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Comcast Slightly Clarifies High Speed Extreme Use Policy

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the that's-some-customer-service-right-there dept.

The Internet 618

Alien54 writes "Comcast has finally clarified what 'excessive use' is when it comes to their cable internet service. A customer is exceeding their use limit if they: download the equivalent of 30,000 songs, 250,000 pictures or 13 million emails in a month. '[A Comcast spokesperson] said that Comcast's actions to cut ties with excessive users is a "great benefit to games and helps protect gamers and their game experience" due to their overuse of the network and thus "degrading the experience."'" Maybe they could put that limit in terms other than 'email' or 'songs'?

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They still don't give the exact byte downloadlimit (4, Insightful)

danwat1234 (942579) | more than 6 years ago | (#20628563)

An e-mail I sent to gamedaily.com about this article. I have a question about the article on your website named:: Comcast Clarifies High Speed Extreme Use Policy The article says the equivalent bandwidth usage may cause Comcast to cut the user off from their High speed Internet service:: "the equivalent of 30,000 songs, 250,000 pictures or 13 million emails in a month." Ok, why did they not actually give you an actual # of bytes that the Internet connection would have to download through Comcast's Internet service before it is cut off? Should I assume that an average song is around 3 megabytes each, and so that the actual limit is 90 Gigabytes per month? They are not clarifying anything because Comcast has not released the exact limit..and I don't know why.

Re:They still don't give the exact byte downloadli (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20629325)

Those bastards don't state the limit for 2 reasons:
1) they don't want it to be a factor in user-choice - naturally the limit is not generous as otherwise they would have published
2) they must have variable limits in different places depending on load (or more exactly - oversell) - so they want to be able to kick out local top 1% of users regardless if they breach some global limit.

Song of 4:10 times 128 kbps = 4 MB (1, Redundant)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629329)

"the equivalent of 30,000 songs, 250,000 pictures or 13 million emails in a month." Ok, why did they not actually give you an actual # of bytes that the Internet connection would have to download through Comcast's Internet service before it is cut off?
As far as I can guess, a "song" is 4 MB, enough for 4 minutes and 10 seconds of audio at the typical lossy data rate of 128 kilobits per second.

lets do the math! (5, Insightful)

Gabest (852807) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629423)

30000*songs = 250000*pictures = 13000000*emails 1 song = 3MB => 1 picure = 360KB => 1 email = 6.92KB Seems right, unless you want to send pictures or songs are email attachments :)

Re:lets do the math! (1)

Gabest (852807) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629461)

are = as, and where are my line breaks? ah "html formatted"...

Re:lets do the math! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20629543)

But that could just as easily be 4MB, 480KB, and 9.2KB, or 5MB, 600KB, 11.5KB.

Re:lets do the math! (1)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629577)

So comcast is only worried about people who play games? Does that mean that you can get a pass if you're playing a game that downloads songs and pictures to your computer?

Re:lets do the math! (4, Informative)

Seumas (6865) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629723)

A song is 3mb? What crappy bitrate do they think people encode to? A decent quality rip is going to be around 7mb. Possibly more.

They need to get off it and stop being so cryptic. They also need to realize that "excessive use" can be easily exceeded by completely reasonable means.

Today, I downloaded some demos on XBOX. That was about 10gb. I downloaded some video/demo/subscription content via both XBOX and PS3 this past month, too. So that's another 10gb (all of the TGS content from Microsoft via XBL alone is about 3gb).

I downloaded my weekly podcasts (video and audio). That was about 3gb.

I am 1500 miles from my home town, so I stream the local radio station (256kbps) all day every day (about 30gb/mo, probably).

My roommate also streams his favorite radio station most of the day. Another 20gb or so per month.

I streamed several movies from a pay service (like vongo) this week. Figure that's another 15gb/mo.

My roommate watched a few movies the same way. Another 5gb.

I downloaded three linux ISOs via torrent and seeded them to 100%. That's another 5gb.

I uploaded about 20gb of MP3s to my mp3tunes account.

This doesn't count surfing or watching youtube style content or FTPing to my remote server or connecting to my machine in the office via VNC and VPN. With completely reasonable uses, I've just accounted for 118gb between two people on one residential account. I presume the use would be higher if there were more people. Say, a four or five person family, for example.

