Comcast Announces 250GB Bandwidth Cap

Today, Comcast updated their Acceptable Use Policy to cover exactly what they feel is “excessive use”. When the Comcast cap starts October 1st, they will contact people breaking the 250GB per month transfer limit and ask them to curb their usage. While it’ll be hard for most people to hit this limit, we still wonder if policing 0.1% of the customer base is worth the effort. At least Comcast has bothered to state the limit instead of just secretly rewriting the meaning of the word “unlimited” like some providers.

[via DSLReports]

[photo: monoglot]

79 thoughts on “Comcast Announces 250GB Bandwidth Cap

  1. Seriously, 250gb?! Most UK ISP’s offer either unlimited or something in the range of say 40gb and really even with things like internet radio on constantly and pc/ps3 gaming I’ve never once hit that 40gb. Seeing as I haven’t read the whole article, I’m guessing this is based on cable companies including things like tv packages.

  2. Im also in a place with only comcast ( i have) and qwest dsl

    i pay 80 bucks for my internet alone and it claims to be

    8 meg but many speed test later i says i get 1.2 meg thats

    bs also outages are often and the node “loses my mac addy”

    then again im heavy into torrents and the like and i pull

    about 400 gig/month (up and down) and they have yet to bug

    me and my ratio for most sites are very healthy

    all in all i hate comcast but it works as long as they dont

    send me the letter also fios is coming ever closer to my


  3. What I don’t understand is all the whining about a 250 gig limit?

    Seriously, the ones that whine about this are probably downloading illegal torrents anyways. Would you prefer Comcast just to turn their records over to the FCC & have them fine you or incarcerate you for piracy?

    With online backups you can very easily do incremental backups! I doubt that you have over 250 gigs a month that change on your hard drive that you would actually want backed up a month.

    With the throwing a lan party & then not having internet for a year? it’s 250 gigs a MONTH not a year!

    Overselling the internet?? Would you prefer to pay for a DS-3 line into your house for what? about a grand a month? go ahead! I’ve had both Comcast & DSL and as far as outages were concerned they were equal, no more no less. I work on computers for a living & when I goto clients houses there’s tons of things that can be done to speed up their connections, sometimes yes it’s the installers that made the mistakes, but you know what? People that complain about their connection being slow because it’s 1.2mb vs 8mb which is what they say they’re paying for, but then leave their torrents downloading/uploading all day and all night.. what do you think you’re neighbor’s doing?? perhaps the same thing.?.?

    I have found out one thing about human nature, NO ONE is ever happy & love to do nothing more than complain about everything. When it works, they’re charging you too much, when it’s down or maintenance is being done it’s the worst thing on the planet. It’s too hot outside, it’s too cold, too wet, too dry etc. It’s not that far off from everything. Sometimes just suck it up & be happy for a second. Life’s short.

  4. @JB, I am a MCSE so I do know a little about this. *BTW* You sound
    like a Comcast employee. If your not they should hire you.
    To be honest, Comcast’s decision seems to me to be about
    television, 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, whether its reruns on Hulu or live convention
    coverage on Comcast wants to sell movies on
    demand over its cable system, but Netflix, Amazon and others
    are selling movies over the Web for less. And video and
    movies, of course, are the largest bandwidth hogs on the
    So you know for future referrence, the torrent was blocked
    by Comcast so I guess one would need to let it download all
    night. This will now change because of the FCC ruling,
    Second for someone who works on computers for a living
    should also know it is not the FCC job to fine you or
    incarcerate you for piracy. Those responsible for this would
    be the BSA and RIAA. Just thought you would like to know.

    As it stands now, I have four systems on my network, 3 of these systems are online
    playing games such as WoW. The other is used by my wife and
    myself who use the net for everything from shopping to
    research for college courses. 250 gigs sounds like a lot
    and it is when viewed from today’s standards but on the same
    token it is the equivalent of 4 hours of HD TV, This move
    could easily hinder the grow and advancement of the net.

    The network is over sold. You should know the results from
    past experiences when AOL over sold their network. Constant log
    offs and such. Again do the math, If I can get rid of one
    person who uses 250gb, I can take on 125 new computer
    illiterate clients, charge the top dollar and use the same
    amount of bandwidth.
    Whether you use 250gb or 3gb in a month you should be
    against this cap. Specially when one looks at how much it
    cost per month for the connection.

