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Trying To Decipher CableOne's New Caps
When companies replace network upgrades with annoying restrictions...
by Karl Bode 08:01AM Thursday Oct 08 2009
Users in our Cable One forum point out that the cable operator is tinkering with some of their speeds, adding a 12 Mbps downstream, 1.5 Mbps upstream plan to their lineup. In a sign they're falling a bit behind the times, CableOne's previously fastest tier was 10 Mbps downstream 1 Mbps upstream. The company also offers 1.5, 3 5, 8 and 10 Mbps tiers. Perhaps more interesting is the fact that CableOne is tinkering with their already odd caps.

Click for full size
The carrier has always employed a unique capping system that restricts how much bandwidth users can use at certain times of the day. CableOne's new speed and cap list is anything but clear, listing both "extended speeds" and "standard speeds" (usually half of extended speeds), before noting that users are capped during different times of the day.

According to the odd spreadsheet, overall usage is measured from noon to midnight. However, the sheet also defines a "period of standard speed" that operates from 4 PM to midnight. We've got calls in to CableOne, but perhaps users can explain to us what the hell the company's talking about, because in a decade of looking at broadband pricing, we've never seen a more convoluted pricing and cap explanation.

Users are told that should they exceed these daily caps (which for some tiers are as low as 1,400 MB) for more than half the days in their billing cycle, they face possible account termination. Judging from our forum posts, most users have been able to violate this rule without account termination. We assume, based on the cryptic and obnoxious hieroglyph Cable One's trying to pass off as an informative consumer brochure, exceeding your allowance means you're throttled back to half of your advertised speed.

But again, you tell us, as our code and cipher decryption unit is on the fritz.

CableOne is owned by the Washington Post, who last week issued a lengthy editorial against the FCC's attempt to impose network neutrality guidelines. Perhaps the Post can write a piece on getting the cable company they own to make their network limitations easier to understand. Or perhaps an editorial asking why CableOne can't be bothered to upgrade the network so such confusing restrictions aren't necessary.

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Cogdis

join:2007-03-26
Floral Park, NY

Holy cow this cap would kill me!

I don't download video often, but when I do it's usually in HD.
ONE FILE would bust these caps wide open!
jimbopalmer
Tsar of all the Rushers

join:2008-06-02
Greenwood, MS
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Suddenlink

1 edit

Re: Holy cow this cap would kill me!

said by Cogdis:

I don't download video often, but when I do it's usually in HD.
ONE FILE would bust these caps wide open!
They are daily caps, so about 30 movies a month.
Also, download just before midnight, as they only effect the day you are in.
--
I tried to remain child-like, all I achieved was childish.

Jason Levine
Premium
join:2001-07-13
USA
We've been playing Netflix movies via our Roku box a lot. Now I don't know how big the standard Netflix movie is, but I'm guessing that playing it for 6 hours would easily top those caps.
--
-Jason Levine
Support a children's charity. Buy a calendar and/or a photo book. Shooting For A Cause

battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000

Better than Comcast's caps.

11,000Mb X 30 Days = 330,000Mb = 322GB/month

mob
On the next level..
Premium
join:2000-10-07
Reviews:
·SureWest Internet

Re: Better than Comcast's caps.

As a former Cable None sufferer and victim, I can tell you that there is no way the Cable None network could deliver that much data in a month, let alone a year.
--
If we do not succeed, then we run the risk of failure - J. Danforth Quayle
Ich habe kein Mitleid - Me

karlmarx

join:2006-09-18
Chicago, IL
Umm, No.
Total (assuming 12mb/sec plan) would be 1.8TB/month (more or less)

Do the math
Assuming you set your downloads to go from 12:00am to 12:00 pm, at 10mb/sec, you could get about 50GB/day (without going over cap). Then, use the next 11GB (about 2 hours) until you hit your cap (or get close). That gives you about 61GB/day, without going over the cap.

61GB/day translates to about 1.8TB/month. That's WAAAY better than Comcrap's 250GB/month.

