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(MSNBC)   Comcast tries sucking just a little bit more   (msnbc.msn.com) divider line 56
    More: Asinine, Comcast, Internet access, internet, cable operators, pricing, usages  
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3971 clicks; posted to Business » on 18 May 2012 at 1:17 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-05-17 09:59:59 PM
This seems like it's designed to prevent cord-cutting. The article states that the 300 GB cap is equivalent to 50 HD movies. If we assume movies average two hours in length, that's only 100 hours of HD programming, with no additional Internet usage. I probably record at least 100 hours per month, although I don't get around to watching all of it.
 
2012-05-17 10:02:43 PM
theiddm.files.wordpress.com
 
2012-05-17 10:32:57 PM
Still not getting me to sign up, asshats.
 
2012-05-17 11:26:54 PM
Comcast: We work hard at being the worst people on the planet.
 
2012-05-18 12:02:20 AM
I've said it for years, and still feel that metered internet will be the norm in the near future. You pay for gas by the gallon/therm, electricity by the KWH, and water by the gallon. It seems like a natural progression (regression for you AOL./prodigy people) to pay for internet by the GB.
And as an average user I'm ok with paying for what I use. Paying more because the guy down the street is pulling torrents 24x7 and congesting my node is unfair.
 
2012-05-18 12:02:33 AM
Dear Comcast,

With the rise of high-definition movies streaming over the internet, and PC gamers increasingly turning to digital delivery, internet usage will constantly go up. As customers, we are not going to pay more until you learn to actually farking get our billing right, and show up when you say you're going to. Furthermore, until your service actually delivers the speeds that you claim it does, you have no right to demand we pay more for the same shiatty service.

-Sincerely,
Rincewind53
 
2012-05-18 12:54:48 AM
Personally, I have not had any problems with comcast internet. Billing is fine (its the same every month), speed is great out here in the chicago burbs. When a couple of groundhogs decided to chew on some comcast cable leading into my house late last year, the guys showed up when they said they would and ran new cable. no issues, no complaints. I use about 146 GB/month, so while I am not one of the 1%ers, I am not one of their average users either.

Fap3
 
2012-05-18 01:57:06 AM
Caps will be the only way to combat pirating. Fortunately no one has really figured this out yet.
 
2012-05-18 02:02:02 AM
Why can't ISPs be considered public utilities and regulated as such?
 
2012-05-18 02:04:02 AM
Solution: torrent from Starbucks or neighbors wifi
 
2012-05-18 02:10:35 AM
I am currently paying for the mid-tier, which is 30/8 (or something like that), and seems to deliver pretty consistent performance. I work from home, do some gaming and a little netflix, but not a lot. My usage for the previous 3 moths was 64GB/63GB/40GB, and the current cap is 250GB. People who routinely exceed that now, risk losing their internet entirely.

Please correct me if I am wrong here, but if I am reading the article correctly, one of two things will potentially happen:

In markets where the consumption based pricing is not tested, they will be dropping (removing) the caps. The word dropping in the article title was a poor choice here.

Crucially in markets which are not part of its trial, the company will suspend enforcement of its current 250 GB cap.

The other option is that they raise the cap to 300GB, and then bill you for what you use beyond that? That's where the article is not clear.

Comcast, the No. 1 U.S. residential Internet service provider, said the cap would now be raised to 300 GB for those in the usage trial, the equivalent of downloading about 50 high definition movies.

The only somewhat shady thing I'm seeing here is that if you choose the Xfinity streaming service over Netflix, it would not contribute to your usage. Understandable since they would probably cache the content in the various regional data centers and delivering it right to the customer without pushing it across the internet.

Assuming pricing stayed about the same, I'm seeing this as being an improvement over the current situation.
 
2012-05-18 02:59:05 AM

twat_waffle: Why can't ISPs be considered public utilities and regulated as such?


in California they are. (At least where I used to work for Charter)
 
2012-05-18 02:59:53 AM

Britney Spear's Speculum: Caps will be the only way to combat pirating. Fortunately no one has really figured this out yet.


What it's going to do is fark over any online media business. I pay for MLB online, games are 3-4 hours and in HD, There's roughly 25-28 games a month. There's goes all of my bandwidth. But, of course, I'm a pirate, only pirates use bandwidth. MLB can kiss that $125 a year goodbye. Hulu, Netflix, you're done too. Sorry YouTube channels and Google tv can't afford to waste the cap space, there goes your hope to get it off the ground, and fark those that bought internet enable tvs to watch online tv, no bandwidth for you. Roku/ PLAYON/ WD boxes, worthless. Forget playing online games, might as well toss out my $60 a year XBOX gold card account.

