Leaked Comcast Doc Admits: Data Caps Have Nothing To Do With Congestion

CreepyUncleGoogle

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I totally doubt that they're gonna explain much of anything. At best, they'll give out some PR department approved message that is supposed to make everyone feel all warm and fuzzy inside, but doesn't really say much of anything. At worst, well whatever, you're just customers and it's not like you have another alternative so you'll just have to deal with it if they say nothing at all and that's probably the better option anyhow since people will forget in a few days when the next thing they get upset about turns up.
 

cortexodus

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I totally doubt that they're gonna explain much of anything. At best, they'll give out some PR department approved message that is supposed to make everyone feel all warm and fuzzy inside, but doesn't really say much of anything. At worst, well whatever, you're just customers and it's not like you have another alternative so you'll just have to deal with it if they say nothing at all and that's probably the better option anyhow since people will forget in a few days when the next thing they get upset about turns up.
They could flat out say "Go and collectively fuck yourselves with a pinecone, there is nothing you can do about this" and it would be fairly accurate, I think. :(
 

somecallmeTim

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Thing that sucks is that Comcast has a Legal monopoly where I live. The only 'competition' is CenturyLink, using 50 yo telco switching equipment (some is new). We have MILES of dark fiber through out the city because of the monopoly Comcast has -- they filed suit to have it disconnected due to the no-compete ordinance in place. So. pay through the nose for business class, or pay three times as much for comparable speeds with DSL that is about a reliable as a barn on fire is for storing Hay.
 

jon666

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I betcha a few people are going to get fired over this bad publicity.
 

Parja

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Has Comcast ever actually claimed data caps were to relieve congestion? I mean, it's hardly like this is new news.
 

J3RK

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Has Comcast ever actually claimed data caps were to relieve congestion? I mean, it's hardly like this is new news.
But... Data caps are for the customer's own good!!! Please think of the customers!
 

CreepyUncleGoogle

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They could flat out say "Go and collectively fuck yourselves with a pinecone, there is nothing you can do about this" and it would be fairly accurate, I think. :(
Pretty much, yeah. ISPs are very aware when they're the only broadband provider. Like where I live, I have DSL from CenturyLink and that's it. The only other options are cellular hotspots (no 4G in the area yet + horrible data caps) or a 56k POTS. Since I had CenturyLink before in other places, I was like, "Whatever, this'll be fine since they were always super nice to me and I got good service." Not here though. They're total jerks and charge like $80 a month for 10m down and 768k up plus plus a basic analog phone service. Not having options kinda makes businesses suck.
 

Galvin

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Think the idea is to make it so watching TV on the internet will cost as much as cable.
 

Dwango

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Think the idea is to make it so watching TV on the internet will cost as much as cable.
Interesting theory. Funny thing is I have Centurylink's gigabit internet connection at my place and it's uncapped. If you live elsewhere and cannot get that speed but sign up for Centurylink's lower speeds (which top out at a whopping 40mbps in most places) you'll have a 250GB cap to go along with it. How does that make any sense? Yeah I am paying considerably more than those folks (currently ~$150 while 40mb connections will run you ~$35-40 here) but an unlimited gigabit connection vs a capped slower speed is still utter stupidity.
 

Domingo

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No clue if their 250GB policy isn't wide-reaching, but there aren't many months where I don't go over it by at least 50GB. I've never heard a word from them about it, and my speeds have increased (without being charged more) on 3 occasions in the last 5 years.
 

cyclone3d

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I have an idea.

1. Hack ISPs who implement data caps.
2. Implement data caps (Quotas) on their internal networks. Set it at some absurdly low number such as 100MB.
3. Once they hit the cap, have it send them an email with a link to a web page where they can pay for more data.

These fools that implement this crap must be full on retards if they think it is going to be good for business.

I for one will not pay for service from any ISP that has any sort of data cap.

These idiots need to get a taste of their own medicine.
 

pxc

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Won't matter. The most misinformed people here will still try to justify it using bad analogies.
 