Remember, whenever you are dealing with a 'capped' service, be it comcrap or whatever, the money you PAY gets you xxx number of bytes. With comcrap, it doesn't pay to get more than 1.5mb/sec of bandwidth, because at 1.5mb/sec, you can still use 250GB/month. I would MUCH rather have a time based slowdown, which if you DON'T violate, you won't be penalized, than have a HARD CAP to the number of bytes I can download.

Remember, you can only get CUT OFF, if you VIOLATE the caps. If you download between 12:00am and 12:00pm, THERE ARE NO CAPS, thus there is no violation. Damn, If I could get 50GB/day, every day, from 12:00am to 12:00 pm, that's a MUCH better deal than having a TOTAL CAP of 250GB/month. It's not that hard to setup your computer to only download at full speed for 1/2 the day, AND you get 7 times the total number of bytes per month you would get from comcrap.
--
The happiest countries are the most secular. The struggle AGAINST corporations is the struggle FOR humanity!

aaronwt
Premium
join:2004-11-07
Woodbridge, VA
said by battleop:

11,000Mb X 30 Days = 330,000Mb = 322GB/month
That's only during the period of measurement.(12Noon to Midnight)

Outside that period is it unlimited?

battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000

Re: Better than Comcast's caps.

Then that makes it even better. Well at least cap wise.
jc100

join:2002-04-10

I have the solution:

Let's simplify their chart in one easy statement.

YOU PAY US $$$$$$ LOTS OF $$$$

We DELIVER NOTHING BUT INFERIOR SERVICE, DOUBLE TALK, AND NONSENSE...

YOU PAY US $$$$ LOTS OF $$$$

Thank you,

"Technical Support / Billing" - Cable One
Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
·Embarq Now Centu..
·Comcast
·CenturyLink

Customers need accurate tools to determine usage.

This is not going to happen soon. Customers need regulation that requires an ISP that ration data throughput via CAPS to provide an accurate tool to determine usage. The tool should be in the form of a web page that allows customers to accurately see the amount of data throughput and the number of days left in the measurement cycle, at any time during the measurement period. Customers accessing the web page should not be charged for usage to access the web page. The web page should be made the customers home page so they could see if they were reaching their limit whenever they launch their browser.

The other important issue is to exempt security related downloads from being charged against the customers CAP. What incentive do consumers have to maintain the security of their systems when doing so limits the desired use of their allocation. The customers of wireless carriers with very low CAPS are particularly susceptible to using up their allocation through routine maintenance of their system.

It would be simple to implement the exemption. The IP Addresses of security update websites would be registered as security related exempt. The ISP's would be required to add filters that would prevent data downloaded from those websites from being added to the customers usage. The filters should also prevent customers from being charged for connection overhead related to their connection such as cable modem polling.
jc100

join:2002-04-10

Re: Customers need accurate tools to determine usage.

Or.....

ISPS can just not cap people because the cost of bandwidth and the technology to provide it is going WAY DOWN....

Notice caps don't exist in areas of high competition?

aaronwt
Premium
join:2004-11-07
Woodbridge, VA

Re: Customers need accurate tools to determine usage.

said by jc100:

Or.....

ISPS can just not cap people because the cost of bandwidth and the technology to provide it is going WAY DOWN....

Notice caps don't exist in areas of high competition?
There is high competition in the DC area, FIOS doesn't have any caps, but Comcast still does.
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2

Re: Customers need accurate tools to determine usage.

Comcast has caps regardless of market. I'm counting myself fortunate about this, since Qwest is so darned slow around here yet I still get DOCSIS 3.
jc100

join:2002-04-10
And I bet Comcast doesn't fair well in the DC area =)
jjeffeory

join:2002-12-04
USA

Re: Customers need accurate tools to determine usage.

