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Critics Speak Out on Comcast's Plan to Charge Overages
While Level 3 Says They've Proven Unfair Prioritization
by Karl Bode 11:45AM Friday May 18 2012
As we noted yesterday, Comcast has announced the company is raising their universal 250GB usage cap to 300 GB -- while announcing that they'll be experimenting with a variety of usage-based surcharges over the coming months. Not too surprisingly, competitors and consumer advocates aren't too impressed with the changes -- Free Press arguing that the company's usage caps are not necessary and should be eliminated entirely. From a statement posted to the organization's website:
"Comcast has never had any legitimate reason to cap its Internet customers, and today's announcement of new overage charges is just another example of the cable giant's efforts to discriminate against and thwart online video competition. Data caps are not a reasonable or effective way to manage capacity problems, which are virtually non-existent for Comcast.

"While the move to increase its caps is overdue, the notion that Comcast would charge an exorbitant rate for additional bandwidth — while continuing to exempt its own traffic under its Xbox deal -- illustrates that Comcast is really trying to discourage subscribers from experimenting with online video alternatives. We call on Comcast to drop the caps and these exorbitant overage fees entirely."
Netflix, who for obvious reasons has been highly critical of usage limits, also had plenty to say about the changes:
“Increasing the data cap is a small step in the right direction, but unfortunately Comcast continues to treat its own Internet delivered video different under the cap than other Internet delivered video. We continue to stand by the principle that ISPs should treat all providers of video services equally."
Adding fuel to the fire, Level3 has posted analysis claiming they've looked at the data and that Comcast does appear to be giving their own streaming video traffic preferential treatment. You'll recall that Level3 and Comcast have had several years of disputes over network neutrality and additional connectivity surcharges. Meanwhile, Canadians, who deal with some of the most draconian caps and usage caps anywhere, say they'd love it if their ISPs raised their caps to 300 GB.

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Holy Cable Modem Batman

Washington, DC

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I've been saying this all along...

I'm proud to be on record as having said this all along.... for perhaps the last few years on this website.

»The Bandwidth Limits/Congestion Management Topic

»The real reason for the cap ~by IPPlanMan~

Comcast has NEVER given a legitimate reason for the 250GB usage cap.

Furthermore, this usage cap was NEVER about addressing congestion. That's what the real-time congestion management system Comcast has is for. This cap was designed to prevent the emergence and ultimate viability of competitive alternative services for media consumption, such as Netflix/Apple TV/Vudu/Roku/Amazon, you name it.

Comcast implemented this cap to have TV remain TV, and Internet remain Internet. Comcast didn't want Internet becoming TV and this cap was intended to prevent that from happening. Having Internet become TV would undermine its entire business model, and Comcast wasn't going to let that happen, even going so far as to create an arbitrary usage cap that had no bearing on network congestion management.

This all became the more clear when Comcast decided to exclude XBox Xfinity App content from the 250GB usage cap. Why go so far as to exclude it if that usage cap was really high enough for normal usage?

Guess the game is up now Comcast. Deal with it. Welcome to your new cable bill and the cord-cutter generation.
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