Comcast and bandwidth

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I’ve posted before about ISP’s limiting the amount of bandwidth you can use. In early August Comcast was ordered to stop it’s bandwidth throttling (here is a article describing what they were doing – http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/09/comcast-disclos.html)

I’m not against a fee for the amount of bandwidth you use, but what I don’t want to have happen is that I am being throttled or limited. If an ISP allowed me to purchase a specific amount of usage I would expect them to monitor my usage. However, in my current comcast agreement it does not state that there is a limit. From reading some blog posts I have seen / read that there is some type of limit that they will cut you off at. I am sure that I am under this limit.. but wouldn’t it be nice to know what that was.

The reason I would like to know is that since I use my cable modem for my home phone (VOIP), data backup, and entertainment (music). I would have to decide which ones to limit.

For example if I was getting close to the limit, I may set my Tivo to not download “Cranky Geeks” or I would not rent an netflix movie over the web. I could limit my offsite backups to every other day instead of daily. These are choices that I can make, but not choices I would like comcast to make.
It would be a very upsetting day if I tried to make a phone call and my VOIP would not work, and if I opened a browser and got a comcast page that said I was over my bandwidth limit.

In a world where nothing is free, I do not expect my bandwidth to be free. However, I do expect to know how much I can use and what the limits are.

All this ranting I did not want to forget that in the model that Comcast was using to throttle bandwidth they were actually selecting which protocols to limit (filtering). In a way they were really stepping on peoples privacy. It would be like filtering phone calls on a phone company level. Any phone call that had the word “P2P or torrent” in it would be dropped.

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