The Contra Costa Times
is the latest publication to follow up on the invisible Comcast download limit debate. A Comcast spokesman argues that when they're talking about "unlimited use" in marketing materials
- they're talking about the lack of a per-minute charge, not
unlimited data consumption. Since very few U.S. providers charge per the minute, the excuse isn't particularly robust - especially since the Comcast AUP doesn't really clarify either way (which is what the entire argument is about). Users probably wouldn't care about the caps if they were told what they actually were. None of the publications covering the story so far have mentioned that Cox went through the exact same thing
in February of 2003, and eventually made the caps public after customers' complained.
Comcast spokesman Andrew Johnson says "While it's not our intent to shut off service to our customers, we have an obligation to the majority of our customers that we manage our network."
Of course since Comcast says they've sent disconnection notices to only 0.5 percent of their 4.8 million high-speed Internet subscribers, there is some debate in our forums
over how much of an impact those "bandwidth hogs" are really having on the network
It's not clear why Comcast refuses to actually specify what the caps are; we can only assume they don't want the limits used as PR ammunition by DSL providers. While the caps may not be impacting very many people, those who are having their service terminated deserve to be told exactly what the cutoff point is so they can avoid crossing it.