And of course, the biggest issue here is that they've simply avoided answering the question altogether. The title of this submission is inaccurate. They didn't answer anything, yet offered a response that can be turned against any user by simply adjusting how big these pictures and emails supposedly are supposed to be for this calculation.

Even stupider, they show just how far behind the times they are by measuring things in "emails, songs and pictures". Welcome to 1998, friends.

Re:They still don't give the exact byte downloadli (5, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629341)

They are not clarifying anything because Comcast has not released the exact limit..and I don't know why.

That's obvious. If they issue an actual hard limit, customers would hold them to it. I know I would ... I have bandwidth monitoring on my network and if they cut me off too soon I'd scream bloody murder, believe me. A few hundred thousand customers clogging their support lines is what they absolutely do not want. This way, however, they can maintain their long-term SOP of vague threats and unspecified "limits" and continue to nail anyone they want to, any time they want. All this does is create uncertainty among their customers, which is exactly what they want so people will be afraid to use their connections "too much". Let's not forget that once they say "this is how much capacity you can use" they would have a hard time justifying the promises made by their marketing department.

Re:They still don't give the exact byte downloadli (3, Insightful)

pokerdad (1124121) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629755)

All this does is create uncertainty among their customers,

Perhaps it is just that they assumed that most of their customers would think that expressing it in GB is too technical.

Better yet, it could be that the actual value, expressed in GB, was passed on to their PR department who looked at it and said "what the hell does that mean?" Some tech gave the PR department some examples of how much data might be contained in the stated value, and the PR department released the examples (because it made sense to them) rather than the GB.

They still don't scare the abusers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20629767)

"Let's not forget that once they say "this is how much capacity you can use" they would have a hard time justifying the promises made by their marketing department."

Uh, huh. Like 30,000 songs, 250,000 pictures or 13 million emails in a month would be a hard sell for marketing.

The only ones who fear uncertainty are those who abuse the network.

Re:They still don't give the exact byte downloadli (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20629375)

Should I assume that an average song is around 3 megabytes each, and so that the actual limit is 90 Gigabytes per month?
What about those of us who download FLACs? Do we get a limit of 900 gigabytes per month?

Re:They still don't give the exact byte downloadli (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20629745)

No, you get to learn to use compressed file formats.

Re:They still don't give the exact byte downloadli (4, Interesting)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629387)

Because if they give a Gigabits or Gigabytes number, you can calculate the true bitrate you can use (just divide over 30*24*3600 and voila), and they'll open the door for their competitors.

Re:They still don't give the exact byte downloadli (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20629635)

I would think it would also depend on how much you are also sending upstream.
100gb down and 20gb up a month is a lot more expensive the 100gb and
nothing upstream.
I have comcast (business) and do ~150gb of usenet each month for some time now.
a fair amount of torrents as well. how much up I dont know but I never
really seen any evidence of the supposedly comcast reset packets on upstream
side bittorrents.

Re:They still don't give the exact byte downloadli (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629737)

What competitors? Comcast (as with other cable providers) have regional monopolies.

Re:They still don't give the exact byte downloadli (2, Interesting)

rocketfodder (781562) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629393)

In an article in a local paper attributed to a "Kim Hart" of "The Washington Post", Kim says that "Companies have argued that if strict limits were disclosed, customers would use as much capacity as possible without tipping the scale, causing networks to slow to a crawl."

...it makes sense to me... then lower the limits, idiots! Many of us would like to know exactly where we stand! If I need more bandwidth than I currently have, let me purchase more. Or let me buy another connection and 'double-barrel' it!

--rf

Re:They still don't give the exact byte downloadli (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629517)

If I need more bandwidth than I currently have, let me purchase more.
You can, with Comcast Workplace.

Re:They still don't give the exact byte downloadli (2, Interesting)

The Clockwork Troll (655321) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629629)

Comcast Workplace has the same downstream bandwidth limits, you just get slightly more upstream and the ability to have static IPs.

In fact, CW is even more restrictive (at least in my market) because you don't benefit as much from PowerBoost (a bandwidth surge during the first 10MB of any transfer in which residential users may temporarily get as much as 24Mbits/sec).

Re:They still don't give the exact byte downloadli (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629765)

The argument that "if we tell you the limit, you'll just abuse it" is ridiculous.

My cell phone provider tells me how many minutes of talk time I get per month.

