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I’m pissed

250GB Bandwidth limit with no way to monitor.

Comcast sets 250GB bandwidth cap without giving any way to check bandwidth usage? How is that legal? When can I expect Comcast will have a bandwidth monitoring tool available?

I know the FAQ tells you how to download a tool on a single computer and I know I can install 3rd party firmware to monitor all network traffic. That does not suffice. I need to know at any time what Comcast is reading on my internet usage so I can make internet usage choices accordingly.
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  • I’m frustrated
    There is a new video game console called "onlive" which allows you to play video games by streaming them over the internet.

    If you are watch a lot of movies that stream over the internet, you would use this amount very quickly.

    I personally have my entire office wired with IP-cameras and monitor the video stream from a remote location. This is very bandwidth intensive.

    If comcast can tell exactly how much data you are using, why can't they simple allow a customer to know as well? How are we suppose to guess on something like that?

    There is no way in the world a networked house is going to be able to know how much data is being used especially with video streaming devices which are networked to the internet.

    This is a very bad idea. It reminds me when a certain ISP said they wanted to ban any user who used linux or had an AMD processor.

    My old ISP( or maybe it was comcast, I don't remember) said you are not allowed to every buy a network device ( example: Router, switch, network,etc) because they wanted you to pay for a separate internet connection for every device in your house that uses internet.
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  • I’m amused
    I'd like to add in that so far, we have not seen any way to monitor the usage on the Comcast end. I'm an employee of the company, in customer service and technical support, and have yet to see anything on a way to monitor the bandwidth. Honostly, I believe this is pathetic. Did you know that when you call in and ask us, we also have no way of telling you, the customer, how much you have used ? Can't wait 'til this is fixed or the cap removed - which would honostly be the best the solution.
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  • I’m PO'D
    So what's the deal? Are we ever gonna get the promised meter or is comcast just gonna dink us around for another 9 months? I don't want some crappy McAfee tool that just clogs up my computer with crap that doesn't even work..
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  • I’m very upset/angry/pissed/displeased
    1
    Why is everyone talking about a bandwidth meter as if it is some sort of loophole attempt to prevent this from happening. You people are treating this matter like 2nd Amendment advocates back in the 1980s. They turned a blind eye to mediocre regulation, and look at the amount of laws out there now. Funny how they told them then, and now, how it is to protect us from criminals... but criminals don't obey laws, remember.
    So everyone is complaining about a bandwidth meter. Doesn't everyone see where this is going. You pay now somewhere in the realm of $70 a month for cable internet. Then when bandwidth whoring services come into play and become the norm; streaming TV, movies, video phone calls everyone is now going to be coughing up that extra $100 on top of the $70 they were originally paying, just to keep up with the Jones. You give them a little now, and you've effectively given up.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, cable and DSL lines have the capacity to support 50Meg transfers? And we need a 250G cap?

    Here is something that Scott Westerman is not telling you. It is not costing Comcast a dime whether the end user consumes 50G or 5K gigs a month. To use Scott Westerman's words accordingly, what is limiting 1% of users? Does a multimillion dollar corporation need to worry about instituting a cap if it only affect 1% of it's paying users.

    For crying out loud people, think for yourselves.
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  • I’m waiting for my meter.
    The meter is fast approaching One Year late.
    Dick - you are right, the meter doesn't change the fact of a cap. But right now, I have no idea if I use 10G 100G or 199GB.
    Give us the meter and 90% of the traffic on blogs regarding this issue will go away.
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  • I’m frustrated
    Do we get money back if we don't use 250GB/month? Or maybe cheaper plans with less bandwidth? I mean if you're going to instill a cap, might as well tier it with different prices. Maybe it's should say in the description as well we're limited to so and so bandwidth.

