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Current Comcast data usage limits?

golem 182 32 October 19, 2016 at 04:34 PM
Really curious as to anyone's experience with hearing from Comcast about pushing the arbitrary monthly usage limit. I'm not in one of the markets that has been testing their ever increasing limits which now stands at 1TB/month. I'm in a pseudo "no limit" region since they removed the 250GB cap a few years ago (although they do state there is an unwritten "Fair Usage" limit).

I've been attempting to keep ours below 350GB/month but of late there's been much more game downloading and HD streaming from the family, we're now beginning to push that level. It's been as high as 500GB with no nasty first-warning e-mail from Comcast so I'm wondering at what amount of usage might a non test market user gets warned?

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#2
They're going to 1TB beginning November 1 in most markets. You should have seen a letter from them about it, or an insert in your bill. Expect rate hikes to soon follow. Frown
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#3
Appreciate the reply HarryH3.

I've gone paperless with Comcast therefore tend to miss some of the announcements. Other than my calling them last week to perform the annual "bargain dance" I did just receive an e-mail notifying that Blast was raised from 150Mbps to 200Mbps, partly the impetus for my OP query. Now I can really test the usage limit. shake head
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#4
It hasn't really been a limit per se - but if you continually topped the ~ 350GB (or whatever), they'd give you a series of warnings to tone it down before they started charging you more. Everyone likes to demonize Comcast...... but I think the caps were set in place mostly to prevent abuse - such as businesses buying the residential service. That, and you have to admit there ARE people that just suck up bandwidth all day long. We can have an argument about whether that affects other subscribers negatively, but for sure it isn't a GOOD thing for everyone else.

Also check here:

https://customer.xfinity.com/help...-find-area

The deliniations aren't very good - e.g. "southeastern GA" - what the hell does that mean?

"It is important to know that more than 99% of our customers do not use 1 terabyte of data and are not likely to be impacted by this plan,"

A terabyte is a massive amount of data. What can you do with a terabyte each month?
Stream between 600 and 700 hours of HD video [about 20 hours a day, every day, all month]
Play online games for more than 12,000 hours [there are only 720 hours in a month]
Stream more than 15,000 hours of music
Upload or download more than 60,000 hi-res photos

(comments in red by me)
Honestly the only way I can see someone going over 1TB is if they are heavy torrenters, have many devices streaming hi res video constantly, or if you're doing some massive backup of data to a coud service.
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#5
Quote from Dr. J View Post :
A terabyte is a massive amount of data. What can you do with a terabyte each month?
Stream between 600 and 700 hours of HD video [about 20 hours a day, every day, all month]
Play online games for more than 12,000 hours [there are only 720 hours in a month]
Stream more than 15,000 hours of music
Upload or download more than 60,000 hi-res photos

(comments in red by me)
The Netflix site says that 1 hour of HD content will take up to 3GB of data and ultra-HD will be up to 7GB. If you take the high-end estimate of both (700 hours at 7GB) you're at almost 5 times their numbers for bandwidth requirements. Forgive me for thinking Comcast are lying again.
https://help.netflix.com/en/node/87
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Last edited by vivahate October 20, 2016 at 07:02 AM.
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#6
Quote from vivahate View Post :
The Netflix site says that 1 hour of HD content will take up to 3GB of data and ultra-HD will be up to 7GB
https://help.netflix.com/en/node/87

The Comcast estimate is very low - probably about 50% of reality.

OK so ultra HD gives you about 146 hours or nearly 5 hours every day all month long.

Let's be realistic.... that won't apply to 99.9% of users. Again not trying to defend Comcast but don't get all crazy over a limit that the vast majority of people will never reach.

It reminds me of people obsessed with unlimited cell data plans. They're willing to go to great lengths and $$ to get "unlimited" data but when I ask them how much data they use in any given month, it falls well within "normal" "capped" plans that are far less $$.
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#7
Quote from Dr. J View Post :
OK so ultra HD gives you about 146 hours or nearly 5 hours every day all month long.

