Comcast Admits 300GB Data Cap Isn't A Techincal Requirement

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Comcast Admits 300GB Data Cap Isn't A Techincal Requirement

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Want to know why Comcast has a fixed 300GB data cap? Whatever the reason, the VP of Internet services admits it isn't technical.

As a Canadian, I have no personal beef with Comcast - there's no reason to complain about its service if I don't need to deal with it. But when Wikipedia has an entire page dedicated solely to Comcast criticisms, you can safely say it has a less-than-stellar reputation. For example, Comcast has recently been accused of teasing customers with fast download speeds which quickly eat into a rigid 300GB data cap, leading to fines when you go over. So what's the purpose behind having a 300GB limit? According to Comcast VP of Internet services Jason Livingood, there's no technical purpose behind the cap at all.

Livingood was posed the question on Twitter last week, and replied with a refreshingly candid answer. "No idea," he wrote. "I'm involved on the engineering side to manage the measurement systems but don't weigh in on the business policies."

Now that's not to say the decision was entirely arbitrary. According to Comcast's statistics, over 98 percent of customers never pass the 300GB limit. But those data requirements are only going to increase as streaming services like Netflix become the default for televised entertainment, and 4K televisions won't help either. Even setting that detail aside, a 100mbps connection - which Comcast offers - easily consumes 300GB in about six hours.

At least we know Comcast's data cap is something the organization consciously chose, instead of a technical limitation everyone could see through. Doesn't that make you feel better?

Source: BGR

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Comcast is shit. Also, water is wet and the sun is hot. Though I now feel bad that I'm about to move to a place that only has Comcast >.>

At one point Comcast was rated below the IRS in customer satisfaction. Let me state that again, the INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE has higher customer satisfaction rates than Comcast. But they have such a monopoly on their market that they could frankly have a 1GB internet cap, dial up speeds, and address every bill with a personalized insult and it probably wouldn't cut into their bottom line.

Fanghawk:
Comcast Admits 300GB Data Cap Isn't A Techincal Requirement

Want to know why Comcast has a fixed 300GB data cap? Whatever the reason, the VP of Internet services admits it isn't technical.

As a Canadian, I have no personal beef with Comcast - there's no reason to complain about its service if I don't need to deal with it.

No, but you do have to deal with the stranglehold of the big three. Telus, Rogers, and Bell. Unless you live in Saskatchewan, then you at least have Sask-Tel. Telecom blows in Canada, arguably more so than the US.

Two percent is still an alarming number of users being affected by this arbitrary data limit.

If they only served ten million users, that would mean at least two hundred thousand users are negatively affected by that data limit.

In the realm of service providers and customer care, that's an unacceptable percentage. And this comes after Comcast has claimed they've attempted to improve their services.

I don't genuinely 'hate' many things, but you can count Comcast among the handful of things I do.

Isn't Comcast the second or third major US ISP to admit that the caps are baloney? One can only hope they're all feeling the pressure as more people are made away of these companies anti-competitive and anti-consumer practices. It probably isn't much pressure to them right now, but it's enough for someone to squeal a wee bit.

Then again I just read that this guy is apparently on the engineering side. We haven't heard the business side's answer, or whether this VP was allowed to reveal that info. An update saying Jason Livingwood was pink-slipped, or resigned, would not surprise me.

Data caps are bullshit, and here's why:

I'm a Comcast slave at the moment, as it's the only high speed ISP in my area. I get phone calls from them about once a month trying to get me to "upgrade" to a faster connection. I've always refused, as I have a sneaking suspicion I would get put on a data cap like this.

I'm waiting for the day Google Fiber makes it to my area. I'll be gleefully jumping ship the moment it does.

Neverhoodian:

I'm waiting for the day Google Fiber makes it to my area. I'll be gleefully jumping ship the moment it does.

When it does, Comcast will "mysteriously" give you a free upgrade in both speed and data.

I don't know how anti-trust and monopoly laws don't apply to these companies. Or at least not in my laymen understanding of how these laws are supposed to work. I remember my brief time with Comcast, and my argument with them because our building was on a the comcast cablevision zone border so the apartments next to us and below us could get cablevision, but we were stuck with Comcast. I was so pissed and I swear that had to have been illegal. How could those two companies dividing up the town not be collusion?

Kameburger:
I don't know how anti-trust and monopoly laws don't apply to these companies. Or at least not in my laymen understanding of how these laws are supposed to work. I remember my brief time with Comcast, and my argument with them because our building was on a the comcast cablevision zone border so the apartments next to us and below us could get cablevision, but we were stuck with Comcast. I was so pissed and I swear that had to have been illegal. How could those two companies dividing up the town not be collusion?