Yup, no one is going to lose money over this



queezyweezel: I've said it for years, and still feel that metered internet will be the norm in the near future. You pay for gas by the gallon/therm, electricity by the KWH, and water by the gallon. It seems like a natural progression (regression for you AOL./prodigy people) to pay for internet by the GB.
And as an average user I'm ok with paying for what I use. Paying more because the guy down the street is pulling torrents 24x7 and congesting my node is unfair.



Good luck with that. Bend over an take it. If people like you weren't such pussies, we'd have more people fighting states over making sweetheart deals keeping competition out. You don't have to worry about a node when you have fiber. But because states like NC have their balls washed by Time Warner and AT&T, we'll likely never get competitive rates. Keep living in the dark ages.

P.S. On Demand movies suck up bandwidth too, especially on DIRECTV, so again, it's not all about torrents you ass clown.
 
2012-05-18 03:35:04 AM

queezyweezel: I've said it for years, and still feel that metered internet will be the norm in the near future. You pay for gas by the gallon/therm, electricity by the KWH, and water by the gallon. It seems like a natural progression (regression for you AOL./prodigy people) to pay for internet by the GB.
And as an average user I'm ok with paying for what I use. Paying more because the guy down the street is pulling torrents 24x7 and congesting my node is unfair.


Or they could, I dunno, lay more fiber, build infrastructure, increase bandwidth, and generally expand services, network and operations as customer usage steadily increases. Because unlike water, gasoline and electricity, in the world of digital communications everything gets smaller, faster, and cheaper as time goes on.

So do you think they'll structure their pricing in accordance with infrastructure and bandwidth usage? ....heh.
 
2012-05-18 03:36:46 AM

hbk72777: Britney Spear's Speculum: Caps will be the only way to combat pirating. Fortunately no one has really figured this out yet.

What it's going to do is fark over any online media business. I pay for MLB online, games are 3-4 hours and in HD, There's roughly 25-28 games a month. There's goes all of my bandwidth. But, of course, I'm a pirate, only pirates use bandwidth. MLB can kiss that $125 a year goodbye. Hulu, Netflix, you're done too. Sorry YouTube channels and Google tv can't afford to waste the cap space, there goes your hope to get it off the ground, and fark those that bought internet enable tvs to watch online tv, no bandwidth for you. Roku/ PLAYON/ WD boxes, worthless. Forget playing online games, might as well toss out my $60 a year XBOX gold card account.

Yup, no one is going to lose money over this

Way to argue for caps dumb-ass, you will pay more for a higher cap then the average user.
 
2012-05-18 04:01:15 AM
right now Comcast can suck it.

Internet has been getting progressively worse. As of tonight I can get here and maybe, if I hold my tongue right, get email.

They're fixing it Monday. "That's the soonest we can have someone out... besides me, the guy standing right here, who could fix this but you know..."

Biggest problem I have? Two years ago, when I moved in, I told them the exact problem and how to fix it. I was willing to pay to have it fixed. They told me to go fark myself, nothing was wrong, etc.

A little bit of happiness because I was right and don't have to pay now, but still less than the anger that they didn't do it in the first place when I would've paid and never gotten to this point.
 
2012-05-18 04:20:03 AM

queezyweezel: I've said it for years, and still feel that metered internet will be the norm in the near future. You pay for gas by the gallon/therm, electricity by the KWH, and water by the gallon. It seems like a natural progression (regression for you AOL./prodigy people) to pay for internet by the GB.
And as an average user I'm ok with paying for what I use. Paying more because the guy down the street is pulling torrents 24x7 and congesting my node is unfair.


I thought much the same thing. We already pay per use for a lot of other things, why not internet use as well? Maybe it'll put a stop to those damn neighborhood kids on my node who get bored in the last few weeks before school starts back and rely on a lot of internet gaming and streaming video for entertainment and then go nuts with their new internet connected games and devices in the first few weeks before Christmas, resulting in speeds as low as 0.6 or worse for me on a connection that normally tests as high as the high 20's.
 
2012-05-18 04:32:45 AM

What Plants Crave: I am currently paying for the mid-tier, which is 30/8 (or something like that), and seems to deliver pretty consistent performance. I work from home, do some gaming and a little netflix, but not a lot. My usage for the previous 3 moths was 64GB/63GB/40GB, and the current cap is 250GB. People who routinely exceed that now, risk losing their internet entirely.

Please correct me if I am wrong here, but if I am reading the article correctly, one of two things will potentially happen:

In markets where the consumption based pricing is not tested, they will be dropping (removing) the caps. The word dropping in the article title was a poor choice here.

Crucially in markets which are not part of its trial, the company will suspend enforcement of its current 250 GB cap.

The other option is that they raise the cap to 300GB, and then bill you for what you use beyond that? That's where the article is not clear.