    Every other legitimate business does it now. Comcast is a legitimate business right?
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  • Zane my guess is the tool never was coming. How long do you think it takes to integrate software onto a cd for distribution or make it available for download when the technology has been around for years?
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  • I’m shaking my head
    Bob, what CD? This was supposed to be an online tool. User should be able to check on their account with no more than a day's lag. What good is a CD when iPods, TiVos, etc all use bandwidth, and not all routers can apply a meter? The whole issue has been that Comcast's promise is now a full year overdue.
    • Something like those online pages you use to check your minutes (but in this case you remaining bandwidth), would be nice.
    • I was talking about a tool integrated on a cd for their new customers. This thread started a year ago, the bottom line is, I don't think there is a tool coming in any format. As I said before a year ago. It is about TV not the internet, Comcast’s business is still
      centered on providing cable TV at $100, $150 a month.
      Internet video is starting to challenge traditional
      television. Comcast wants to sell movies on demand over its cable system, but Netflix, Amazon and others are selling movies over the Web for less. It is no secret, video and movies, of course, are the largest bandwidth hogs on the
      Net. Either way the tool was promised to be available October 1 and hasn't materialized yet. Hey maybe they will come up with one, who knows, but it really doesn't matter the cap is the problem.
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  • Bob, I know I'm missing something in this conversation. A CD to do what? I would need to load meters on every computer in my house, 4 desktops, two laptops, and two laptops that mostly get used outside the house. If that's what you're suggesting, I don't see how it's practical.
    Your reply that was emailed to me referenced the 2-3GB/mo. I recall Comcast saying that average use is 4GB/mo. I believe that. There are surely "a lot" of people who are email and a bit of browsing. But so what? It's not the cap per se, that's the issue, but the lack of knowledge. I don't know if I use 50GB/mo or 200. The meter would answer this.
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  • So, it has been over a year now and no monitoring tool... I agree with what ol Dick said.. why would a multi million dollar company be so concerned with 1% of its paying customers?! What about all the 70 yr old grandma's that goes online just to order groceries or the 16 yr old highschool freshman that just uses facebook once or twice per day and checks email? There are probably thousands more of examples like this vs. 1% of paying customers. I believe you will find the disparity to be greater on the other side of the fence. Not the 1%, in other words.

    There's alot of good points to be read from this page.. I kept it open on my browser for a few days just to read them all.

    Id also like to know what comcast defines as USAGE. Both ways, sent recvd? ALL data incoming, including downloads, or just browsing, and if so , how does "tool" tell the difference? I believe there must be a strict definition in order to impose such a broad-sweeping law like this.

    In conclusion, I strongly believe this is comcast's attempt to MITIGATE a potential disasterous situation by imposing this rule now. With the popularity on the rise with BitTorrents, especially USENET, as previously stated fancier HTML, Mozy, live streaming video, etc etc, Comcast I believe has projected that "normal usage" will begin to resemble "extreme usage". This is just another Orwellian method to keep people "conditioned". And when i say conditioned I mean it in the sense that if enough stink is generated about usage then perhaps 3 out of 5 people would stay under any given number.

    just my 2 cents.
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  • I’m goofy
    Hey, lets ban the lowest 10%. Why? Because all of them together use too much bandwidth.
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  • I’m amazed
    Well, there it is then :)

    Good find gpzbc!
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  • Scott,

    How did that test in Portland go? Any deployment schedule details you can provide. It seems like Comcast is cracking the whip on some people pre-maturely. If you threatened to cut my service due to overuse without providing a monitoring tool I would start a class action lawsuit immediately.

    I look forward to your feedback.
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  • Sweet! I just woke up this morning to an email in my inbox, informing me that Comcast is rolling out the Comcast Usage Meter in my area. I went to my Comcast page and sure enough, my data usage was all mapped out for me to see.

    Here is the linked information page with examples.
    http://networkmanagement.comcast.net/...
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  • I peaked at like 5 gb, but now I'm going to get a Netflix On-Demand subscription! ;-)
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    • I need this rolled out in the DC Metro area ASAP. It's simply insane that I got a call saying if I exceed my cap again in the next 6 months that I'd be banned from Comcast Internet for a year and yet I have no way to know how much data is passing through my cable modem. How do they get away with this? If I do get banned I'll be a monkey's uncle before they see another dime from me.
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  • I’m frustrated
    Apparently, I approached 400GB last month - which also apparently I had not come close to in any previous month with my two years of having the service. But how in the hell am I supposed to know that???