Further, if you're going to cut me off for exceeding an unknown and undisclosed and unclarified limit -- then I'm ALREADY "abusing" this limit. So why not tell me what it is? The worst that will happen is that, instead of me going over it by a huge amount as I would have to be doing to be kicked off, I'll remain UNDER it.

Re:They still don't give the exact byte downloadli (-1)

Fallen Kell (165468) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629417)

No, if they are saying songs, then we need to assume that this is uncompressed wav files. So, 30,000 * ~50MB = 1,500,000 MB = 1.5TB... I can live with that. That is actually smaller then if it was 250,000 pictures from my camera, which is 250,000 * 24MB = 6,000,000MB = 6TB.

Nonsense (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629565)

No, we don't "need to assume" anything. The simple fact is that this is not a clarification at all... or rather, not much of one at all. Their "explanation" leaves just about everything open to interpretation, which I am sure is what they want.

Re:They still don't give the exact byte downloadli (1)

danwat1234 (942579) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629599)

VERY good point Sir. We just have to assume that the 'limits' are for uncompressed music, e-mails with embedded images, and pictures from a typical 7MP camera. So for the pictures, about 1.75MB per picture; 1.75 *250,000=437,500 MBs. I know that this is very unlikely to be the 'magic' actual limit that Comcast employs.

Re:They still don't give the exact byte downloadli (2, Funny)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629567)

Knowing Comcast, you should probably assume the average song size to be about 300 KB.

Re:They still don't give the exact byte downloadli (2, Informative)

Idaho (12907) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629575)

the equivalent of 30,000 songs


I'm also guessing that at ca. 3 MB a song that would round up to ca. 100 GB a month, or 3 GB a day.

Well, to be honest that limit is not *that* ridiculous, you could download (and watch) two movies a day at 1.5 GB each, or ca. 4-5 hours of video at decent (DivX, not HD) quality. Or downloading and testing at least 2-3 Linux distributions a day.

What is ridiculous however, is that Comcast just won't state there is a 100 GB limit - even if it were in the small print in the TOS. Most people wouldn't have a clue what it means anyway, but those who care would at least be able to find it.

However they could probably get sued for false advertising if they publicly admit that there is a fixed limit (they are advertising unlimited use I'm sure). I think this is why they refuse to state this in terms that leave no uncertainty whatsoever.

Re:They still don't give the exact byte downloadli (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629663)

However they could probably get sued for false advertising if they publicly admit that there is a fixed limit (they are advertising unlimited use I'm sure).
I don't think Comcast advertises "unlimited use" anymore. The ads I've seen talk about the following features of Comcast High-Speed Internet:
  1. "Always on", which in practice means upwards of 90 percent uptime compared to dial-up Internet access's sub-10 percent uptime.
  2. Faster completion of common downloads than DSL or dial-up, especially with the new "PowerBoost" feature that increases the modem's speed for the first few megabytes of a large download.

Re:They still don't give the exact byte downloadli (1)

Idaho (12907) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629799)

I don't think Comcast advertises "unlimited use" anymore.


Interesting, I don't live in the US myself (that's why I said "probably" since I can't check it myself), but in Europe the practices are mostly the same. In the EU they get away with advertising "unlimited UMTS" (high speed mobile network) which in fact means there's a 1 GB (!) limit per month. Probably OK for smartphone usage, but not if you use your phone as a modem (for a laptop).

In case they don't advertise it, I really don't see what they have to lose by posting a fixed limit though. They certainly wouldn't have to be ashamed of having a 100 GB/month limit, IMHO.

Re:They still don't give the exact byte downloadli (3, Interesting)

bughouse26 (975570) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629715)

If you use 5MB for the average song:

30,000 x 5MB == 150,000MB ~= 145GB

15KB for the average email:

13,000,000 x 15KB == 195,000,000KB ~= 186GB

600KB for the average picture:

600KB x 250,000 == 150,000,000KB ~= 143GB

So if you stay under 125GB / month you're probably safe. Not quite unlimited if you ask me!

Well think about it.... (1)

catbutt (469582) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629815)

If they gave an exact number, the heavy users would just throttle their usage to just under the limit (possibly writing some software to help with this), and the problem would remain. Unless of course they lowered the limit down further and further. I'm no fan of comcast, but the way they are doing it is the only way I can think of that makes economic sense, short of simply charging users per byte.