Silentbob343

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No clue if their 250GB policy isn't wide-reaching, but there aren't many months where I don't go over it by at least 50GB. I've never heard a word from them about it, and my speeds have increased (without being charged more) on 3 occasions in the last 5 years.
That's how it used to be. I would easily pass the 250 GB cap and never heard a word from them. I have a friend that many years ago got a letter, but it was once and I have not doubt he continued to exceed 250GB a month after it.
 

Dwango

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No clue if their 250GB policy isn't wide-reaching, but there aren't many months where I don't go over it by at least 50GB. I've never heard a word from them about it, and my speeds have increased (without being charged more) on 3 occasions in the last 5 years.
Funny. I know someone who breached the 250GB limit twice in a year and he was told he'd be disconnected if he did so a third time within a twelve month window.

But it's either Centurylink or Comcast (even the smaller ISPs here use Centurylink as backhaul), so pick your poison I guess.
 

Gigus Fire

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Data caps have always been about the $$$$$.
People have been saying this for years and years.
No explanation from comcast is needed. Everyone has known about this since forever. People who are shocked have their heads buried in the sand.
 

Liger88

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This is basically what people have been saying since the very word "Data Cap" has been thrown around since 2008-2009 and was implemented by every provider at some point or limit since. Not like we really need confirmation that we smelled ISP's bullshit out, but I guess here ya go.

If you understand the technical side of things a data cap never made any sense, but they're using psychology to trick uneducated folks into believing it actually does make sense. A cash grab for a business that is simply plateaued. That's all this is.
 

CRaschNet

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I recommend getting a local group to lobby your local government to find a new provider.
 

Parmenides

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Pretty much, yeah. ISPs are very aware when they're the only broadband provider. Like where I live, I have DSL from CenturyLink and that's it. The only other options are cellular hotspots (no 4G in the area yet + horrible data caps) or a 56k POTS. Since I had CenturyLink before in other places, I was like, "Whatever, this'll be fine since they were always super nice to me and I got good service." Not here though. They're total jerks and charge like $80 a month for 10m down and 768k up plus plus a basic analog phone service. Not having options kinda makes businesses suck.
I'd be a forum troll if I got that
 

Parmenides

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Data caps have always been about the $$$$$.
People have been saying this for years and years.
No explanation from comcast is needed. Everyone has known about this since forever. People who are shocked have their heads buried in the sand.
Eh, maybe politicians don't know. Still, nothing gets done unless people get shocked. So I'm all for people getting themselves shocked in this case.
 

defaultluser

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Data caps have always been about the $$$$$.
People have been saying this for years and years.
No explanation from comcast is needed. Everyone has known about this since forever. People who are shocked have their heads buried in the sand.
Exactly.

The enforced caps with threats of disconnection keep the cord cutters on a leash: either they give up and go back to paying for cable to get the amount of content they expect to get, or the ISP has an excuse to cut them loose for a number of months.

The enforced caps with overages are even better, because they are just getting the cord cutter's money back.

Mind you, I can understand why they do this. Part of the investment of running cable to homes is the expected attach rate, and the average payment per month. If that payment per month falls, then the payoff gets further off in the future.
 

DejaWiz

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Eh, maybe politicians don't know. Still, nothing gets done unless people get shocked. So I'm all for people getting themselves shocked in this case.
Politicians are especially aware of this...they are the ones that help set up the gerrymandering zones that ISPs and other service providers (cable TV, etc) rely on to create artificial zones of monopolization to shut out adequate competition and keep customer's bills sky high. These data caps are nothing but a price hike scheme on top of that price hike scheme.
 

jkerr2

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Politicians are especially aware of this...they are the ones that help set up the gerrymandering zones that ISPs and other service providers (cable TV, etc) rely on to create artificial zones of monopolization to shut out adequate competition and keep customer's bills sky high. These data caps are nothing but a price hike scheme on top of that price hike scheme.
Yea. One of the representatives from the state above where I live was on PBS getting interviewed. He basically said that he didn't see any problem with what there doing because. I am quoting here. There is plenty of competition. (Frontier). The only other choice. And a bad one. Of course one of his major contributors is Comcast so.
 

lord_emperor

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Well, obviously. I worked for a cable co at one time and it's just the best solution to an awful situation.