Comcast, the No. 1 U.S. residential Internet service provider, said the cap would now be raised to 300 GB for those in the usage trial, the equivalent of downloading about 50 high definition movies.

The only somewhat shady thing I'm seeing here is that if you choose the Xfinity streaming service over Netflix, it would not contribute to your usage. Understandable since they would probably cache the content in the various regional data centers and delivering it right to the customer without pushing it across the internet.

Assuming pricing stayed about the same, I'm seeing this as being an improvement over the current situation.


LOL, wut?
 
2012-05-18 05:18:48 AM

SDRR: What Plants Crave: I am currently paying for the mid-tier, which is 30/8 (or something like that), and seems to deliver pretty consistent performance. I work from home, do some gaming and a little netflix, but not a lot. My usage for the previous 3 moths was 64GB/63GB/40GB, and the current cap is 250GB. People who routinely exceed that now, risk losing their internet entirely.

Please correct me if I am wrong here, but if I am reading the article correctly, one of two things will potentially happen:

In markets where the consumption based pricing is not tested, they will be dropping (removing) the caps. The word dropping in the article title was a poor choice here.

Crucially in markets which are not part of its trial, the company will suspend enforcement of its current 250 GB cap.

The other option is that they raise the cap to 300GB, and then bill you for what you use beyond that? That's where the article is not clear.

Comcast, the No. 1 U.S. residential Internet service provider, said the cap would now be raised to 300 GB for those in the usage trial, the equivalent of downloading about 50 high definition movies.

The only somewhat shady thing I'm seeing here is that if you choose the Xfinity streaming service over Netflix, it would not contribute to your usage. Understandable since they would probably cache the content in the various regional data centers and delivering it right to the customer without pushing it across the internet.

Assuming pricing stayed about the same, I'm seeing this as being an improvement over the current situation.

LOL, wut?


Reading comprehension problem, or lack of understanding of how the internet works.... im torn.
 
2012-05-18 05:49:25 AM
As someone who is having his Comcast internet disconnected today to use a rival's service instead, I'm getting a kick out of these replies
 
2012-05-18 06:08:11 AM

queezyweezel: I've said it for years, and still feel that metered internet will be the norm in the near future. You pay for gas by the gallon/therm, electricity by the KWH, and water by the gallon. It seems like a natural progression (regression for you AOL./prodigy Compuserve people) to pay for internet by the GB.
And as an average user I'm ok with paying for what I use. Paying more because the guy down the street is pulling torrents 24x7 and congesting my node is unfair.


FTTFMS (Fixed that to fit my situation). Bless the folks that invented TAPCIS.
 
2012-05-18 07:05:26 AM
I cut the cord but still have Comcast internet. The most I've used in a month is 110GB, but I average around 90GB with a 250GB cap. I'd be thrilled if they charged by how much you use. If it's based on charging you the full $62 for using all of the 250GB, then I'd save some money each month. Even treaming Netflix and Amazon Instant Video a couple of hours a day I still don't approach the cap.
 
2012-05-18 07:28:17 AM

Cloudchaser Sakonige the Red Wolf: queezyweezel: I've said it for years, and still feel that metered internet will be the norm in the near future. You pay for gas by the gallon/therm, electricity by the KWH, and water by the gallon. It seems like a natural progression (regression for you AOL./prodigy people) to pay for internet by the GB.
And as an average user I'm ok with paying for what I use. Paying more because the guy down the street is pulling torrents 24x7 and congesting my node is unfair.

I thought much the same thing. We already pay per use for a lot of other things, why not internet use as well? Maybe it'll put a stop to those damn neighborhood kids on my node who get bored in the last few weeks before school starts back and rely on a lot of internet gaming and streaming video for entertainment and then go nuts with their new internet connected games and devices in the first few weeks before Christmas, resulting in speeds as low as 0.6 or worse for me on a connection that normally tests as high as the high 20's.


Because data are not a finite resource. While gas and water have the same "bandwidth" issues, there is a limit to the amount of gas and water available. We aren't going to run out of 1s and 0s. This is just a ploy to keep from upgrading infrastructure and suppress demand while still trying to make more money.
 
2012-05-18 08:10:01 AM

skinink: I cut the cord but still have Comcast internet. The most I've used in a month is 110GB, but I average around 90GB with a 250GB cap. I'd be thrilled if they charged by how much you use. If it's based on charging you the full $62 for using all of the 250GB, then I'd save some money each month. Even treaming Netflix and Amazon Instant Video a couple of hours a day I still don't approach the cap.


Except it won't be. What it'll work out to is around $60 for "average use." Which probably means you'll get screwed.
 
2012-05-18 08:10:48 AM

queezyweezel: pay for internet by the GB.
And as an average user I'm ok with paying for what I use. Paying more because the guy down the street is pulling torrents 24x7 and congesting my node is unfair.