    What really pisses me off is that I pay for their highest tier of service they offer for internet in my area. Isn't that worth something to them?

    Really they're just afraid of customers who are like me: No cable-tv & no phone - only internet. Market-wise they don't like me because I consume entertainment content from the internet rather than from their cable tv service. This is their way to punish me for that.
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    • I'd love to get Verizon Fios, but it isn't yet available in my area.
    • I was actually a loyal FiOS customer prior to Comcast, but I moved and at my new location Comcast is the only cable available and the building doesn't permit Sat. Dishes to be mounted. I've sent Verizon emails and have called them BEGGING to run their fiber to my building...nothing yet. I may just offer to pay a premium for them to run it. I was incredibly please with Verizon's product, granted their customer service was lacking but the only time I ever had to speak with them was when I first ordered the service and when I canceled the service. Don't even get me started on the litany of bill errors and service disruptions I've experienced in the two years I've been with Comcast. P.S. their HD line-up blows compared to what I had with FiOS and was at least 30 bucks a month cheaper.
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  • "Google internet and improvements in wireless will eventually destroy Comcast"

    First, I hope it just makes them behave competitively (though certainly they have earned some market punishment) and secondly, for those of us who are more rural - I doubt we'll see Google anytime soon. I want to see a new "Rural Internet-fication Act"...
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    • Tyler, as has been noted time and time and TIME AGAIN in this thread, such programs do NOT monitor the bandwidth used by other devices on the local network! Does it monitor a Playstation 3 or XBox? No. Does it monitor an iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Zune, or other device with WiFi capability that could attach to a home wireless network? No. A NAS? No. The media box (AppleTV, Roku, Boxee, etc.) you use to watch Netflix on Demand movies on your TV? No.

      Unless you have a spare computer or router properly configured and dedicated to being the man-in-the-middle gatekeeper/firewall to your WAN connection on which you THEN run a program like you describe, or hack your cable modem so that you can directly monitor all traffic through it, such bandwidth monitoring programs are insufficient to get even a rough estimate of the bandwidth used by such increasingly common home network environments.
  • Well, also to add at least in my area, Comcast has finally implemented (did so quite a few months ago) a usable bandwidth monitor, thus these tools really aren't needed.

    I wouldn't say it's the "cat's meow" (for instance you can't set threshold warnings, nor does it tell you the rollover date), but it's a usable tool...
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  • I’m satisfied
    1
    http://customer.comcast.com/Pages/FAQ...

    How do I get the data usage meter and do I have to download it?

    You do not need to download anything to access the data usage meter. Simply go to Comcast.net and log into “My Account” using your Primary or Self-Managed Secondary account with billing access. Click on the “Users and Settings” tab. There, you will see a link to “View Details” in the “My Devices” section (located toward the upper right hand of the screen) that will take you to your data usage details page. From there, you will see details of your monthly data usage.
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  • Its real easy to blow past the 250gb limit... I've gone up past 400gb. All you have to do is watch a lot of high definition television, or run a game server to pay FPS video games on, and you blow past it. Note at no time am I being some kind of internet pirate, or file pig; I'm simply watching a lot of free HD videos on the internet (from Vuse) or streaming ones, or hosting a video game for my friends and I to play on. Entertainment, isn't that what comcast is selling, high speed digital entertainment.

