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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Those of you who have Comcast internet should be receiving the following email.

Quote:
Dear Comcast High-Speed Internet Customer,


We are pleased to announce the pilot launch of the Comcast Usage Meter in your area. This new feature is available to Comcast High-Speed Internet customers and provides an easy way to check total monthly household high-speed Internet data usage at any time. Monthly data usage is the amount of data, such as images, movies, photos, videos, and other files that customers send, receive, download or upload each month. Comcast measures total data usage and does not monitor specific customer activities to determine data usage.

The current data usage allowance for the Comcast High-Speed Internet service is 250GB per month. This means that the vast majority of our customers - around 99% currently - will not come close to using 250GB of data in a month, and do not need to check the usage meter.


To view your current data usage, please visit http://customer.comcast.com and sign in to customerCentral (as shown at http://media2.comcast.net/anon.comca...ral-Login2.jpg ).


After signing in, click on the "User & Settings" tab and click again on "View details" under "My devices". The usage meter shows the current calendar month's data usage for your account starting on the 1st of the month. Over time, you will be able to see the previous three months' data usage as shown in the sample image at http://media2.comcast.net/anon.comca...sage-Meter.jpg .


The usage meter is only available to Primary user accounts and Unrestricted Secondary user accounts with billing access.


If you would like to learn more about the usage meter and how it works, please visit http://networkmanagement.comcast.net/datausagemeter.htm for more information. Please visit our customer support forums at http://forums.comcast.net if you would like to ask us more questions or post comments. You can also visit http://www.comcastsupport.com/chat to chat with a customer service representative, or call 1-800-COMCAST for assistance.


Thank you for choosing Comcast!
 

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250 gigs is a pretty generous limit imo.... As much streaming of netflix and zune that I do I would have a pretty hard time hitting 250 gigs in a month.


The last 3 months my total bw was 103, 182 and 134 gigs. I am a pretty heavy internet user as well so they are right a vast majority of people will never come close to hitting that limit.
 

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The only fear I would have is that after a while they'll say "You know most consumers don't even come close to this 250GB cap so we're gonna lower it to XXX amount. If you want to keep your 250GB cap then you'll charged an additional XX dollars per month."

The worst part is that many of these companies aren't reinvesting alot of the money they receive back into their infrastructure to increase speeds and improve coverage. It's the same with cell companies. Then they cry because so many people are crippling their service by using the data plans they pay for.
 

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I do 90% of my video viewing via streaming (including HD content) and limits have not been an issue.


And I expect ISPs to boost limits to keep things in the 99% range of customers. Once they start hitting people making legitimate use of their services, they will start to get hit by the FCC, Congress, local politicians, etc.


If they push to hard on metered usage, they will start getting treated like a utility. That means regulation and fixed pricing based off of real costs. They do not want to go the route of collecting $.20 per each GB used as a flat rate. That means they would only get $50 from people using 250 GB a month, and substantially less from everyone else. They would end up dropping their ARPU significantly and likely be regulated into still upgrading the speed of the networks (per FCC plans).


The ISPs are ultimately going to be prevented from enforcing unreasonable caps for one simple reason. The current model allows them to provide the service and make a very healthy profit.
 

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I was curious about this (since I stream several movies each week, probably approaching 20/month) but don't see these options under my Comcast account.


Maybe it's not rolled out to everyone yet?
 

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No, it's not available everywhere yet, it's being rolled out slowly, starting in the northwest a few months or so ago, Nov/Dec I think. Apparently there is still a few issues with it popping up.
 

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not available here yet in NJ after several attempts
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Here's an example snapshot of what is provided to the Comcast subscriber once it's deployed to each region/area & the meter is available.

 

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I wonder how much overall usage will go up once the meter is deployed across the Comcast footprint? It seems logical that one of the reasons this app has taken over a year and a half to get even this far in it's deployment is that why would Comcast want users to see how much their using? Once users see how much they actually use, currently less than 5% even reaching the cap per Comcast's figures, it's very probable that many may start to use even more now that they know what the limits are.


The implementation of a meter is also a likely first step toward metered billing, if subs want/use more they'll just have to pay for it. As long as they keep it close to Amazon S3 numbers, with a reasonable markup, metered billing works for me.
 

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I am in GA and we have not gotten any notice about this from Comcast yet. It would be interesting to see how much bandwidth I use. I had the 12M service for a while and just recently downgraded to 1.5M. Can't tell the difference except for download/upload stuff. Since I don't do that a lot, I rather save $15/mo.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by keenan /forum/post/18308107


I wonder how much overall usage will go up once the meter is deployed across the Comcast footprint? It seems logical that one of the reasons this app has taken over a year and a half to get even this far in it's deployment is that why would Comcast want users to see how much their using? Once users see how much they actually use, currently less than 5% even reaching the cap per Comcast's figures, it's very probable that many may start to use even more now that they know what the limits are.


The implementation of a meter is also a likely first step toward metered billing, if subs want/use more they'll just have to pay for it. As long as they keep it close to Amazon S3 numbers, with a reasonable markup, metered billing works for me.

It could certainly start an interesting dialog with lawmakers.


True metered billing where people paid for what they used would be disastrous for the cable companies. When people see how much they are using they may demand to be charged a reasonable per/GB fee. Comcast may paint themselves into the corner of becoming a utility company and having to sell at a set rate above their costs (which on a per/GB basis is WELL below what they are currently charging).
 