In principle, I don't disagree. If you're constantly at the peak for your bandwidth because you have banks of NAS and networking equipment constantly pulling torrents or you're always downloading large game files or something, you SHOULD pay more.

In practice, this is Comcast. They won't use it to fairly charge people based on usage. They'll use it as an excuse to gouge everybody. I wouldn't be surprised to see a scenario where people barely using email will only be charged a couple bucks less a month than the neckbeard hoarding illegal HD movie downloads....

Ishkur: Or they could, I dunno, lay more fiber


It costs about $10,000 to trench a quarter mile of fiber. A small carrier series routing shelf costs about $10,000. More realistically you're buying 16 slot banks at about $60,000 a pop.

But all that money will probably just fall out of somebody's ass.... no reason the people creating the demand should have to help pay for it, right?
 
2012-05-18 08:29:09 AM

Splinshints: queezyweezel: pay for internet by the GB.
And as an average user I'm ok with paying for what I use. Paying more because the guy down the street is pulling torrents 24x7 and congesting my node is unfair.

In principle, I don't disagree. If you're constantly at the peak for your bandwidth because you have banks of NAS and networking equipment constantly pulling torrents or you're always downloading large game files or something, you SHOULD pay more.

In practice, this is Comcast. They won't use it to fairly charge people based on usage. They'll use it as an excuse to gouge everybody. I wouldn't be surprised to see a scenario where people barely using email will only be charged a couple bucks less a month than the neckbeard hoarding illegal HD movie downloads....

Ishkur: Or they could, I dunno, lay more fiber

It costs about $10,000 to trench a quarter mile of fiber. A small carrier series routing shelf costs about $10,000. More realistically you're buying 16 slot banks at about $60,000 a pop.

But all that money will probably just fall out of somebody's ass.... no reason the people creating the demand should have to help pay for it, right?


And having extra bandwidth to cover more subscribers is...? Making your service more attractive than your competitors' is...? Making your service apples-to-apples cheaper than your competitors' is...? A good business recognizing the potential for expansion is...? Keeping up with your existing customer base's demands is...?

If you look at it as spending $60k, then yeah - most execs balk. If you look at it as investing $60k for new subscribers, you'll make that investment back in a year or two. You might as well have argued against Comcast hiring another middle manager. If the demand is there, it's a good move.
 
2012-05-18 09:26:47 AM
Everytime I read about this Comcast crap, I feel lucky to have Charter even though they suck too. They just suck a little less since they don't have their own network to promote.
 
2012-05-18 09:44:16 AM
I actually have to give comcast credit. We've never been harassed about usage- even when there were three adults on the internet constantly for a house I shared.

As long as you pay them for cable, they don't seem to care what you're using (unless its crazy excessive).
 
2012-05-18 09:55:28 AM

I'm Too Old For This Shiat: This seems like it's designed to prevent cord-cutting. The article states that the 300 GB cap is equivalent to 50 HD movies. If we assume movies average two hours in length, that's only 100 hours of HD programming, with no additional Internet usage. I probably record at least 100 hours per month, although I don't get around to watching all of it.


Ummmmm, while you might not watch that much per month, I could easily see a household of four surpassing that.
 
2012-05-18 09:56:43 AM
Let's create imaginary scarcity and then price gouge!
 
2012-05-18 10:10:03 AM
Does anyone really think this will lower prices for those people who aren't excessive users? ha! Comcast needs to feed the pig somehow.

Anyone know any alternatives to Comcast in the city of Chicago? I have their most basic internet package and the service is more than adequate (handles my sports streaming, legal and otherwise just fine), but the customer-service side is a nightmare. I had my service cut once when they screwed up my automatic billing and I'm still waiting for connection for a new apartment move after they no-showed on my installation tuesday. I thought I was through with them when I left Philadelphia

There's a special place in hell for NC lawmakers, esp Bev Purdue who let it happen on her watch.
 
2012-05-18 10:11:40 AM

queezyweezel: You pay for gas by the gallon/therm, electricity by the KWH, and water by the gallon. It seems like a natural progression (regression for you AOL./prodigy people) to pay for internet by the GB.


Gas, electricity, and water are physical products. Internet access is a service. That's why they're sold/priced differently. If you knew how much companies like Comcast pay for bandwidth vs how much they charge their customers you'd be physically ill.
 
2012-05-18 10:24:33 AM

Splinshints: If you're constantly at the peak for your bandwidth because you have banks of NAS and networking equipment constantly pulling torrents or you're always downloading large game files or something, you SHOULD pay more.


Why? Why should people pay more for the service they've already paid for? Why do you get so mad at people making use of a service they've paid for? It's not their fault their actions degrade your service. It's your provider's fault! Get mad at them for overselling their service!