Scenario: Cable co has a 48Mbps pipe and 1000 customers sharing it with 1Mbps internet plans. This is actually fine most of the time because not everyone uses the connection at once. Everyone enjoys 1Mbps (usually).

Up to the point a few people start torrenting 24/7, it only takes 48 users seeding their torrents 24/7 and there's no bandwidth left for anybody.

The ISP can't apply / enforce a complicated acceptable use policy like "don't seed torrents during peak hours" or a 95th percentile agreement on a home user, so they just implement a data cap. The extra money they get out of it is insignificant but serves as a deterrent to over-use.

Apply the same logic to Netflix with bigger numbers for download traffic.
 

Spidey329

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Well, obviously. I worked for a cable co at one time and it's just the best solution to an awful situation.

Scenario: Cable co has a 48Mbps pipe and 1000 customers sharing it with 1Mbps internet plans. This is actually fine most of the time because not everyone uses the connection at once. Everyone enjoys 1Mbps (usually).

Up to the point a few people start torrenting 24/7, it only takes 48 users seeding their torrents 24/7 and there's no bandwidth left for anybody.

The ISP can't apply / enforce a complicated acceptable use policy like "don't seed torrents during peak hours" or a 95th percentile agreement on a home user, so they just implement a data cap. The extra money they get out of it is insignificant but serves as a deterrent to over-use.

Apply the same logic to Netflix with bigger numbers for download traffic.
So essentially oversell your capacity by 20 times and pray no one uses what they're paying for a reasonable amount of time per month.
 

Parja

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Well, obviously. I worked for a cable co at one time and it's just the best solution to an awful situation.

Scenario: Cable co has a 48Mbps pipe and 1000 customers sharing it with 1Mbps internet plans. This is actually fine most of the time because not everyone uses the connection at once. Everyone enjoys 1Mbps (usually).

Up to the point a few people start torrenting 24/7, it only takes 48 users seeding their torrents 24/7 and there's no bandwidth left for anybody.

The ISP can't apply / enforce a complicated acceptable use policy like "don't seed torrents during peak hours" or a 95th percentile agreement on a home user, so they just implement a data cap. The extra money they get out of it is insignificant but serves as a deterrent to over-use.

Apply the same logic to Netflix with bigger numbers for download traffic.
But see, that's exactly what Comcast has admitted isn't happening.
 

cyclone3d

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Well, obviously. I worked for a cable co at one time and it's just the best solution to an awful situation.

Scenario: Cable co has a 48Mbps pipe and 1000 customers sharing it with 1Mbps internet plans. This is actually fine most of the time because not everyone uses the connection at once. Everyone enjoys 1Mbps (usually).

Up to the point a few people start torrenting 24/7, it only takes 48 users seeding their torrents 24/7 and there's no bandwidth left for anybody.

The ISP can't apply / enforce a complicated acceptable use policy like "don't seed torrents during peak hours" or a 95th percentile agreement on a home user, so they just implement a data cap. The extra money they get out of it is insignificant but serves as a deterrent to over-use.

Apply the same logic to Netflix with bigger numbers for download traffic.
Or the ISPs could just do what they should and upgrade their crap with the 90%+ profit margin.

They are not doing it to deter overuse. You can do that without stupid low caps that pretty much everybody is going to blow through.

The problem is that ISPs usually way oversell their services and then claim an "up-to" speed.

What they should do is guarantee a minimum speed and also let the customers know what they should expect as an average and also as a max.

That being said, around here I have never had any trouble not getting the up-to speed consistently no matter the time of day, etc. This is for Comcast and WoW.