  5. I hate the idea of bandwidth caps. Unfortunately, I myself
    have a cap of 70gigs per month. I rarely reach that limit.
    I have only once received a warning a few years ago. At
    that time I was doing a lot of bittorenting. I actually
    didn’t know that I had a cap until last week when a friend
    told me that my isp(ACCESS) had a cap. They also hide that
    that have a cap. I didn’t know for 6 years.

    Recently I have been monitoring my usage with NETMETTER.
    It works awesome because it tells you the bandwidth for
    the day/week/month. It will also guess at what your
    bandwidth will be at that day/week/month.

    The last part is you think home connections have bad caps,
    look at cell networks for laptops. It’s $100 for 6gigs of
    data, and the speed is less than stellar. Their are now no
    truly unlimited cell connections in Canada.

  6. I am just a general hotspots users.. well I’ll have to either limit the speed or turn it off when they hit the cap…!I’m not too happy about there being no other options in high speed internet that are worth subscribing to. I have known opticomm can design build and operate an advanced fibre network incorporating high speed internet, free-to-air analogue and digital television-service, …supposedly a state-of-the art fibre network, offering up to 100mbps now… The instant reaction of the people is exciting …!

  7. internet in australia sucks. we pay tonnes more than
    usa and we don’t even have an option for unlimited internet.
    most people are on caps like 3GB. And you’re complaining about 250gb…

  8. I am very against this. Its not like they are introducing the cap now.. its been around for a while just not officially. I got my wrists slapped by this one.

    The issue is more for the future. What happens when IPTV evolves? Just saying that comcast will adapt to new technologies is not good enough because if they can get away with this now they can keep on doing it as long as it is profitable for them. The internet will have to bend to their bandwidth ceiling.

    This is de-evolutionary for technology as a whole.

  9. 250gb is fine, I have comcast and download a lot of movies and shows every month. When the limit wasn’t announced I was worried it was around 100-150gb a month so I stayed under this limit to be safe. Now I can download even more media with no problems. Stop whining whiners.

  10. oneshot: installing 3rd party firmware (such as dd-wrt) may allow you to monitor your bandwidth. do not do this if you do not know what you are doing, and don’t blame me if you brick your router.

    honestly, unless you’re running a major website or downloading everything you can can (dozens of movies/albums) and running bittorrent 24/7 to keep your ratio crazy high, you don’t need to worry. gamers will not be affected. At all.

  11. the problem is we already paid for all the lines and the bandwidth along wiht all the new bandwidth they have to put in to accomidate their users. its like putting a toll on an existing road that the tax payers already paid for and then just pocketing the money because that is their end goal is to tax and regulate bandwidth on the internet all of the biggest communications giants got together along with the government and they are going to try and turn the internet into a cable package not only will you pay for extra bandwidth but any site not put out by one of the six big companys will cost you money to visit. they also plan on taxing emails. the internet is killing their power over the people through newspapers tv and radio. they want to control and regulate your content and what you can or cant do on the web. they are going to lock it down under internet 2 and screw us all over. go read their internal documents.

  12. i lol’d…hard.

    If you are using 250gigabytes a month (which is roughly the same as 500 cd-rs), then…geez. wow.

    good luck getting such a plan in australia for under $AU100 a month. they dont even exist for home users.

    And anyone that runs more than one machine in a house and doesn cache updates once for re-distribution within the home network ought to be banned from using the internet.

    Streaming music? Have you not heard of streamripper and its re-proxy feature?

    I would lol harder at netnubs if their stupidity didn’t also impact on the enviroment i have to live with.

  13. While Bit Torrent is a target for this action by Comcast, their primary goal I think is more of a down to earth anti competitive business decision. If an average High Definition video from iTunes Music Store (3-4 GB), Playstation Network, or xBox live marketplace (6-7 GB), then you could in theory watch 1 or 2 videos each day of the month and consume around 200 GB (if you get good quality movies). Say packet bandwidth adds only 10% to the total bandwidth, now you’re up to 220. that leaves you only 30 GB for the remainder of the month do do ANYTHING else with. Gaming, YouTube, Internet radio, surfing, email, etc. Lets say some company next year says, check us out, you can get 1080P movies from us. what if they up the bitrates for “premium” videos. What if… We don’t know how far technology could lead us, but comcast is intent to say… if you want to watch HD movies, you’d best watch them on our cable services, or we’ll cap your usage.