I have Comcast in DC because it's better than Verizon DSL. Actually, the data part is great. The TV picture quality sucks, the channel lineup sucks. The HD DVR is sweet.
jjeffeory

join:2002-12-04
USA
Yet DC doesn't have Fios... Maybe that's one reason why there are caps there?

aaronwt
Premium
join:2004-11-07
Woodbridge, VA

3 edits

Re: Customers need accurate tools to determine usage.

said by jjeffeory:

Yet DC doesn't have Fios... Maybe that's one reason why there are caps there?
DC area includes northern VA and part of MARYland. Several million people. The Distict of Columbia itself only has several hundreds of thousands of people. The majority of people that live in the DC area live in Virginia and MARYland.
And both of those areas have a high penetration of the FIOS footprint.
dl_us

join:2009-02-28
Phoenix, AZ
Areas of high competition have more customers, which equals more capital. If an ISP deals mainly with RURAL customers, they may not have enough capital available yet. Also, our president passed a bill to help fund upgrading the infrastructure of all the ISPs in America... cuz they all suck one way or another.
jjeffeory

join:2002-12-04
USA
I don't want to pay for advertisements either. All those little graphics in a web page. I don't want to pay for pings, DOS, etc... If they're going to play that game, I'm not paying for any of these either. Nor will I pay for SPAM...
Screw that!
dl_us

join:2009-02-28
Phoenix, AZ

Re: Customers need accurate tools to determine usage.

Firefox + adblock = problem fixed.
dl_us

join:2009-02-28
Phoenix, AZ
Yeah, they have that... you can check your bandwidth usage at »myaccount.cableone.net
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Verizon Online DSL
·Comcast

Upload Caps Suck

Actually, download caps do, too.

3 Mbps can upload less than 5GB per month during peak hours.
5 Mbps and 8 Mbps can upload less than 7GB
10 Mbps tops out at 14 GB
12 Mbps is 41.5 GB at most

Granted, you can probably schedule around these caps, and the cap on the 12/1.5 plan for downloads is 330GB per month during peak hours (better than Comcast). However I think I'm not alone in saying that the upload caps are quite low.

Also, all things considered, the caps on business plans up through 12/1.5 are rather low, though businesses probably won't get impacted due to daily usage cycles. 20/2.5 service has an 838 GB peak-time ownload cap per month and a 138GB upload peak-time cap so it's not all bad, but I'll bet the service costs a fortune. Any ideas on its price?

At least CableOne now has a tier with 1.5 Mbps upload speed though...
jdjbuffalo

join:2004-01-17
Denver, CO

1 edit

CableOne's Service

Their caps aren't half as bad as their throttling. That is what I always run into and get me all worked up.

For example, last night I downloaded Windows 7 DVD from TechNet. It is 3,000MB. The download was suppose to take 2 hours at about 600KBps. Only problem is that I hit the 2250MB cap when it was at 60% done. So they cut my speed down to about 285KBps and it takes now takes over 3 hours to complete.

Another example is watching "HD" streaming shows online. If I sit down and watch 2-3 hours at a time then I'll reach their cap. When this happens I start to get stuttering problems which basically requires me to stop watching what I wanted to see.

For things that I don't need right away, I like their 12am-12pm unlimited use. It would be nice to see others, like Comcast, implement this feature.

Pashune
Caps stifle innovation
Premium
join:2006-04-14
Gautier, MS
Reviews:
·Vonage
·CableOne

Caps?

Pfft. Threshold caps perhaps.. but I know a few people who have downloaded anywhere from 300-500 gb per month on a residential package from them WITHOUT account termination/phone calls.

It's not something I'd encourage, but if they don't bug you, I guess you're not hurting anything (Unless your node is crowded)

I don't make it anywhere near that much mind you (I average around 80-100 gb) but Comcast's 250 gb vs. Cableone's ??? cap; or cable one's threshold caps vs. Comcast's no threshold caps (Er, wait.. don't they already employ a throttling system now?)

Comcast still seems cheaper though as well.
--
ISP: CableOne 5 mbit/500 kbit
chuckie1

join:2006-06-05
Gulfport, MS

cableone convoluted wording

here's my explanation of their goofy wording.

for my 5Mbps plan, "standard speed" is defined by cableone as 2.5Mbps. basically, "standard speed" now replaces "throttled speed" and "extended speed" is the speed tier you pay for.

now that i've read the article, i'm sort of wondering if they've changed things and now i am only supposed to get 2.5Mpbs between 4pm and midnight even when i'm not throttled.
dl_us

join:2009-02-28
Phoenix, AZ

Re: cableone convoluted wording

Once you've hit the quota, the throttling isn't enforced until 4 PM.... or at least that's what I got out of it.