The largest US cable operator Comcast has announced that it will limit customers’ Internet broadband usage to 250GB per month per account starting October 01. This applies to all residential broadband.
Comcast mentioned that if customer exceeds the 250GB limit, Comcast will call the customer to warn about the “excessive use” and suggest the customer to upgrade to a more expensive commercial-grade plan. If customer does not upgrade and exceed the limit for a second time within six months, Comcast will terminate the account for a year.
Comcast highlighted that a typical user on its network uses a bandwidth of about 2GB per month. 250 GB per month is quite a bit for residential use, representing 50 million e-mails, 50,000 MP3 songs or 124 standard-definition movies. This 250GB limit is more than sufficient for regular residential use, even if customer is planning on streaming Netflix movies. Comcast said that about only 1% of its 14 million subscribers are affected by the threshold. Comcast has put up a “Frequently Asked Questions about Excessive Use” website to calm customers’ concern.
This move is unprecedented nowadays as Internet subscribers are used to unlimited usage once they sign up to pay a flat monthly fee. A step backward some might say with high-definition contents getting more and more common. Nevertheless this 250GB threshold will have real impact if you are heavy users of P2P file-sharing services such as BitTorrent.