    Basically, comcast is stifling the potency of the growth of competition to their HD, premium, and on demand services. Maybe a movie a day is excessive, but what if more than one person uses the service. What if billy watches downloads of a tv show in his bedroom each week, and throws in a movie or 2 as well each week. Jane watches a movie with her boyfriend once or twice a week. already, you might have 10-20 HD downloads in a month between 2 people. if mom and dad watch 2 movies a week, then they are teetering close to that cap, maybe too close.

    It’s true that that might be an extreme case, but I for one canceled my comcast cable services 2 years ago, and never looked back. I get enough entertainment via the internet and the network TV chanels that I don’t need the other stuff. Guba, youtube and the dedicated TV show websites offer more than enough in entertainment to make up. I watch episodes of the mythbusters on DVD from the library. Yeah, I had to wait a good long while, but it’s free. Modern Marvels, Iceroad truckers, and countless other shows like those… I stream them.

    I use bit torrent for downloading Fansubs. if you saw my DVD collection though, you would not be likely accuse me of any wrong. I downloaded Eureka 7 from youtube before it was released… I also bought all 12 DVDs, including the special edition box DVDs. same goes for countless other series. I even buy DVDs that are not available in english, just so I can legally own the program. I have a 5-6 foot long section of shelf space filled with Leiji Matsumoto DVDs alone (Galaxy Express 999, Harlock, etc). only a few are in english or even subtitled, but at least I OWN them legitimately. I download the fansubs (and will continue to do so as new episodes are translated by fansubbers).

    I feel this is a fair use of even bit torrent.

    The future of video is not cable, it’s internet video, and comcast is scared of a future they can’t have total control of. Their only control is to place caps that make it more difficult to use such services as bandwidth usage increases.

  14. 250gb is plenty. i don’t understand what the bitching is about. are people signing cable contracts with guns to their heads? comcast is a company out to make money and if they piss off .1% of their base and make everyone else happy, I’m sure they don’t care. I work for an ISP and we have never had anyone hit 250gb in a month. if you don’t like it, switch services, it sounds like DSL might be better anyway.

  15. Lots of people say 250 gigs is plenty but it’s not. nott at all really.
    I hardly use bit torrent at all but I do use site like hulu and tv.msn. Also sites like crunchyroll and so forth……
    Also webpage designer and devlop so transfering lots of stuff back and forth from servers.
    I was called by comcast saying I’ve gone over 400 gigs, being told not to do it again type of thing.

    250 gig limit may work for the avrage user but it won’t in the future becuse in the future when speeds are fast the internet will be used for many more things. 250 gigs is not a very high limit it’s fairly low and really comcast is not worth my or anyone elses time, Not just becuse of the 250 limit but becuse of a limit at all. A company that wants to control how much you download just to be able to up their profits should be ditched as soon as possible.

  16. start the petetions!

    Comcast and others can get away with this crap because, People who don’t realize or understand the exclusivity, of the web and dont understand what it means to have a 15 mb connection get one anyway just so they can have the best. I mean 70 of people just
    use the web for myspace and email. People who understand what the web has to offer the convince and the knowledge and entertainment that can be found will take advantage of the web exponentially
    and the more you use the web the more you find things to use it for. People get the best when dsl is more than enough. Also in many areas there is no choice. I mean you can choose the speed but its all the same network. People are paying the higher buck for the speed and comming no where near so they say, screw anyone that is actually knows about how to use the web it only cuts into out cable tv profits, and we can sucker more of theese check my email really fast and load youtube videos quickly. but wait ur limited to the speed of the server so u might as well have dsl while paying less. FFS its like buyin a lamborghini to the autoban AND NEVER TAKIN THAT BITCH OVER 50MPH!!! GET THE FCKIN HONDA GOD FUCKING DAMIT, SHOULD THAT MEAN I SHOULD BE LIMITEd TO 120 MPH……… ITS THE FUCKING AUTOBAN THERE IS NO SPEED LIMIT,
    autoban being the internet very good analogy as the internet is a highhay of information that has no limit, never will and never can << within the laws of physics, and your isp is the car dealer and there service is the car. then i guess the web is ur destination. plz people buy a car that suites ur needs, i mean if i were lamborghini and old people where buying my cars and i could make more cars if the young woman or more likely guys who push the car and then need a new transmition
    where limited to 2 transition under the warranty id prob do it. especially if you couldn’t get this transmition from anywhere else.