WTF is wrong with you people who get mad at the "heavy users?" They're just making use of a service they paid for. It's the ISP's fault that their usage effects you. FFS, is that so hard to understand?
 
2012-05-18 10:25:59 AM

Dr Dreidel: And having extra bandwidth to cover more subscribers is...? Making your service more attractive than your competitors' is...? Making your service apples-to-apples cheaper than your competitors' is...? A good business recognizing the potential for expansion is...? Keeping up with your existing customer base's demands


The conclusion to all of those is:

Pointless when only a small number of people are coming anywhere close to the limit of their current connection. You're not going to sell people on the expansion of a service they're already not using to capacity and, regardless, it still doesn't make sense to charge people using only very basic services the same as somebody who's streaming Netflix in HD 10 hours a day.

You use a service more heavily, you pay more. Common sense.

Dr Dreidel: If you look at it as spending $60k


More like $60 million. One bank of those isn't really a huge infrastructure upgrade and it's not all that's required.

Dr Dreidel: If the demand is there, it's a good move.


But that's the point... it's not there. Comcast appears to intentionally limit their capacity to create artificial scarcity at peak times, but there's not really any significant demand for the massive, data-hungry applications that a few data hogs use. Streaming media is the single heaviest consumer application and even that's not that huge of a deal. You can easily stream two movies at the same time in HD on a typical connection now as long as your equipment can handle it, how much more do you think you need?

And, again, why should somebody using only basic services subsidize those people using heavier services? If all I'm doing is email and browsing, why should I have to pay to subsidize your Netflix downloads? In fact, MY usage is actually more commonly along the lines of very small amounts of data that need delivered very quickly. I don't need huge amounts of download allowance each month and I don't see why I should pay the same as you to expand the infrastructure because YOU do.

And as a reminder, I've already made it clear that I don't think Comcast would actually do this, but rather would just use the tiers an excuse to gouge everyone, my point is more along the lines of the way it SHOULD be not the way Comcast will actually do it.
 
2012-05-18 10:50:47 AM
I don't go over their 250 GB limit every month - but I do occasionally when a lot of new content is available.

So, if they want to allow me to build up extra bandwidth through rollover, then maybe I'd be ok with this. What made me laugh is when they quote on their website that an extra 50 GB would cost $10...
 
2012-05-18 10:57:07 AM

Splinshints: You use a service more heavily, you pay more.


Not if the marginal cost of providing that extra usage is negligible, you shouldn't.
 
2012-05-18 11:08:04 AM
 
2012-05-18 11:12:33 AM

Honest Bender: WTF is wrong with you people who get mad at the "heavy users?" They're just making use of a service they paid for. It's the ISP's fault that their usage effects you. FFS, is that so hard to understand?


Are you unaware that your bill is on a monthly basis and that you haven't paid for your future usage yet? Or are you arguing that it's abnormal for a service to adjust its pricing structure when it's usage characteristics change substantially?

BullBearMS: Not if the marginal cost of providing that extra usage is negligible, you shouldn't.


Which comes back to "Comcast is just going to use it as an excuse to gouge", but doesn't change the fact that there is a significant difference in cost between providing the necessary service for someone who's constantly downloading things and someone who's only using email and shopping on Amazon.

It's not the cable that's expensive, it's the datacenters the cable runs to. Cable isn't magic, it has to go somewhere and the data it delivers has to be managed somehow. Service provider level networking equipment is very expensive. If you're using the majority of the capacity at the datacenter, you should bear the majority of the cost to implement and maintain it. There are banks of routers, switches, interconnects, fiber cards, all the security, fire suppression, cooling, electricity that goes along with it. I don't know what some of you people think networking at the ISP level entails, but it's not anything like setting up your router at home.

Realistically, what should happen is that Comcast should offer more limited tiers that lower the price on lower users and cap them at much lower limits. That would help guarantee more capacity for the heavy users paying the current rates while giving the people who aren't using that capacity now a cheaper option more reflective of their needs. As things changes and more people demand more intensive services that require more expansion, additional higher tiers can be added so that people demanding more of the service can get it and there's a guarantee that the providers can afford to provide it.

Of course, they'll go completely the other way with it and just jack up everyone's rates right away without giving them anything more because most people are too dumb to understand even the basics of how their service works.
 
2012-05-18 11:20:30 AM

Splinshints: It's not the cable that's expensive, it's the datacenters the cable runs to. Cable isn't magic, it has to go somewhere and the data it delivers has to be managed somehow. Service provider level networking equipment is very expensive. If you're using the majority of the capacity at the datacenter, you should bear the majority of the cost to implement and maintain it. There are banks of routers, switches, interconnects, fiber cards, all the security, fire suppression, cooling, electricity that goes along with it. I don't know what some of you people think networking at the ISP level entails, but it's not anything like setting up your router at home.