Let's be realistic.... that won't apply to 99.9% of users. Again not trying to defend Comcast but don't get all crazy over a limit that the vast majority of people will never reach.

It reminds me of people obsessed with unlimited cell data plans. They're willing to go to great lengths and $$ to get "unlimited" data but when I ask them how much data they use in any given month, it falls well within "normal" "capped" plans that are far less $$.
Why even have a cap if 99.9% don't use 1TB/month? Is it for the 0.01% abusers? Or is it to mimic cell phone company data model for higher $$$?

Keep in mind this 1TB/month number sounds more than ample for the average consumer TODAY. What I am concerned about is what 1TB bandwidth consumption will mean in the future. I don't see bandwidth usage/requirement of internet content going down or remaining the same in the future. I just don't see it not increasing with more 4k videos and more intensive internet content.

Bill Gates saying something to the effect of "640k of memory should be enough for users" illustrates the point I am trying to make.
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#8
Quote from Dr. J View Post :
OK so ultra HD gives you about 146 hours or nearly 5 hours every day all month long.

Let's be realistic.... that won't apply to 99.9% of users. Again not trying to defend Comcast but don't get all crazy over a limit that the vast majority of people will never reach. Also consider household with 5 or more people living under one roof. My grandmother in-law streams Foreign TV 24x7. I can't imagine how much data that take up.

It reminds me of people obsessed with unlimited cell data plans. They're willing to go to great lengths and $$ to get "unlimited" data but when I ask them how much data they use in any given month, it falls well within "normal" "capped" plans that are far less $$.
That's also without any other internet usage. In this day and age a single steam game is 60GB for God sakes. And think 5 years down the road when 1TB is common. Will they boost their cap or will they just gouge everyone.

The issue here is that this usage isn't hurting Comcast financially, bandwidth costs have been declining for years and continue to decline as things like 4k streaming video are introduced. This is simply a way for Comcast to introduce more money making schemes. If the market were actually competitive I wouldn't give a crap because I'd jump to another provider. However, thanks to their monopoly in many markets I literally have no alternative.

If anything I hope this promotes massive movements by startup WISPs or townships to rollout service. However, Comcast will likely just sue them.
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Last edited by brbubba October 20, 2016 at 07:57 AM.

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#9
Quote from Dr. J View Post :
OK so ultra HD gives you about 146 hours or nearly 5 hours every day all month long.

Let's be realistic.... that won't apply to 99.9% of users. Again not trying to defend Comcast but don't get all crazy over a limit that the vast majority of people will never reach.

It reminds me of people obsessed with unlimited cell data plans. They're willing to go to great lengths and $$ to get "unlimited" data but when I ask them how much data they use in any given month, it falls well within "normal" "capped" plans that are far less $$.
You also have to take into account the number of people in the household all with different viewing requirements and the fact that more and more people are cutting the cord and going totally with streaming (Netflix/Amazon/Hulu/SlingTV/Sony Vue/etc), this all can eat away at bandwidth in no time.
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#10
Quote from Dr. J View Post :
OK so ultra HD gives you about 146 hours or nearly 5 hours every day all month long.

Let's be realistic.... that won't apply to 99.9% of users. Again not trying to defend Comcast but don't get all crazy over a limit that the vast majority of people will never reach.

It reminds me of people obsessed with unlimited cell data plans. They're willing to go to great lengths and $$ to get "unlimited" data but when I ask them how much data they use in any given month, it falls well within "normal" "capped" plans that are far less $$.
Would like to respond to this although it's going beyond the scope of my original post query. I see you falling into the "I'm the typical consumer" mindset. Yes, your example would be quite valid and understandable for a one or two person household but what about the more typical 3, 4 or even 5 person household? When you have 2 adults (that consume as one) and then 3 teen children, each in their own domain, watching their own movies that kind of means by your calculation none would be able to fully watch their 1 1/2 hour movie. Keep in mind this does not even include any other internet activity.

