Online tool to be available January 5 for all users...
When Comcast recently started capping all users at 250GB per month
, they annoyed some by failing to provide a tool to track usage, though they did tell us they were working on it. An anonymous Comcast tipster informs us that Comcast will soon implement a viewable online usage meter starting January 5. According to the source, the tool won't update users in real time, but will have a three hour delay. It will also retain three months of bandwidth usage records, and will come with the option of monitoring multiple MAC addresses.
At the moment, the Comcast FAQ
tells users to do a web search for bandwidth meters or use the meter included in the McAfee Security Suite
the company gives out free to subscribers.
Given the Comcast cap is so high, the vast majority of Comcast users will never run into it, and those who will probably use a software client or router firmware to track their usage.
But after their tangle with the FCC for forging packets and throttling P2P traffic, Comcast's all about transparency. According to Comcast, less than 1% of all users will ever brush against the current cap. Still, should the cable operator ever use lower caps or implement overages, they'd need to be sure that customers understand how much bandwidth they're using.
A recent survey indicated that 83% of Americans don't know how much bandwidth they consume, or even what a gigabyte is
. AT&T, who recently starting testing caps ranging from 20-150GB caps with $1 overages, offers customers in Nevada and Texas test markets an online web usage tool. So does Time Warner Cable, who is testing caps ranging from 5-40GB with $1-$1.50 overages in Beaumont, Texas.