I'm sorry, but do more packets make the hardware wear out faster? Does more data require more men shoveling coal into the router? Once the infrastructure is there, the difference in cost between the granny that checks her email twice a week and the guy streaming a dozen camwhores 24x7 is negligible.
 
2012-05-18 11:22:28 AM

queezyweezel: I've said it for years, and still feel that metered internet will be the norm in the near future. You pay for gas by the gallon/therm, electricity by the KWH, and water by the gallon. It seems like a natural progression (regression for you AOL./prodigy people) to pay for internet by the GB.
And as an average user I'm ok with paying for what I use. Paying more because the guy down the street is pulling torrents 24x7 and congesting my node is unfair.


It sure is unfair...except that doesn't happen.

Comcast charges as much as they can get away with, regardless of node congestion (they don't care about node congestion at all). You aren't paying more due to another person's extreme usage. You will, in fact, end up paying more soon as they jack up per-GB rates because they will see revenue-per-subscriber drop, as well as total revenue. You will still pay at least what you are paying now. The initial trial run and short time after implementation will show reduced monthly charges, in an effort to "prove" they aren't doing this to screw anybody. However, once the public eye has moved elsewhere they will adjust rates upward until they hit their old per-subscriber level. Once they've found their old water level, they will annually raise those rates by fractions in order to maintain profit growth.

You will never pay less, and you're a schmuck for buying the line that "you're paying for someone else's over-usage."

/former broadband ISP employee
//no, not that one, the other one
 
2012-05-18 11:26:38 AM

Splinshints: BullBearMS: Not if the marginal cost of providing that extra usage is negligible, you shouldn't.

Which comes back to "Comcast is just going to use it as an excuse to gouge", but doesn't change the fact that there is a significant difference in cost between providing the necessary service for someone who's constantly downloading things and someone who's only using email and shopping on Amazon.


Why doesn't that ever mean that the person who is only using email should be charged less?

Again, the marginal cost of providing more bandwidth is hardly worth mentioning.
 
2012-05-18 11:27:44 AM

IrateShadow: Splinshints: It's not the cable that's expensive, it's the datacenters the cable runs to. Cable isn't magic, it has to go somewhere and the data it delivers has to be managed somehow. Service provider level networking equipment is very expensive. If you're using the majority of the capacity at the datacenter, you should bear the majority of the cost to implement and maintain it. There are banks of routers, switches, interconnects, fiber cards, all the security, fire suppression, cooling, electricity that goes along with it. I don't know what some of you people think networking at the ISP level entails, but it's not anything like setting up your router at home.

I'm sorry, but do more packets make the hardware wear out faster? Does more data require more men shoveling coal into the router? Once the infrastructure is there, the difference in cost between the granny that checks her email twice a week and the guy streaming a dozen camwhores 24x7 is negligible.


This. Datacenters are a fixed cost. Once it's built and running, it consumes a set amount of money (dictated by lease, utility rates, staffing, etc.). Use it or not, there is no difference. Kit breaks randomly, completely unrelated to the amount of traffic it serves. The number of service techs is dictated by the amount of kit, not the number of jigga-bytes flying around.

Usage is a red herring. They just want more money for the same service. They have share holders to provide increasing profits.
 
2012-05-18 11:30:38 AM

Splinshints: Are you unaware that your bill is on a monthly basis and that you haven't paid for your future usage yet? Or are you arguing that it's abnormal for a service to adjust its pricing structure when it's usage characteristics change substantially?


I'm not sure I follow. How does that have anything to do with what I said? The only thing I'm arguing is that you shouldn't blame the subscribers for using the service they pay for. You should get mad at Comcast for overselling their service.

Let's analogize this mama:

Let's say Comcast has a giant room. They rent space on a monthly basis. You can have up to 2 cubic meters of space. Comcast knows most people will only utilize about 1 cubic meter of space so they cram a bunch of people in their giant room. All of a sudden it starts to get crowded. Uncomfortably crowded. Sardines in a can crowded.

So you complain to Comcast, "Hey! I can barely move in here. I'm paying you for 2 cubic meters of space! What gives?" To which Comcast responds by saying, "Well, you only pay us for up to 2 cubic meters of space. You should be mad at the people who insist on using their full 2 cubic meters of space at all times. They're the ones making the room so crowded..."

And you buy that? You actually get mad at the other customers? Why? They're just utilizing a service that was sold to them. I just want to know what your justification is in blaming your fellow customers instead of laying the blame on Comcast where it belongs.
 