I see this same dismissive reaction to those concerned with the Xfinity X1 box having to update/reboot every evening which interrupts your viewing for a minimum of 2 minutes (often the update fails and requires an additional 3 minutes to reconnect). All too often many respond to these people with "What are you doing up at 2:30am?". Unfortunately (fortunately though if you require police, ambulance, electricity, ect.), not everyone has the same schedule or, as in the case above, the same family structure. The sad part about this X1 rebooting is the older DCT* & RGN* equipment also performed daily updates but smartly completed this in the background. So much for progress I guess.
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#11
My usage would probably be typical. I used 88GB the last 30 days. We have not been home the last 2/4 weekends either.

- 2 Adults
- No torrenting or file sharing
- Primary bandwidth use for internet is video streaming services @ 1080P
- 15/1 Mbit service
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Last edited by ikonoklast October 20, 2016 at 08:37 AM.
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#12
Quote :
"It is important to know that more than 99% of our customers do not use 1 terabyte of data and are not likely to be impacted by this plan,"
If restaurants take to this pricing model would it mean there will be a cashier asking for additional payment from the 1% of patrons that consumed more than the norm while feeding at the buffet?
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Quote from golem View Post :
If restaurants take to this pricing model would it mean there will be a cashier asking for additional payment from the 1% of patrons that consumed more than the norm while feeding at the buffet?

Or a tiered system. IT's up to them. BTW...

Springfield| A man from Massachusetts is suing Golden Corral Corporation for 2 million dollars, for ... [worldnewsdailyreport.com]

According to witnesses, the 51 year old man who lives on welfare, was expelled from the restaurant after he then spent more than 7 hours on-site, ingesting a quantity of food which has been estimated between 50 and 70 pounds.

At any rate..... if you check out that Comcast link I sent you'd see that you can get truly unlimited for an additional $50/mo.
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Quote from jbloggs View Post :
You also have to take into account the number of people in the household all with different viewing requirements and the fact that more and more people are cutting the cord and going totally with streaming (Netflix/Amazon/Hulu/SlingTV/Sony Vue/etc), this all can eat away at bandwidth in no time.
.... and you just made the argument FOR such a pricing system.

Undoubtedly Comcast is seeing a shift from TV to internet usage. Sure if 1% of people do this..... stop paying Comcast and instead pay others for TV, but balance it out by sucking up more bandwidth.... it probably wouldn't mean much. Let's say 50% of people do this. Comcast's TV revenue is down.... and the internet revenue stays the same but now they have to expand their technology to handle all these people sucking up bandwidth. Bandwidth may be "getting cheaper" but it's not free. It's all about scale. If you use more, it's logical that you might be required to pay more.
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#15
Quote from Dr. J View Post :
Or a tiered system. IT's up to them. BTW...

Springfield| A man from Massachusetts is suing Golden Corral Corporation for 2 million dollars, for ... [worldnewsdailyreport.com]

According to witnesses, the 51 year old man who lives on welfare, was expelled from the restaurant after he then spent more than 7 hours on-site, ingesting a quantity of food which has been estimated between 50 and 70 pounds.

At any rate..... if you check out that Comcast link I sent you'd see that you can get truly unlimited for an additional $50/mo.
Please don't think I'm implying anything goes. That buffet patron was absolutely abusing the system. The same would hold true for a Comcast customer running a high volume server or business environment from a residential subscriber line. Where my rub comes in is it has been touted that Comcast's infrastructure has a substantial cushion regarding bandwidth, this should mean they have little need to gouge customers for overages. $5 per 100GB over the generous 1TB would seem to me to be acceptable. To discourage very heavy usage (over the 1TB) maybe $5 with a compounding $1 for successive 100GB blocks. Keep in mind this is at the current state of bandwidth requirements - Likely to change greatly over the next few years.

I muse that Comcast is almost in an untenable position when it comes to their familiar business model. I see them quickly losing revenue on both the TV and telephone offerings while internet connectivity may likely be their only money maker.

*EDIT* -- Dr. J, that last sentence was written before I saw your last post but for all intent and purpose we really are on the same page it just boils down to the (seemingly of late) ubiquitous "What is our fair share" question.
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Last edited by golem October 20, 2016 at 10:56 AM.
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