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Last I knew, they were only running this pilot in Seattle. I guess they've expanded it if the OP is outside the Seattle area. I don't have it here in San Jose, CA yet.
 

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got my internet usage meter activated today: it shows I have used 20% ... 50GB of allotted 250GB so far this month
 

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I just checked mine. I had an unusually high-bandwidth March at 65GB so far, so no chance I'll be hitting the cap anytime soon. We are streaming netflix, zune hd, and even have some other bandwidth intensive apps running 24/7 for days at a time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicktx27 /forum/post/18302282


The only fear I would have is that after a while they'll say "You know most consumers don't even come close to this 250GB cap so we're gonna lower it to XXX amount. If you want to keep your 250GB cap then you'll charged an additional XX dollars per month."

The worst part is that many of these companies aren't reinvesting alot of the money they receive back into their infrastructure to increase speeds and improve coverage. It's the same with cell companies. Then they cry because so many people are crippling their service by using the data plans they pay for.

I agree.

Why does Comcast need to allow the subscriber to view their bandwidth usage if it's unlimited?

Comcast most likely already knows how much each subscriber(IP Address) utilizes in bandwidth.


I believe this is the first step toward metered bandwidth usage. They will most likely come out with various plans(ISP speed + bandwidth limit) to meet the subscriber needs.

Why else would the subscriber need to know how much bandwidth they are using ?

The geeks may want to know but the majority of the people do not care until they are being charged for a specific amount of bandwidth usage. Then the meter becomes handy/useful.


Just like people who do not have unlimited cell phone plans monitor their minutes/text msg usage, this meter will be used by the Comcast subscriber to monitor bandwidth usage to assure they are within their limits.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicktx27 /forum/post/18302282


The only fear I would have is that after a while they'll say "You know most consumers don't even come close to this 250GB cap so we're gonna lower it to XXX amount. If you want to keep your 250GB cap then you'll charged an additional XX dollars per month."

The worst part is that many of these companies aren't reinvesting alot of the money they receive back into their infrastructure to increase speeds and improve coverage. It's the same with cell companies. Then they cry because so many people are crippling their service by using the data plans they pay for.

Do you have numbers to support the claim that they aren't reinvesting? Do you account for the original investment and fees are supposed to pay for that? I am not saying you are wrong, but that is a statement that needs fact to support it.


I used to work for a major company building towers and upgrading for a major carrier. There was a LOT of money going into it at that time and last time I checked that carrier is still spending money with different companies building and upgrading. At some point you need the existing infrastructure to pay for what you invested.


Not saying that I am crying for Comcast or anything - just saying do you have facts for your statement?


I have a 10gb limit myself up here in AK ...................10!!!!! WTF even the one company that has fiber to the homes (very select homes) are using a 10gb limit despite hardly any customers - doesn't make sense
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 42Plasmaman /forum/post/18371092


I agree.

Why does Comcast need to allow the subscriber to view their bandwidth usage if it's unlimited?

Comcast most likely already knows how much each subscriber(IP Address) utilizes in bandwidth.


I believe this is the first step toward metered bandwidth usage. They will most likely come out with various plans(ISP speed + bandwidth limit) to meet the subscriber needs.

Why else would the subscriber need to know how much bandwidth they are using ?

The geeks may want to know but the majority of the people do not care until they are being charged for a specific amount of bandwidth usage. Then the meter becomes handy/useful.


Just like people who do not have unlimited cell phone plans monitor their minutes/text msg usage, this meter will be used by the Comcast subscriber to monitor bandwidth usage to assure they are within their limits.

The issue is that it is not unlimited. There is a 250gb cap and they are suspending people that go over. The people that get suspended have a legitimate complaint that they were not able to monitor their usage like you can with cell-phones. I would be pissed if they shut me down and I hadn't been able to monitor my usage......


Not saying they won't go metered or introduce different tiers (for those of you that think that $50 would be max and they would then lower you are kidding yourself - $50 would probably be the entry point for say 100GB....) - just saying there is a reason for the meter to be developed based on current practices.


Finally they could also be concerned about getting sued for people downloading a ton of movies. This would be something where they can now limit usage and protect themselves more
 

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Comcast needs the meter because of their current 250 GB limit.


I think they are potentially opening up a can of worms here since people are going to start seeing that they are using a relatively small amount of what they are entitled to under the service and either increase their usage or ask to pay less.


The nightmare scenario for Comcast is to be deemed a utility and have to sell at a fixed price (above cost) based on usage. Their ARPU would plummet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by PSound /forum/post/18372209


Comcast needs the meter because of their current 250 GB limit.


I think they are potentially opening up a can of worms here since people are going to start seeing that they are using a relatively small amount of what they are entitled to under the service and either increase their usage or ask to pay less.


The nightmare scenario for Comcast is to be deemed a utility and have to sell at a fixed price (above cost) based on usage. Their ARPU would plummet.

Or use the same tactics like they use on cable TV subscriptions to lower expectations and increase cost.

Their history over the years shows they lower the amount of channels (bandwidth) available on the lower tier cable subscriptions and charge more for less channels.

There are channels that use to be available on the basic cable subscription, then moved to the digital basic subscription tier that have now been moved to the next tier higher subscription.


They keep increasing subscription costs and providing less until you hit their "unlimited" subscription.

This may be the new model for their ISP subscription as well.
 
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