The obvious units (4, Funny)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629297)

Libraries of Congress...

Or British Libraries for Imperial.

Re:The obvious units (1)

Icarus1919 (802533) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629331)

Aww, you totally beat me to that joke.

Re:The obvious units (1)

xrayspx (13127) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629681)

You're not the only one, don't worry. Damn "life" getting in the way of my /. time.

Re:The obvious units (4, Funny)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629351)

Libraries of Congress

No, no. It's Libraries of Congress per fortnight.

Re:The obvious units (2, Insightful)

AnonymousDivinity (778696) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629433)

No, no. It's Libraries of Congress per fortnight. Actually I would have preferred the cap to be in much more understandable units like Volkswagon Beetles Full of Backup Tapes.

I mean everyone's seen a VW Beetle, but the Library of Congress? Does anyone even go there?

Libraries of COngress per Furlong (1)

spineboy (22918) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629555)

if we're talking about data density - but I like it even better for amount of data 'cause it makes no sense.

Abuse Definition v2 (3, Funny)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629301)

What's their problem? Why didn't Comcast use standard units?
Everybody knows data transfers are measured in LoC's - Libraries of Congress.

Re:Abuse Definition v2 (4, Informative)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629471)

well according to wikipedia the LOC :

is the largest by shelf space and one of the most important libraries in the world. Its collections include more than 30 million cataloged books and other print materials in 470 languages; more than 58 million manuscripts; the largest rare book collection in North America, including a Gutenberg Bible (one of only four perfect vellum copies known to exist); over 1 million US Government publications; 1 million issues of world newspapers spanning the past three centuries; 33,000 bound newspaper volumes; 500,000 microfilm reels; over 6,000 comic book[3] titles; the world's largest collection of legal materials; films; 4.8 million maps; sheet music; and 2.7 million sound recordings.
rough estimation of its data storage: ~90 million total*5 megs ave guess= 450 terabytes. comcast's limit was supposed to be about 300 gigs [if you download really fantastic songs] so 300gigs/450 terabytes= 1/1500 LOC. in short, the LOC is MASSIVE

Spam anyone? (0)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629311)

13 Million emails?

Seems like I almost exceed that already with unwanted adverts for viagra.

Re:Spam anyone? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629525)

I dont see how they can count incoming emails against you, since you really cant control that yourself.

Would be great fun to randomly pick a comcast user and poof him off the net, if they are really that stupid at comcast.

Not saying much (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629323)

1/2 MB songs, anybody?

tracker format? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629413)

1/2 MB songs, anybody?
Almost none of the dedicated portable audio players that I've seen play 500 KB songs, which are probably in tracker [wikipedia.org] formats (MOD, S3M, XM, or IT). The only portable tracked music player I've seen is a PDA or a modded Nintendo DS.

Re:tracker format? (1)

stevo3232 (794498) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629641)

I don't think he meant tracker formats, I think he meant Comcast may be manipulating the way they're calculating these totals by passing songs off as being 500kB (which I doubt they'd do, that's pushing it a little, maybe 2MB) which if you take one of the generic 2 minute pops that kids these days would probably want to listen to and encode it at an awful bitrate in something like AAC, is certainly possible.

That ain't much. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20629327)

30.000 songs at 5 MB per file is about 600 MB.
250.000 pictures at 2.5 MB (assuming holiday shots) is about 625 MB

That's less then 1 CD per month. With this crap I'd look for another provider.

Re:That ain't much. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20629343)

With that crap I'd look for a new calculator.

Priorities (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629673)

new brain first.

Re:That ain't much. (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629363)

By my calculator 30,000 5MB songs is 150GB. Or are you using megaBITs?

Check your math (4, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629379)

30.000 songs at 5 MB per file is about 600 MB.
30,000 songs times 5,000,000 bytes per song = 150,000,000,000 bytes, or 150 GB.

250.000 pictures at 2.5 MB (assuming holiday shots) is about 625 MB
250,000 pictures times 2,500,000 bytes per picture = 625,000,000,000 bytes, or 625 GB. But I'm guessing that Comcast is using JPEG rather than TIFF/PNG/DNG for its calculations, and the limit is closer to 100 to 150 GB/mo.

