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Unlimited Access IS NOT UNLIMITED usage! Comcast enforces a secret limit on your use of its network. See the following article published in WIRED:
Comcast Limits 'Excessive' Bandwidth Consumers

By Scott Gilbertson September 17, 2007 | 9:51:15 AMCategories: networks

[Update: Charlie Douglas, the Comcast spokesperson cited below, contacted Wired News to say that figures given in the GameDaily story were meant only as examples and we have changed the headline to reflect that. Based on talking with Douglas and comments below, the limits for Comcast users appear to be considerably higher than our estimate. However, Comcast continues to say it does not have a hard and fast limit and "excessive use" could be well above, or, in some cases, below the cited figures. As you can see from reading the comments here and elsewhere, the bandwidth considered excessive, varies by location as well. Douglas also said that Comcast calls customers to inform them about excessive use, so if you haven't been called, there's no reason to worry.]

Comcast has revealed some details about its mysterious bandwidth limitations. Previously the company had only said that it would shut down customers who went over what the company considered average use. But given that the company doesn't seem to have a definition of average use, it's difficult to know whether you're in danger of being shutdown.

GameDaily has managed to get a sort of definition out of Comcast, though the limits aren’t actual numbers. GameDaily quotes Charlie Douglas, a spokesperson for Comcast Corporation, who says that Comcast’s definition of “excessive use” is any customer who “downloads the equivalent of 30,000 songs, 250,000 pictures or 13 million emails in a month.”

Obviously Comcast is avoiding the issue by failing to give an actual figure, but this statement does give a ballpark estimate. The standard assumption in the industry seems to be that a song is 3 MB, or at least most MP3 manufacturers seem to use that figure when they talk about storage capacity.

Using that ballpark figure, Comcast’s definition of excessive means that you’re limited to 90 gigabytes a month if you want to keep on the company’s good side. That actually seems like a reasonable number to me, but of course we routinely see comments from folks who’ve been capped by Comcast, so whether or not the company really abides by these figures is open to debate.

And that’s part of the problem isn’t it? It’s tough to abide by the rules when the rules are open to debate. Would it be so hard for Comcast to give a specific number? Apparently the answer is yes. The most likely reason there’s no hard limit is because “too much” bandwidth isn’t a constant. The measurement changes based on the infrastructure limitations of your particular locale, what are your neighbors are doing, and how steady and consistent your high usage periods are.

So while we may not have a hard limit now or ever, take the above statement as a rule of thumb should you be a Comcast customer. And if you’re unhappy with your ISP, have a look at the list of bad ISPs on the Azureus wiki, a handy way to see which companies to avoid, should you decide to switch.

[via Slashdot]

Comcast was caught spying on its users:
Comcast hit with privacy violation lawsuit

By Lisa M. Bowman
CNET News.com
May 24, 2002, 1:25 PM PT

Cable giant Comcast has become the target of a lawsuit alleging the company violated consumer privacy by tracking Web habits. The suit, filed by Michigan law firm Goren & Goren, seeks class-action status on behalf of people whose Web usage was monitored by Comcast earlier this year.

"This is clearly an important issue," attorney Steven Goren said. "If we lose this, they will be able to monitor and, presumably, sell information about where people go on the Internet."

The company came under fire in February for storing detailed information about people's Web surfing habits, including the sites they visited. Although Comcast said the data was only stored in aggregate and not tied to individuals, civil liberties groups, privacy advocates and some lawmakers were outraged.

Comcast eventually succumbed to public pressure and stopped storing the data after doing so for about six weeks. The company Web site still prominently displays a statement from Comcast cable division President Stephen Burke, saying it will no longer store the information, in an effort to reassure customers.

The class-action suit, filed May 17 in U.S. District Court in Michigan, claims the company's data collection practices violated the Cable TV Privacy Act of 1984. Plaintiffs are seeking up to $1,000 for each consumer whose data was tracked.

Comcast has about a million customers, but data apparently was only being collected by customers in a few regions, said Goren, who's not sure yet how many people would be covered by the suit.

Comcast did not immediately return requests for comment.
Comcast can't run a cable network well, much less an Internet Service:
In the past 30 days preceding 12/20/3003 (when I decided to fire Comcast), my Comcast cable and Internet were down three times and Comcast also lost DNS (Internet address service) four times. Without DNS, you need to know the REAL address of, say, Microsoft.com to be and type that in instead of www.microsoft.com. Without DNS, no Internet sites, no e-mail, etc..

Each time Comcast lost DNS, I had to reboot my cable modem, then my home network router, then reset the IP addresses on all running PC's. Pain!!!!

Comcast Technical Support is poor:
 Their instructions on setup were wrong, their instructions about what to do during the cutover from @Home to their in-house service was wrong, and even the corrected instructions were wrong. They refused me technical support because I was using a router that they advertised on their website and were selling. Etc., etc..
Comcast can't manage e-mail.
Everyone must be familiar with the massive problems where they lost e-mail service for as long as a week when they took over from @Home in February, 2000. Most are familiar with the repeat problem when they bought ATT Broadband. BUT, their problems continue. Here is an 11/30/2003 post on BroadbandReports.com:

Re: 9:30 PM EDT - Anyone else having email problem
It turns out that last night Comcast went through their accounts and disabled any active email addresses that were attached to an inactive account. We had moved in August, but our email accounts were not properly transferred to our new account when we moved.

I called Comcast tonight and they moved the accounts to the new account number and we're back in business.

Our accounts were inactive for the duration, so all email to us was bouncing.

If you've had a similar event in the recent past, this may have happened to you...

NOTE: The 9:30 PM post drew 4 responses complaining about Comcast mail outages ranging from Zion, IL to Burlington county, NJ. Each was in a different state. This is why I used my own e-mail server.

USER REVIEW: A User In Philadelphia:
I used to live in Comcast Country, and their domination there is definitely apparent. And it really does suck. We had so many problems with our cable service, like having CBS, ABC, and NBC, (the free stations) come in all fuzzy (a problem they never got around to solving), that my family ended up switching to DirecTV. I've got some issues with DTV as well, but it's far better than Comcast. A pricey move, but one of the few options you have to get multiple channels if you live around Philly. My brother was the only one really bothered by the lack of sports, so he was out-voted.

As for their Internet service, that's equally bad. They routinely shut it down without explanation, and their e-mail service can be pretty inconsistent. I hated it, but, again, there weren't a lot of options.

Also, although I'm sure every cable company is like this, they never keep appointments. Ugh.

So, yeah, I agree. It really sucks, and their near-monopoly only makes the whole situation more frustrating.
Comcast greatly reduced services when it took over from @Home:
@Home provided free unlimited access to newsgroups as part of its standard package. Although it had a published monthly "cap" of 30 gigabytes of downloads, it did not enforce that. Comcast offers a free 1 gigabyte account with Giganews in its place. At best, this is a 96% DECREASE in service. They did not reduce their prices, however. Since newsgroups are 50% of the knowledgeable Internet users' activity, this amounts to a 48% overall reduction in service. This is a huge hidden price increase!



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