With news from different tech/internet-focused sites writing about bandwidth-capping, I finally have received an email from Comcast. They seem to be updating their AUP which mostly adds a clause to whats considered “excessive use of [their] service”. Here’s the email:
Dear Comcast High-Speed Internet Customer,
We appreciate your business and strive to provide you with the best online experience possible. One of the ways we do this is through our Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). The AUP outlines acceptable use of our service as well as steps we take to protect our customers from things that can negatively impact their experience online. This policy has been in place for many years and we update it periodically to keep it current with our customers’ use of our service.
On October 1, 2008, we will post an updated AUP that will go into effect at that time.
In the updated AUP, we clarify that monthly data (or bandwidth) usage of more than 250 Gigabytes (GB) is the specific threshold that defines excessive use of our service. We have an excessive use policy because a fraction of one percent of our customers use such a disproportionate amount of bandwidth every month that they may degrade the online experience of other customers.
250 GB/month is an extremely large amount of bandwidth and it’s very likely that your monthly data usage doesn’t even come close to that amount. In fact, the threshold is approximately 100 times greater than the typical or median residential customer usage, which is 2 to 3 GB/month. To put it in perspective, to reach 250 GB of data usage in one month a customer would have to do any one of the following:
* Send more than 50 million plain text emails (at 5 KB/email);
* Download 62,500 songs (at 4 MB/song); or
* Download 125 standard definition movies (at 2 GB/movie).
And online gamers should know that even the heaviest multi- or single-player gaming activity would not typically come close to this threshold over the course of a month.
In addition to modifying the excessive use policy, the updated AUP contains other clarifications of terms concerning reporting violations, newsgroups, and network management. To read some helpful FAQs, please visit http://help.comcast.net/content/faq/Frequently-Asked-Questions-about-Excessive-Use.
Thank you again for choosing Comcast as your high-speed Internet provider.
On their FAQ, this will probably be one of the most asked/searched one:
How does Comcast help its customers track their usage so they can avoide exceeding the limit?
There are many online tools customers can download and use to measure their consumption. Customers can find such tools by simply doing a Web search — for example, a search for “bandwidth meter” will provide some options. Customers using multiple PCs should just be aware that they will need to measure and combine their total monthly usage in order to identify the data usage for their entire account.
But those who have done a search on “bandwidth meter” will only find “speed tests” rather than a log of current/past “true” bandwidth. Even if they find a good “bandwidth meter”, it’s hard to keep track if they are on a network of multiple users. However, don’t fret.
I remember reading up on this a couple of weeks back. This is mostly for those who can install DD-WRT. If you have a Linksys router, you’re in luck as most of their models can be updated to run this mod/hack. Anyways, click here to read up on the Lifehacker article on how to monitor your monthly bandwidth with your router.
I hope that helps, and good luck.