Re:Check your math (1)

Lucan Varo (974578) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629415)

Right. GigaByte.

GigaByte.

That's not bad actually. Now I wonder what they'd think is too much uploading.

Re:Check your math (1)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629739)

Have ANY of you ever heard of a decimal point? I suggest reading GGP again.

Re:Check your math (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629795)

These limitations include both directions. For example, if you download 70gb and upload 30gb, you've reached the 100gb limit.

Double check your math. (1)

no reason to be here (218628) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629381)

the numbers in the story were not printed with decimals.

Re:Double check your math. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629447)

the numbers in the story were not printed with decimals.
Some locales outside the United States use dot as a thousands separator and comma as a decimal separator.

Re:Double check your math. (2, Funny)

Seumas (6865) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629825)

Are they also in the habit of writing several zeros and a decimal point for a whole integer?

Re:That ain't much. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20629557)

...with math skills like that, no wonder you posted anon. 600/5=120 songs.

Dumb ass.

Re:That ain't much. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20629789)

also, "That's less THAN 1 CD per month."

Dumb ass.

Limited downloads (5, Funny)

teidou (651247) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629339)

I think it's kind of suspicious that they don't put the value in terms of number of Slashdot comments. I mean, you could get cut off right in the mid

Re:Limited downloads (4, Funny)

Incadenza (560402) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629533)

That sure would be a

Re:Limited downloads (5, Funny)

EvanED (569694) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629645)

Now stop that! How are we supposed

People like me (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629355)

who get tons of musical porn spam(ok, maybe its not ALL spam) are screwed!

Re:People like me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20629389)

musical porn?

Re:People like me (2, Funny)

nateb (59324) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629515)

musical porn?

Bonsk schki schki bonschk wow woooow!

thats alot (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629357)

download the equivalent of 30,000 songs, 250,000 pictures or 13 million emails in a month
just to put that in perspective, 30,000 songs a month at a measly 1 min long each is 500 hours of music, so you could download music on demand never the same song 1 minute each all day every day the entire month not including sleep. 250,000 images is about 1 every 10 seconds constantly throughout the month. 13 million emails is about 5 emails PER SECOND the entire month. now if you try out a lot of live cds, listen to internet radio and click the hell out of stumbleupon it isn't nearly as far out to get those kind of loads a month.

spam zombies (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629563)

250,000 images is about 1 every 10 seconds constantly throughout the month.
Which means somebody is going to have to lower the pixel size for the remote security camera.

13 million emails is about 5 emails PER SECOND the entire month.
Or a fraction of the throughput of the average pwned Windows machine.

Realtive amounts (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629361)

How big is a song? What bit rate? What if i like songs from the 70's that is 25 minutes long, or from the punk age at about 2 minutes? what about all these video services that are selling movies? ( like some of comcast's partners )

What garbage..

Oh do they charge for email collection, which is totally out of the users control? I have 10's of thousands of spam a month, would i get dinged by this policy? What about a random DoS attack, do they get dinged for that 'incoming' too?

Songs/Emails vs Kbytes/MBytes (5, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629367)

The reason they don't give you a simple cutoff limit measured in bytes is, there is none.

It's a moving target, and at some point in the process, it's subjective. I'm sure there's some traffic analysis done, and I'm sure when it's time to free up resources by booting the hogs they make some calls along the lines of "24/7 torrent server vs VPN client"

I'm sure, and this is something I've never seen mentioned in any slashdot threads, they include your credit history with the company in the decisions, as well. If I have to choose between two customers, one who's consistently late, who wastes my collections teams time every month, and one who pays promptly every time - guess who I'm choosing?

Just saying, I pay my bill on time every month, I use all the bandwidth I possibly can, and I have never had an issue. If you want to "push the envelope", it's the least you can do to keep on the cable co's good side.

Re:Songs/Emails vs Kbytes/MBytes (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629451)

Who modded paren down? I found it somewhat insightful.

Re:Songs/Emails vs Kbytes/MBytes (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629705)

Who modded paren down?
Terrible karma, stemming from posts made in July or earlier.

A unit we can understand? (3, Funny)

A10Mechanic (1056868) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629411)

For all the geeks, could we get a conversion to "quatloos"? It might help.

