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Cloud Data Storage

Comcast Predicts Usage Cap Within 5 Years 475

Posted by timothy
from the hang-onto-your-bits dept.
finalcutmonstar (1862890) writes "With net neutrality dying a slow painful death, it is no surprise that in an investor call yesterday Comcast executive VP(and Darth Vader impersonator) David Cohen predicts bandwidth caps within the next 5 years. The cap would start at 300 GB and cost the customer subscriber an extra 10 USD for 50 GB. But, Cohen stated that 'I would also predict that the vast majority of our customers would never be caught in the buying the additional buckets of usage, that we will always want to say the basic level of usage at a sufficiently high level that the vast majority of our customers are not implicated by the usage-based billing plan.'" Update: 05/15 13:58 GMT by T : Correction: Cohen is actually talking about data transferred, rather than stored (as headline originally had it), as reader MAXOMENOS points out.
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Comcast Predicts Usage Cap Within 5 Years

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 15, 2014 @08:57AM (#47008011)

    that is how long it takes with LTE on max speed to reach the cap.

  • by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Thursday May 15, 2014 @09:04AM (#47008079)

    The cap would start at 300 GB and cost the customer subscriber an extra 10 USD for 50 GB. But, Cohen stated that 'I would also predict that the vast majority of our customers would never be caught in the buying the additional buckets of usage, that we will always want to say the basic level of usage at a sufficiently high level that the vast majority of our customers are not implicated by the usage-based billing plan.'"

    Comcast sent me an email late last year saying they would change my data usage agreement to the above.

  • Re:Editorial (Score:5, Informative)

    by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Thursday May 15, 2014 @09:15AM (#47008175)
    Bandwidth, in networking, is a measure of the amount of data transfered per time unit. The Comcast exec is predicting a transfer cap, i.e. a maximum quantity of data.

    You're right, though; Neither are "storage". Whoever titled the post is a moron.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 15, 2014 @09:18AM (#47008209)

    I already have a 300GB cap with Comcast. I am in one of their 'test' markets. His numbers stated are the correct numbers. $10 for every additional 50GB..

    I often upload and download a lot for work purposes and I have 5 people on many internet connected devices at home so we almost always go over.

    The problem is we do not have any viable alternative in my area :(

  • Re:Editorial (Score:5, Informative)

    by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Thursday May 15, 2014 @09:19AM (#47008213)

    Bandwidth, in networking, is a measure of the amount of data transfered per time unit. The Comcast exec is predicting a transfer cap, i.e. a maximum quantity of data.

    No, the Comcast exec is predicting a bandwidth cap.

    Or do you seriously believe that his 300 GB cap is a LIFETIME cap? Much more likely it's a monthly cap.

    And 300GB/month is a measure of a quantity of data (300GB) per time unit (month).

  • by radiumsoup (741987) on Thursday May 15, 2014 @09:22AM (#47008233)

    Have you seen what has happened because of the Google Fiber rollout? Here in Austin, you have AT&T scrambling to match the offer after the mere ANNOUNCEMENT by Google that they intended to offer service, and now there's a local ISP called Grande doing the same (although they already had a few fiber rings around the city to service their business customers, so their entry into the fight was a simple choice). That's right, with nothing other than a statement of intent, we have a virtual land race for uncapped near-gigabit internet for under $80 a month. If that's not competitive economics at work, I don't know what is.

  • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Thursday May 15, 2014 @09:37AM (#47008333)

    lol, as entertaining as these conspiracy theories are, I can't help but blow my karma correcting uniformed nonsense.

    The vast majority of ISPs in this country do not offer any (or very little) TV service at all.

    The majority of the money you pay for your cable television goes to the the content providers and re-transmit fees. Local stations re-transmit fees are huge. The ISPs make the most money off services. Like voip, cloud storage, antivirus, DVRs, equipment rentals, etc...

    Despite this, every ISP that I've worked with over the past 5 years or so has bandwidth cap projects going now. It's coming to everyone, everywhere. regardless of if your ISP provides TV or not.

