Broadband Providers Getting Ready To Screw Us Over

I spend a ton of time on the internet and torrent things like a fiend, but I never knew there was a limit and I sure didn’t know you could be relegated to 56k status. Amanda Lee from Massachusetts received a call from Comcast last December ordering her to curb her internet usage or lose her broadband service for a year. Like any rational person she asked what the limit was and Comcast told her there was no limit on download bandwidth, but told her she was using too much. So she went about her merry way until a few weeks ago when her service was cut-off completely. WTF?! We’re in for a rude awakening.

Internet usage is on the rise and there is no end in sight. WiFi phone usage is on the rise, major television networks are streaming shows and you’ll be downloading movies from online retailers in no time. If the internet is your lifeline to entertainment and the world, then you better listen up. Comcast may not tell us what the exact limit is, but they’re saying you will be warned if you exceed 13 million emails a month. According to Comcast only .01 percent of their 11.5 million residential broadband users are in the red, which means you’ve got to be downloading hundreds of gigs every month. Your abuse of those broadband connections is impairing others usage so you get slammed for it.

This whole situation is a bit of a contradiction to Comcast’s PowerBoost service, which gives you an extra surge of speed when you’re downloading big files. Comcast won’t give you a number because they claim it will change as networks evolve, which is legitimate but a range would be nice. Other victims have gone on to say that customer service reps aren’t even aware that there is a limit on download bandwidth, not a big surprise, when they call in to ask why they’ve been cut-off. So what can we do?

I’m not sure if you’re a Comcast customer, but maybe a move to Verizon is in order if available. Verizon’s DSL service network architecture doesn’t allow for bandwidth hogs so they won’t cut you off no matter how much you download. This is an inevitable trend that broadband providers should have planned for some time ago. I’m not sure what you really can do if you get cut-off and your provider tells you that you’ve gone over the download limit, but I’d think twice about seeding that DVD-rip of 300.

Not so fast, broadband providers tell big users [Boston Globe]