Useless? (1)

kputnam (488584) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629441)

Maybe some people are now relieved to know they're not exceeding the quotas, but why doesn't Comcast just provide an exact limit? Exactly how big are these songs, pictures, and emails? Sure 250,000 sounds like a lot of photos.. but how about 250,000 1x1 spacer.gif files (10.25 MB)? I'm asking because I want to know so I can use up 99% of my quota.

Re:Useless? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20629585)

why doesn't Comcast just provide an exact limit?
I want to know so I can use up 99% of my quota.

I think you just answered your own question.

OK then, so the limit is (2, Funny)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629487)

A customer is exceeding their use limit if they: download the equivalent of 30,000 songs, 250,000 pictures or 13 million emails in a month.

Let's see. At about 50 megabytes per song (I use lossless compression), that is 1,500,000 megabytes or 1,500GB per month limit. OK, so if I use only 1,000GB per month, I'm OK, right?

(am I the only one who has noticed that Comcast still has not given a hard limit, that the limit is still as vague as it has ever been?

13 million emails in a month, eh? (4, Funny)

AnonymousDivinity (778696) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629495)

Well there's an easy solution:
BitTorrent via SMTP!

Gotta use all that GMail space somehow...

Or maybe they should... (2, Interesting)

The Analog Kid (565327) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629503)

Put some money into their infrastructure to cope with the demand? Maybe stop overselling? Oh wait that would cost some dollars so forget that idea. Meanwhile, users on Verizon FIOS has reported to download over a terabyte worth of data a month without so much of a letter from Verizon. (who knows how long that lasts though)

Its' my understanding that the limit is ...... (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629513)

....being in the top 10% of users using the most band width.

This is based upon ...

http://moobunny.dreamhosters.com/cgi/mbthread.pl/amiga/expand/149695 [dreamhosters.com]

Where Chris had gotten a call. The thing is, He is Blind and his work requires that he upload a good bit of data.

Blind of not, some will say to hime to get a business line or account. He has asked if one can be had for under $200 a month...

Re:Its' my understanding that the limit is ...... (0)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629773)

a) $2400/year is pretty damn cheap for a primary buisness expense
b) either 1) you can write off most or all of the expense or 2) your company should be able to absorb most of that cost

Do the math (3, Insightful)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629545)

30k songs @ 6 megs / mp3 = 180 gigs
250k pictures @ 1 meg/jpg = 250 gigs
13M emails @ 20k/email = 260 gigs

180 gigs / 4.3 gigs per dvd = 42 DVD movies

So that's quite a bit of data for thirty bucks a month.

You're off by 50% (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20629763)

Comcast is probably calculating the typical song is 4MB. That's 128MB/S, 4 minutes. A meg a minute is pretty typical for pop.

So at best, you're giving yourself 50% too much. About 120G.

Frankly, barely passable. FIOS is going to eat their lunch.

How many Rhode Islands is that? (1)

rjamestaylor (117847) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629551)

How many stones, hands, Rhode Islands would that be?

perhaps 60Gb? (1)

garlicbready (846542) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629581)

I'd say somewhere around 60Gb a month sounds like a realistic figure

Assuming 2Mb per mp3 at 30000 mp3's
30000 x 2Mb = 60000Mb (60Gb roughly)

for picture size
60000 / 250000 = 240Kb per picture (about average for a large jpg)

for email size
60000 / 13000000 = 4.6Kb approx

(yes I know 1Mb = 1024Kb, but this is just approximations)

Good! (1, Flamebait)

Pendersempai (625351) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629583)

650 GB/mo seems like a perfectly reasonable limit for a personal, residential internet subscription. I'm glad there's a limit on it; that means excessive users will have to pay for the strain they put on the network, so that those of us who use it normally can get better bandwidth at the same cost.

It is not as bad as you think... (5, Informative)

tgatliff (311583) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629589)

I spoke with a comcast friend of mine who is at the executive level about two weeks ago on this... He said that the reason they do not want ot specify the exactly amount is that most of the time they do not care because they have plenty of throughput. Meaning, because their network is mostly shared (unlike the telcos) bottelnecks do occur from time to time. He saids that most of their subnets are fine (over 90% in fact), but occasionally they get a couple areas where he says they constantly have problems with getting their digital services to work well and they almost always find that it is because of huge amounts of p2p traffic. He also said that in an ideal world this would be handled at the network level, but that their p2p limiting ability does not work at this point for balancing balancing the traffic. He said he had no clue what routers they are using, though... He said that the worst part is that in some cases, if they upgrade their "uplink" (my word, not his) to fix the issue, it just means that more traffic, and the problem still is there. In short, the end result is that when they have allot of customers call in saying they are having problems with their service in a particular area, they first try to upgrade their "uplink", then if that does not work, they tell the particular customers to please stop it, and in the few cases where this does not work then they finally just pull the plug on the problematic customer. He mentioned that it rarely happens, though, which is why they are completely baffled internally on why the press is so against on them right now...