They come up with the stories that if they don't have caps (at least Comcast) that everybody will suffer. In reality it is just a massive money grab based on a complete fabrication of facts that are non-existent.
 

Armenius

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But... Data caps are for the customer's own good!!! Please think of the customers!
Somebody didn't read the memo. It's to be referred to as "Data Usage Plan." Report immediately to HR for reeducation.
 

next-Jin

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I have Comcast and go through about 1.5 TB on average a month with 120 down 60 up for 59.99 residential class. I've had them for 10 months now and the only other provider is centurylink.

Thankfully they don't enforce any caps in my area and it's been solid since day 1 with no outages or throttling.
 

cyclone3d

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I have Comcast and go through about 1.5 TB on average a month with 120 down 60 up for 59.99 residential class. I've had them for 10 months now and the only other provider is centurylink.

Thankfully they don't enforce any caps in my area and it's been solid since day 1 with no outages or throttling.
And a plan like that where I am at would be over $100.. more like $110.

I doubt they even have that high of upload speeds around here.

That is another thing they are stupid about... how can data in one place cost more than data in another place other then the minutely small difference in electricity prices?

Oh, that's right.. they charge whatever price they have come up with the other ISPs in the area. No price fixing going on there. :mad:
 

Armenius

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I have Comcast and go through about 1.5 TB on average a month with 120 down 60 up for 59.99 residential class. I've had them for 10 months now and the only other provider is centurylink.

Thankfully they don't enforce any caps in my area and it's been solid since day 1 with no outages or throttling.
I'm in an area with just Comcast and Centurylink, too, but I pay the same amount for 35 down and 5 up. Aside from upgrading to DOCSIS 3 (finally...) a couple years ago, Comcast has refused to upgrade the 30 year old copper infrastructure since inheriting it from the former provider. Outages can happen anytime after it rains heavily, which happens a lot around here in the summer. With a local monopoly signed off by the legislature, they have no reason or incentive to improve things. If it wasn't Jacksonville that Google Fiber was coming to, living in Florida, I would seriously start thinking about moving there. If it were the greater Orlando area or Bonita Springs, I'd move in a heartbeat.
 

lord_emperor

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Or the ISPs could just do what they should and upgrade their crap with the 90%+ profit margin.

They are not doing it to deter overuse. You can do that without stupid low caps that pretty much everybody is going to blow through.

The problem is that ISPs usually way oversell their services and then claim an "up-to" speed.

What they should do is guarantee a minimum speed and also let the customers know what they should expect as an average and also as a max.

That being said, around here I have never had any trouble not getting the up-to speed consistently no matter the time of day, etc. This is for Comcast and WoW.

They come up with the stories that if they don't have caps (at least Comcast) that everybody will suffer. In reality it is just a massive money grab based on a complete fabrication of facts that are non-existent.
So essentially oversell your capacity by 20 times and pray no one uses what they're paying for a reasonable amount of time per month.
As wealthy and profitable as cable ISPs may be, they don't have the $BILLIONS in cash that would be required to overhaul their entire coaxial network to fibre all at once. Just imagine the expense of digging up your street to replace one copper wire with a bundle of fibres and multiply that by however mullion streets need to be upgraded.

The same logic applies to overselling in the first place, they wouldn't be profitable selling services to only 50 subscribers instead of 1000 for the same capitol investment.

So, barring getting every single person a dedicated fibre line (which is happening, slowly) and given that most everyone is against any kind of bandwidth management, data caps are the least worst option. It's a restriction that parents can understand they're exceeding when their kids seed "linux ISOs" 2/47 or they watch a 4K Netflix movie every night.
 

bds1904

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Data caps on wireline are about nothing but money? No kidding....

I've been saying for years that ISP's don't pay per MB, they pay for connection speed to their upstream provider. Consumers pay their ISP for a connection speed. If the ISP oversells their network, that's the ISP's fault. Data caps on wired connections should be illegal, you are paying for the same service twice.
 
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