681GB of upstream capacity used per month....
As I've covered, Comcast will be changing the way they deal with users who consume "excessive" amounts of bandwidth on their network. Instead of using Sandvine gear to forge packets in order to disrupt upstream P2P traffic for all users, 24/7, the company will be using a new multi-pronged approach. Internally, the currently favored plan involves a clear 250GB cap
, overage fees and increased DMCA enforcement.
Earlier this month they also began testing
a throttling system that identifies the top two or three percent of bandwidth users and throttles their connections temporarily. Trials are currently ongoing in Comcast's Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, Warrenton, Virginia, and Colorado Springs, Colorado markets. This week Comcast CTO Tony Werner had a tiny bit more detail
on the company's new throttling project:
Comcasts plan is to identify the 2% or 3% of customers who over the last hour or two have consumed more than 50% of the capacity on the network, Werner said. Those heavy users are then given lower priority and will have their bandwidth limited for a temporary period of time. However, Werner said, "even those who go to that lower state will be above DSL. So its not terrible."
Not terrible like say -- HughesNet satellite broadband, which throttles users back to between 7-14kbps should you violate their not so "Fair Access Policy
". Both Cox and Comcast execs trotted out their networks' heaviest users in order to justify the use of caps and throttling:
Werner said some subscribers have used "in the 3-plus terabyte rangethats not uncommon. They did nothing but download movies constantly." "You could watch movies for 12 years in the amount of data they download in one month.". . . One (Cox) customer used 681 gigabytes of upstream bandwidth capacity in one month. His upstream speed is 2.3 Mbps, which means he almost hit his theoretical maximum possible upload capacity of 710 gigabytes."
That customer wouldn't have violated the latest caps being implemented in Japan this week
where 100Mbps fiber deployment is more commonplace. What precisely triggers Comcast's new throttling machine, what speed throttled users will see and how long they'll be throttled still hasn't been made clear -- but then Comcast doesn't plan to fully unveil this new system until the end of the year.