Re:It is not as bad as you think... (1)

Secrity (742221) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629741)

"He mentioned that it rarely happens, though, which is why they are completely baffled internally on why the press is so against on them right now..."

It has to do with the fact that customers are disconnected for over-using a service that is advertised as being 'unlimited'.

Re:It is not as bad as you think... (3, Insightful)

kmahan (80459) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629793)

Why are they baffled? They use the word "unlimited". To most people that means "without limit".

They like the sound of the word in their advertising. They just don't like to have to live up to that definition.

2.3 hours of video (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20629597)

A video at 30 frames per second would run beyond 250000 pictures in around 2.3 hours.

I think I may be way over, of course this isn't taking into account compression

Re:2.3 hours of video (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629753)

A video at 30 frames per second would run beyond 250000 pictures in around 2.3 hours.
It's a good thing that video compression only stores the first picture of each shot, and then stores approximate diffs of pictures [wikipedia.org] after that.

We could find out the aprox limit... (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629613)

If we can find a reasonable song size that multiplied by 30,000 would equal 250,000 multiplied by a reasonable picture size (although reasonable is a subjective term). Maybe an average mp3 and a 600*400 pixel 24-bit color jpg image?

So filling a 160GB iPod in 1Month = BANNED (1)

E8086 (698978) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629621)

I can't think of a good reason for anyone doing this, but if someone were to fill their shiny new 160GB iPod in less than a month, from the iTunes Store, they would find them self being banned from Comcast for downloading content they PAID for?
Who let someone use "Clarifies" in this context? And what's with trying to measure usage in 'songs'? Are they in MAFIAA's pocket too? Of course everyone is always downloading songs from Kazaa and MediaSentry torrents.

It would probably easier to pick a number and setup a page where everyone can check their monthly usage, my college IT dept did this so it can't be that difficult, unless it's not profitable enough for them.

Re:So filling a 160GB iPod in 1Month = BANNED (5, Funny)

gravos (912628) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629693)

3MB per song $0.99 per song 53333 songs per 160GB iPod $52800 to fill 160GB iPod And your worried about your connection being cut off?

Re:So filling a 160GB iPod in 1Month = BANNED (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629787)

Well, the user paid Apple for the content, so Comcast doesn't really give a shit whether someone else is being paid for it or not. It's just their bandwidth being used, whether someone's buying DRM'd crap from itunes or leeching off FTP servers.

Of course, having a strictly defined limit (say 100 GB/month) would make much more sense, and that's exactly what most IPSs (that do have limits) do around here.

Re:So filling a 160GB iPod in 1Month = BANNED (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629803)

Where do you work that you can afford not only a new 160gb ipod, but $30,000 worth of music, in addition to your living expenses? Are they hiring?

Classical music? (1, Insightful)

techmuse (160085) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629637)

So I listen to a lot of classical music, which I encode at a high bit rate. One "song" can be 30 or 40 minutes and 50 or 60 MB or more. Do I get more bandwidth than someone who listens to pop?

The typical size of a picture on my computer is probably around 1600x1200. Do I get more bandwidth than someone with smaller pictures?

My e-mails are usually pretty small, unless someone sends me a large attachment. Which of my e-mails are we using as the e-mail unit?

Not really clear enough (5, Interesting)

Dark_Nova (27836) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629639)

Here in Australia, we have had download quotas since the early days of broadband. This is necessary due to the extremely high costs associated with international data links here (there is a duopoly on submarine telecommunication cables linking Australia to the rest of the world, so prices are high).

While nobody in Australia really likes the download quotas, our ISPs at least spell out the limits in detail, and allow users to check their current usage in real-time. A variety of Internet plan options are available, so heavy users can opt to pay extra to have a higher download quota (e.g. see iiNet's plans [whirlpool.net.au] and Internode's plans [whirlpool.net.au] ).