2012-05-18 11:30:58 AM

skinink: I cut the cord but still have Comcast internet. The most I've used in a month is 110GB, but I average around 90GB with a 250GB cap. I'd be thrilled if they charged by how much you use. If it's based on charging you the full $62 for using all of the 250GB, then I'd save some money each month. Even treaming Netflix and Amazon Instant Video a couple of hours a day I still don't approach the cap.


This is Comcast.
 
2012-05-18 11:32:52 AM

IrateShadow: I'm sorry, but do more packets make the hardware wear out faster? Does more data require more men shoveling coal into the router? Once the infrastructure is there, the difference in cost between the granny that checks her email twice a week and the guy streaming a dozen camwhores 24x7 is negligible.


You're supposed to pretend that fixed costs are variable so you have an excuse to price gouge.
 
2012-05-18 12:26:23 PM

queezyweezel: I've said it for years, and still feel that metered internet will be the norm in the near future. You pay for gas by the gallon/therm, electricity by the KWH, and water by the gallon. It seems like a natural progression (regression for you AOL./prodigy people) to pay for internet by the GB.
And as an average user I'm ok with paying for what I use. Paying more because the guy down the street is pulling torrents 24x7 and congesting my node is unfair.


I suspect you are not a very good chess player as you cannot predict even one move into the future. The amount of data usage due to new technologies has been growing dramatically over the last 20 years. New media options, a huge push in the software world to cloud based computing, and other speed & capacity enhancements will continue to cause overall bandwidth usage to increase.

Currently, I utilize a virtualization solution @ home. On an average day I may use one or multiple of the OS's through a remote connection somewhere in the ballpark of 4 hours. Because of the lack of bandwidth provided (Even on an upper tier connection) and also the monthly cap I am forced to use very low bandwidth, low refresh, ugly connections to get the speed and stay under the bandwidth cap. Even using a very reduced setting I still pull 20-30 GB of traffic a month just from these connections. Add in build updates and other ISO's and I am easily up around 70 GB a month.

Now, you want to start added in Youtube videos? Each of those are about 5-100MB. Often times people open up a video watch a small portion of it realize it is garbage and move on. Thing is, it already downloaded the whole thing. In an hour you can easily use a few GB of traffic on youtube if you are looking for specific content. Then add in netflix or similar service, any gaming, then remember to multiply it if you have more than one user (like children). I realize I am a fairly heavy user, but everything I am doing is legitimate and I still end up using over half the cap monthly by myself. I would use even more if the speeds were faster and I could perform all of the tasks I wanted to perform.

And the sad part of this is: Comcast is paying maybe 50 cents for your 250 GB cap. Why do you think you can rent a web server with 2-3 TB of transfer a month for 10 bucks and they still make a profit? It is because they are buying raw bandwidth from the trunk providers just like comcast does.
 
2012-05-18 01:03:23 PM

SDRR: What Plants Crave: I am currently paying for the mid-tier, which is 30/8 (or something like that), and seems to deliver pretty consistent performance. I work from home, do some gaming and a little netflix, but not a lot. My usage for the previous 3 moths was 64GB/63GB/40GB, and the current cap is 250GB. People who routinely exceed that now, risk losing their internet entirely.

Please correct me if I am wrong here, but if I am reading the article correctly, one of two things will potentially happen:

In markets where the consumption based pricing is not tested, they will be dropping (removing) the caps. The word dropping in the article title was a poor choice here.

Crucially in markets which are not part of its trial, the company will suspend enforcement of its current 250 GB cap.

The other option is that they raise the cap to 300GB, and then bill you for what you use beyond that? That's where the article is not clear.

Comcast, the No. 1 U.S. residential Internet service provider, said the cap would now be raised to 300 GB for those in the usage trial, the equivalent of downloading about 50 high definition movies.

The only somewhat shady thing I'm seeing here is that if you choose the Xfinity streaming service over Netflix, it would not contribute to your usage. Understandable since they would probably cache the content in the various regional data centers and delivering it right to the customer without pushing it across the internet.

Assuming pricing stayed about the same, I'm seeing this as being an improvement over the current situation.

LOL, wut?


Grammatical error aside, the underlined part pretty much says it all. To put it another way: Comcast/Xfinity can host and deliver the content directly to its customers entirely on its own infrastructure. They control the costs. When a user chooses to watch a movie on NetFlix, Hulu, or torrents it, other providers get involved because that data is hosted on a network which Comcast does not own. This is where peering comes into play, which may or may not cost Comcast money.

NetFlix does something similar, they have peering points all over the planet. The point of which is to localize caching and delivery of the content, so the long-haul backbones don't wind up saturated with streaming content.

This is where the whole data capping issue comes from. (Personal Assumption) I doubt it's about individual consumption as much as it as about collective consumption and the impact it has on these peering connections. Torrents by their very nature, will almost always involve the data traversing across multiple peering points and backbones. NetFlix less so. Xfinity, not at all. Comcast can even cache popular content further down the line, closer to the customer, further minimizing the impact on the network.