    Want to know why? http://time.com/98987/netflix-... [time.com]

    That's why.

    and no, this doesn't have anything to do with Net Neutrality. It was coming either way. They're locked in a race to the bottom with prices. Customers always go with the cheapest provider, so they can't afford infrastructure improvements without cutting themselves out of the market. Most customers are like your parents. They just want to get onto facebook. People that do streaming suck up tons of bandwidth yet pay the same. It's basically an all-you-can-eat buffet and we're the fat guys. The sizzlers trying to narrow the front door so we can't get in.

  • Re:Awesome! (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 15, 2014 @09:37AM (#47008341)

    In Romania we have 1Gbs at about 20$ in some areas and 100Mbs at the same price in most urban areas. Keep on living the American Dream!

  • They tried billing per simultaneous IP address a long time ago; the response to that was network address translation (NAT) boxes. ISPs would see only one computer, made by Linksys, NETGEAR, D-Link, etc. In order to truly bill per device, they'd need to employ even deeper packet inspection than they already do, including things like requiring installation of its TLS MITM's root certificate or requiring use of Trusted Network Connect (which gives the ISP administrative rights to your PC and locks out home use of free software operating systems). This is why your "modest proposal" won't work.
  • by Rob the Bold (788862) on Thursday May 15, 2014 @09:39AM (#47008365)

    Thing is, Comcast is so insanely profitable they have no need to 'recoup their revenue'. They do not have some magic entitlement to such profits, esp when they get them in part by promising service levels they can not actually provide.

    You know what's better than insane profits? More insane profits. And unlike data, there's no profit cap.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 15, 2014 @11:16AM (#47009229)

    you forgot to divide by "number of people in household"

  • by FlyHelicopters (1540845) on Thursday May 15, 2014 @12:16PM (#47009753)

    Yea, that is nice, but you have a few problems with your example.

    First, by the time this cap is in place, we will be at 4k streaming.

    Second, many homes have more than one person. We have 5, the kids often watch something on the iPad, mom and dad are on the TV, etc.

    Then the PS3 is downloading patches and updates in the background, as is the multiple Windows computers, and every month or so the iPads update as well.

    Heck, our new Sony 3D TV has had three software updates itself in 6 months.

    Then there is backups, I use two backup programs, Crashplan and Backblaze, to backup our family videos, pictures, and documents, it is about 6TB worth of data (2x of course)

    Then there is steam, I have many, many games on Steam, and they have lots and lots of patches that auto update.

    Then there is online play, SWTOR probably doesn't use tons and tons of bandwidth, but running for a few hours probably uses a decent amount, and they have patches to download every two weeks or so.

    We easily use multiple terabytes of data in a month, and not a single byte of it is pirated.

  • by FlyHelicopters (1540845) on Thursday May 15, 2014 @12:22PM (#47009789)

    You're right, so long as you don't actually use your connection, caps aren't a problem.

    Of course, if you don't do any of that, then a basic ADSL connection would be just fine and 10 years ago is calling.

    -------------

    We cut DirecTV off 4 months ago, we are a 100% streaming home now.

    We have 5, the kids often watch something on the iPad, mom and dad are on the TV, etc. between Netflix, Amazon Prime videos, Vudu, we use a lot of bandwidth, and that will only go up once 4k streaming comes out.

    Then the PS3 is downloading patches and updates in the background, as is the multiple Windows computers, and every month or so the iPads update as well.

    Heck, our new Sony 3D TV has had three software updates itself in 6 months.

    Then there is backups, I use two backup programs, Crashplan and Backblaze, to backup our family videos, pictures, and documents, it is about 6TB worth of data (2x of course)

    Then there is steam, I have many, many games on Steam, and they have lots and lots of patches that auto update.

    Then there is online play, SWTOR probably doesn't use tons and tons of bandwidth, but running for a few hours probably uses a decent amount, and they have patches to download every two weeks or so.

    We easily use multiple terabytes of data in a month, and not a single byte of it is pirated. We are also not that unusual, many families are cutting the cord, our friends have dropped cable or sat TV and went to all streaming. They have XBoxes and PS3s, and computers that update, etc...

    300gb is either a lot, or not nearly enough, depending on your situation.

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