual at Comcast.

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4 thoughts on “Comcast New AUP Defines Limit and Excessive Use with 250 GB Threshold
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  1. I use a free program Bit Meter. Loads of parameters, even audible warning when approaching monthly limit. I am not a large bandwidth user, I just like the tool.
    George Maynard

  2. Comcast has the technology to know who is exactly abusing bandwith
    That being said, They should simply punish them seperatly. Not everyone. Comcast doesn’t even give a reliable tool that will give its customers a way to accuratly monitor their bandwith. None of the tools online will even give an accurate reading because of Comcast power-boost. Are we to just take their word for it? BULL!!! I also agree with #2 on their blocking issues. As far as the news groups being canciled, (mentiong it here because a comment can not be left under that heading)
    Comcast is doing nothing more then cutting corners and trying to save a buck and they are doing it at their customers expence. They cut more and more each year. I have reported my opinions to the FCC. If you have something to say? REPORT it! I am seriously thinking of dropping them if they dfon’t rethink their business practices. / ‘Key

  3. Actually, this may be good news. This is obviously in response to the ongoing battle between Comcast and BT, and this is better than the blacklisting they were doing before (*assuming* they’ve stopped like they promised to). You have to do a lot of sharing to get to 250 GB, and if you do it’s true you’re taking up a ton of the pipe other people who pay the same amount should get to use. I think it’s much more fair and reasonable for an ISP to include a usage cap instead of blocking software they don’t like.

  4. Just scheduled for them to shut our service. They keep raising prices, throttling my connection when gaming, listing to streaming media and using slingbox. Now this… to add ot it service is crappy .. especially during heaving storms and at night. Goodbye comcast and good riddance.

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