From a network management perspective, it makes sense to incentivize the use of Xfinity over a competitor. From a net-neutrality perspective, not so much since NetFlix (and others) will be at a disadvantage. Even in the absence of bandwidth caps or metered usage, it's still a better deal for Comcast since they can get more out of their existing infrastructure. Sure they can, and should, and presumably do upgrade. But that takes time and money, and one way or another, the customer is going to pay for that. I'm not defending Comcast or any other internet providers, I'm just explaining at how we got here.

My original question wasn't really about all that, but more about the future for Comcast customers (and others providers who are likely to follow their lead).

From the article I saw 2 possible outcomes. No cap, or a soft-cap (which is higher than the current semi-solid cap) with metered usage beyond? That second part is where the article was not so clear.
 
2012-05-18 01:48:46 PM

IrateShadow: Once the infrastructure is there, the difference in cost between the granny that checks her email twice a week and the guy streaming a dozen camwhores 24x7 is negligible.


Your massive and fundamental misunderstanding of how large-scale networking operations work doesn't make you right. Yes, more data packets requires more infrastructure. Do you think that networking equipment can just magically grow in size and power to meet new demands? As traffic grows, it must be replaced and expanded. More data = more, as well as more powerful, equipment. That requires more staff, more power, more cooling, larger datacenters.

Again, running an ISP is not like setting up your home network. The router in your home office is to the routing equipment at an ISP as a Yugo is to a top fuel dragster. There is no comparison in design, price, or power. At all. None. Completely different things made slightly similar only by the small subset of networking standards they both support.

BullBearMS: Why doesn't that ever mean that the person who is only using email should be charged less?


That's exactly what I said..... it's the whole point of the second to last paragraph of the post...

Honest Bender: How does that have anything to do with what I said?


You keep saying you paid for this, you paid for that. You haven't paid for anything except what you've used so far. If they change the pricing structure on you, they're not changing anything you paid for, they're changing what you'll have to pay for in the future.

And they're not "overselling" anything (well, they are, but that's a whole different problem...). They offered something to you for one month, they gave it to you for that month, and you paid for it and that was the end of that agreement. If they change it next month it's just a change in pricing and you have every right to not agree because you haven't paid for squat yet under that agreement. Do you get so upset at other changes in pricing? If the all-you-can-eat buffet down the street raises the price by a dollar, do you get angry that they're not giving you what you paid for or do you just accept that it's normal for prices to change in relation to market forces?

Honest Bender: And you buy that?


You're confusing throughput and transfer. The people jammed in the room affect your ability to move just like the people jammed on the shared cable affect your data's ability to move. Too many people limits speed which is different from the transfer cap they're talking about tiering. Speed is already tiered.

And guaranteed speeds is a tree you probably don't want to go barking up for home use. Guaranteed speeds are achievable, they're common even, but they're very expensive. If you want a guaranteed speed rather than a ceiling, get an Ethernet handoff via a leased T1.

Just be ready to pay out the ass for it, because guaranteed provisioning is expensive. Six T1 deliveries is going to cost you at least several hundred dollars a month for the same ~10Mb service you were getting most of the time via cable anyway.
 
2012-05-18 01:57:10 PM
Splinshints
I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he's just ignorant or misguided. Now I just think you're an idiot. I'm sure you'll have some choice insults to sling my way. Go for it. But I'm done talking to you about this now. Good day, sir.
 
2012-05-18 02:16:58 PM
Wow, lots of insults, but very little data to back up the arguments.
I actually work as an architect for a national MSO, so I know how much they pay for transport and peering arrangements as well as the core, distribution, and access equipment.
The cable business model works because they count on over-subscription, and users not fully utilizing their connection. If they were able to provide everyone with full bandwidth 100% of the time, it would cost 10X more than it does now.
They're a business and they are trying to earn money, but they're not just stuffing their pockets with cash while laughing all the way to the bank. DOCSIS based internet is a competitive market, and the MSOs invest huge sums of money into the infrastructure so that users can get the speeds.

I still stand by the idea that the internet should be metered. Cost could actually go down for your average user, and caps would be a thing of the past, as increased use would translate to increased revenue towards infrastructure improvement.
You'd pay a minimum rate for the physical circuit (much like your electric bill in most locations), and then pay per GB of data transfer.

The idea that internet data is limitless and doesn't cost the MSOs money to transport is silly. Routers, circuits, and switches can only handle so many packets per second. More data equals larger pipes and equipment to handle that data. that costs money.
The argument that MSOs would never lower their rates is just dumb. How much were you paying for a 1.5Mbps DOCSIS connection 10 years ago? How much do you pay for a 100Mbps DOCSIS connection now?
 
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