Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Comcast Bandwidth "Abuse"

Who would have thought that leaving South Africa for the US would result in yet more bandwidth woes! Why yes, it's true...I've hit the "cap". I just got a call from Comcast this morning saying that I exceeded the limit last month and that I was being given a warning.

Let me get one thing straight first. The cable here is *far* better than the ADSL back in SA. Don't get me wrong there. However, they could be a little more upfront about their restrictions. Apparently I was in the top 0.1% of their bandwidth users last month. All I was told that if I return to this top 0.1% bracket again within the next year then my account will be suspended for a year. Wow, that's quite harsh don't you think? Especially when you consider that no-one can ever know what that limit is in terms of an actual bandwidth figure and that as much as a tried the guy refused to even give me a ball-park figure. All he said was that I had to "drastically reduce" my usage and that if he gave me a figure he would be fired.

I was rather surprised at how interrogating he was. Some of the questions I can understand, such as asking if I had a wireless network and whether or not it was secure. When he asked what I was doing that was causing such excessive usage -- man, I got a little annoyed. I told him straight that it was private. What are they going to benefit knowing what I use my line for?

The good thing is they have plenty DSL providers here. Hopefully they'll be more customer-friendly. Yes, they charge a bit more, but the other stories I've read about Comcast are a little saddening (even though they don't come close to the evilness of Telkom!) such as sending forged TCP RST packets and throttling encrypted traffic.


  1. I saw that soon after I made this post. There's no ways they'll get fined that amount. It's X amount per torrent customer, which if all their customers would bring it to that figure. Still, would be awesome if action was taken against them as they appear to be a bit like the Telkom of the US.

  2. I'm sure there are plenty of unsecured wireless networks in a place like california, maybe you could set up some sort of load balancing solution to conceal your usage :P

    A friend of mine who emigrated to the US found an unsecured network and so conveniently had a chance to try out their OptOnline cable connection for a few weeks before he decided to order it for himself.

  3. That's what I thought, but it's not the case in my area. About 20 wireless networks and they're all secure.

  4. I received one of those calls myself and had my internet shut off for 2 days. Same thing over here, no exact number of how much "internet" I was using. It's annoying, and I still have no real of figuring out how much I use.

  5. I would like to know why is getting our bandwidth information like some top secret pentagon info. I mean how hard is it to tell me if I'm close to 250GB and/or give me the exact usage.