Comcast seem to be introducing quotas without really going all the way. I guess they view this as being more "gentle" than actually imposing hard limits, but I'd say that it's just more confusing. Users need to know what their quotas are and how much they have downloaded, otherwise, the whole system just seems arbitrary.

I can see how US ISPs might want to impose some usage limits on their customers. Data connectivity is cheap there, but it isn't free... and people are getting ever-faster home connections. However, if they are going to do this sort of thing, they need to spell out exactly what the limits are, and what the consequences are for going over those limits. Vague statements like "30,000 songs" don't really help anyone.

Re:Not really clear enough (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629809)

(there is a duopoly on submarine telecommunication cables linking Australia to the rest of the world, so prices are high)
Is it a government-enforced duopoly, or is it just that no other firms find it worth the cost to lay and maintain submarine cable?

self-intrest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20629667)

i don't know how anyone can trust the cable companies. tnhey are notorious for extreme self-intrest governing policies.

LOL @ 250,000 pictures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20629697)

250,000 pictures = 1 feature length film!

I guess this puts a kink in all those online film distribution services! Perhaps they should discuss net neutrality with comcast? :D

Limits and Sharing (4, Insightful)

saterdaies (842986) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629709)

Comcast should have put the limits in terms of GB, but I think we can understand the limits they have put down.

Songs are considered (by non /. people) to be around 4MB. It's what Apple uses as a benchmark as well as many others. It's a decent estimation. That puts Comcast's limit at 120GB per month. If you assume 2-3MP images of around 1MB a piece, the limit is around 250GB.

Those are limits that the vast majority of people will not come up against. If you downloaded Ubuntu every single day for a month, you would hit 21GB. If you downloaded a high res Xvid movie every day for a month (1.4GB a piece), you would hit 42GB.

Suffice it to say, the limit is high. It's high enough that for almost everyone, it doesn't matter that it exists.

Oh, for comparison's sake, you would have to fully load a T1 connection over a quarter of a month to hit the 120GB limit. You would have to be using more than half a T1 connection to hit the 250GB mark. Cable is a shared resource. If you need a dedicated resource, maybe a T1 is right for you. At some point, nothing is unlimited. We're lucky that the internet adapts so well to sharing that 99.9% of people can pay very little for a lot, but some people need dedicated resources.

Dilbert Moment (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20629713)

Scott Adams 1996/01/25

PHB: I've asked Dogbert to help us get rid of our most troublesome customers.

Dogbert: Ten percent of your customers account for ninety percent of your service costs. They must be eliminated.

Alice: Is that the same group of customers who actually use our product?

Dogbert: Plus the ones who were injured unpacking it.

FALSE ADVERTISING!!! (3, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629729)

If Comcast advertises that its service delivers downloads "up to 12Mb/s" (which is exactly what they advertise here on TV), then they are advertising that they can deliver UP TO:

(12Mb / second) x (86,400 seconds / day) x (30 days / month)

= 12 x 86,400 x 30 Mb

= 31,104,000 Mb (that's megaBITS, so)

= 3,888,000 MB !!!

That is almost 4 terabytes worth of downloads.

Now, I am not saying that one should actually get as much as the theoretical maximum, but if Comcast is actually setting a limit that is substantially lower than that, then the simple fact is that they are guilty of fraud and false advertising.

Further, if there is not a FIXED limit based on recognizable standards that is included in the contract, then they open themselves to liability for suits based on discrimination and arbitrary enforcement of their policies. (If it can even be called a legal policy, not being contained in the contract, and blatantly contradicting what they advertise.)

I think they had better clear this up like right now, or they could be in trouble of their own making.

ONE e-mail and service CUTOFF (2, Funny)

RobBebop (947356) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629769)

One particular user of the internet didn't get the 13 million e-mail quota that they mentioned. After only ONE e-mail, his service was degraded significantly...

I just the other day got... an Internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday, I got it yesterday. Why? Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the Internet commercially.

-Senator Ted Stevens. :)

New terms coined? (5, Funny)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629811)

OK, so you can only download 30 Kilosongs, 250 Kilopictures or 13 Megamails?

And I thought "Megapixels" were a salesman abomination. :-(
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