    And when you go over that limit, their evil software kicks in and starts doing a lot of nasty things to your packets... like dropping 90% of them. You can tell this by doing a ping 4.2.2.1 -t (a dns server out there) from a dos command, and watch, how 90% of them will get dropped. If everything is working fine with your internet, you'll get 100% ping back. If you exceed their limit, less than 10% will get through. I tore up my network trying to figure out if it was my cablemodem or my router that had went wonkers from maybe a power spike - it turned out to be neigther. As soon as the 1st of the next month came around, the meter reset, and my network connect was golden again. !@#$%^

    Further, if you use more than 70% of your max upstream continuously for more than say 10-15 minutes, they shitcan the priority on your packets, and your traffic lags bad. If you are running a game server, this means you can only use about 220K max (of 340K) of your upstream bandwidth to host a game to play with your friends.

    Those so called 1%'s they quote, who only use 1% of internet... are not people who live at home and spend all day on the internet; they are people who are working a full time job, and when they come home only have time to check their email and IMs, surf a few webpages, and that's it. That's a darling customer they want... someone who pays $45 a month but doesn't use any bandwidth at all. And yes, in our slavery economy where people are slaving away at work 40 hours a week, it may be typical for a lot of people, but its definatly not what's going to happen if you work from home, or spend a lot of time at home on the internet.
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  • While I agree the existence if the limitation is annoying, I'm not sure I can agree that it's easy to go over it.

    I am a heavy Internet user with always up VPN and use Netflix (along with my son regularly). I have never actually even gone over 1/2 the allocated total.

    Just to be safe I would make sure that no one else is sharing your connection (eg: is sharing you wireless without you knowing), that some trojan hasn't highjacked your systems/network, and/or that you aren't accidentally or otherwise operating a BitTorrent site.

    As far as being essentially throttled at the limit, you probably should be happy if that's the case - Comcast threatened that it would disconnect users who exceeded the amount for two months in a row. Yes, I believe this is obnoxious, but since they hold the keys to the kingdom unfortunately, I'd rather have the bandwidth throttled.

    Perhaps you are just a really heavy user and don't realize it - I don't know. I definitely consider myself a "power user" and haven't seen what you're seeing. On the other hand, maybe I'm not as much of a "power user" as I think I am...
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  • It's really easy to hit the 250gb limit if you have a 6 person household with no cable / satellite TV, so ALL your entertainment comes over the internet connection.

    Scott points out upthread that you'd have to stream 125 regular-definition movies in a month. I'm guessing that translates to about 30-50 HD movies, or about 90-150 HD TV shows. That's really not that many, not with 6 people watching. Stream 1.5 or 2 hours of HDTV a day, and you're over the limit without even using the internet for anything else!

    The funny part to me is if we paid for cable TV instead, it'd come through the same wire, except with no limits at all on hours/day of usage.

    And that's what it comes down to. Comcast wants you to subscribe to cable. They set the usage rate at a level where you can use it for some entertainment, but you CANNOT replace your Cable TV or Satellite with it. I suspect that's their plan all along.
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  • All you have to do is play one internet game, running a game server of 16 players, and you go over the 250gb limit. That is about the smallest game server you can run. It has nothing to do with 250gb being the equivalent of X number of movies you download; if you work across the internet remotely or transfer any amount of legitimate data over it, you go over the 250gb limit. If it were 250gb up and 250gb down it wouldn't be so bad, but it its cumulative (one plus the other) which is a nonsense way to measure bandwidth usage. Most routers have no such feature to measure your monthly transfers per month.
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  • I'm running into this problem currently. Comcast is showing that we've used 210 mbps. Our highest every since they made the meter available on our account screen has been 136. I work from home too and my son is taking online college courses to supplement his high school as they only have one IT computer course and he completed it last year earning his A+ certification, but he wants to do more. We know there are no viruses on any of our three computers. The only thing we've done differently this month is add Vonage and I can't believe that a total of 104 minutes of calls has used up almost 100 mpbs extra. That leads us to think that the 3 hours of chats my son is doing per week with his class is what's putting us up near the cap, but everything we've been told is that chats don't use up that much.

    We're looking into Fairpoint. Our next door neighbor has them and their speeds are only about 20 percent slower that what I show for ours and there is no bandwidth cap at this point.
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  • Just got comcast, STILL no way to check your usage... 4 years later.
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