    ok take some breaths

    if you look at the internet, its similar to what we see in processing power, the banwithd usage has grown and the rate at which it is growing is growing the the so called avrage user will be nearing the cap regularly within 4 years! the power user will be assed out!! and dose comcast give a shit. Hell no, they can kill 5 birds with one stone, protect their money invested in cable technology, increase sucker,,,, er im mean customer capacity, curb the growth regionaly since comcast does have entire regions monopolized u kno; stop video over ip, and people using servces like veoh and youtube insted of watching tv and their commercails like they want u. and throttle the growth of bittorent. But what about joe the plumber. When he gets home and boots up flgiht simulator that has been set to use google maps or he regualrly talks over the internet with voip or teamspeak and is still kinda running shit from home. Then maybe he has teen kids with laptops going throu that downloading movies and music shit untill about 30 when people grow up. some never do but anyway i meanshit holyshit gl for that guy bear in mind that since the day of aol just browsing the web and doing normal whings takes alot of bandwithd and the internet is growing .

  17. Many people say 250 gigs is plenty but it’s nott at all reall specially in coming dayzz..
    For an average user 250 gig limit may work very well 2day but in the future when the technology will be more advanced the use of the internet for many things will b increased at that time 250 gig will not be fair limit even 4 an average user…

  18. Our ISP in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (etisalat) still hasn’t put a cap on any kind of connection yet, dunno if they are going to but the max speed you can get for residential usage is only 4Mbps, and its quite expensive here as well, 449 AED (approx. 122.25$ per month!)

  19. For those whom are trying to monitor their bandwidth… I have a Linksys WRT300N Router with custom dd-wrt firmware flashed on it… dd-wrt keeps track of how much bandwidth (ingoing and outgoing.) I use in a monthly basis.

    I recently just flashed it two days ago so here’s what I’m currently at.

    december 2008 (incoming: 13364 mb / outgoing: 3047 mb) Eh ~1.5gigs not to bad.

  20. I can’t wait to find an other internet provider. I live in MI. In my area the only high speed internet provider is comcast. I have called AT&T, Verizon… They don’t have any other services in my area. I will have to move to be able to work with verizon, AT& T or any other internet service provider. I have the feeling that this company is keeping me in hostage. I thought America was the contry of competition not of monopole. I am sick of this BS. Comcast is like micfrosoft. Basically I have to pay this outrageous payment every month $60 just for internet. I am sick of paying these bastards. I am really sick of this company.

  21. Well I got the call from comcast last month telling me I used 570gb of bandwidth. They actually called me a hog. I hadn’t heard about this until then so trust me I was suprised. I use my internet alot. I play games, watch HD video, and I’m a musicain and I transfer files back and forth online. I’m screwed now to, cause there’s no other choice for internet, and comcast said I can’t upgrade to commercail, cause I live in a apartment. Now I’m afirad to do anything online for fear i might hit it again and lose my internet for a year :(

  22. I just this today found out the reason they cut my net was this limit. Hadn’t heard of it until then. They said if they caught me over the limit a second time, I’m gone for a year. I guess it was a bit shocking to realize I had used 850 GB during the month in question, but hey, at least they didn’t realize it was a slow month for me. They’re not very fond of the “personal server” response. Guess I’ll be switching to a company with a dedicated line who’s not gonna give me crap when I’m paying for their new car, or maybe I’ll just stop being a cheap skate and upgrade to a business line. Even so though, my 21 MB/S bandwidth is truly pointless with a 250 cap. Disturbing. 75/month isn’t bad until you read the fine print.

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