It's all rather simple and doesn't require any real knowledge of laws. Money. If anti-trust laws WERE being enforced, you'd have more than just cable companies getting slammed. Cable, television, oil companies, pharmaceuticals, you name it 80% of them would likely be in trouble. Instead, the only real MAJOR use of it was way back during the Roosevelt presidency, when he split up the Rockafellow company. But considering these laws require the government to agree to do something, and thus requires people getting money from said companies to go against them, you'll see why it doesn't happen. It's also why giant corporations are afforded certain rights as if they were a human being, because they had a surpreme court lined with people in their pocket to push that for them to their advantage. That and all the lobbying allows these companies to do as they please.

It's why AT&T could hit a state with a cease and desist essentially when the state wanted to implement its own internet service, claiming it would "hurt competition". It's why medical companies can charge 4-500 dollars for something that costs a fraction to make, then turn around and have the FDA hammer any competitors that try to release a similar product. It's all bullcrap.

Then again, politics is pretty much 100% bullcrap. And that's all that stops these companies from being punished for these kinds of things. Politics.

I like Shaw's approach to data caps.

They give us a 50 GB data cap. I break it flagrantly each month, and Shaw doesn't notice, care or charge.

Comcast should do that.

SilverHunter:

Kameburger:
I don't know how anti-trust and monopoly laws don't apply to these companies. Or at least not in my laymen understanding of how these laws are supposed to work. I remember my brief time with Comcast, and my argument with them because our building was on a the comcast cablevision zone border so the apartments next to us and below us could get cablevision, but we were stuck with Comcast. I was so pissed and I swear that had to have been illegal. How could those two companies dividing up the town not be collusion?

It's all rather simple and doesn't require any real knowledge of laws. Money. If anti-trust laws WERE being enforced, you'd have more than just cable companies getting slammed. Cable, television, oil companies, pharmaceuticals, you name it 80% of them would likely be in trouble. Instead, the only real MAJOR use of it was way back during the Roosevelt presidency, when he split up the Rockafellow company. But considering these laws require the government to agree to do something, and thus requires people getting money from said companies to go against them, you'll see why it doesn't happen. It's also why giant corporations are afforded certain rights as if they were a human being, because they had a surpreme court lined with people in their pocket to push that for them to their advantage. That and all the lobbying allows these companies to do as they please.

It's why AT&T could hit a state with a cease and desist essentially when the state wanted to implement its own internet service, claiming it would "hurt competition". It's why medical companies can charge 4-500 dollars for something that costs a fraction to make, then turn around and have the FDA hammer any competitors that try to release a similar product. It's all bullcrap.

Then again, politics is pretty much 100% bullcrap. And that's all that stops these companies from being punished for these kinds of things. Politics.

Well Microsoft also had trouble with these laws right? I mean of course that doesn't make anything you've said less true, but man does it say something when the companies that own the means of communication also own the media that reports on it. It's like something out of a ridiculous movie.

Why use data caps at all? Can't people get unlimited data for a home Internet service at a reasonable price? In my country, you only have data caps for cellular Internet service.

sonicneedslovetoo:
At one point Comcast was rated below the IRS in customer satisfaction. Let me state that again, the INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE has higher customer satisfaction rates than Comcast. But they have such a monopoly on their market that they could frankly have a 1GB internet cap, dial up speeds, and address every bill with a personalized insult and it probably wouldn't cut into their bottom line.

Keep in mind, while it's always funny to bring up the Golden Poo, Comcast's rating does come from it. A satisfaction battle royale on the internet. By that logic, the best character in gaming is the L block from Tetris.

Yes, Comcast is crap. But let's be realistic.

Of course the issue is not technical. The government already gave them 200 billion dollars to lay down infrastructure.. The reason is that they want to price gourge and extort their customers. and they should be standing trial for that instead of allowed to continue.

Fanghawk:
According to Comcast's statistics, over 98 percent of customers never pass the 300GB limit.

98 % of people do not go over their internet limit because they dont want to pay exorbitant sums of money for no reason. you dont say.

Doom972:
Why use data caps at all? Can't people get unlimited data for a home Internet service at a reasonable price? In my country, you only have data caps for cellular Internet service.

somewhere in the top floor of a skyscraper there is a Comcast Exec grinning. "Because i can".

sonicneedslovetoo:
But they have such a monopoly on their market that they could frankly have a 1GB internet cap, dial up speeds, and address every bill with a personalized insult and it probably wouldn't cut into their bottom line.

Hi, have you met my friend, satellite Internet?

(Okay, I'm exaggerating, HughesNet gives me five gigs a month.)

Comcast is shit, Time Warner Cable is shit...

The plain and simple of it is that if there's a private/off brand provider in your area, at -least- try it provided they don't lock you into a contract. I did that with my city's internet companies and found one that's really solid and reliable in terms of quality of connection.

And this is why I am not in - and am lucky to have alternatives to - Comcast internet. Because they're assholes, impossible to deal with, cap shit, and are too damn smug.

Doom972:
Why use data caps at all? Can't people get unlimited data for a home Internet service at a reasonable price? In my country, you only have data caps for cellular Internet service.

We meet again! :P Over the same issue!

I can confirm that this is a thing in the UK as well as Israel... We are confused at your non-unlimited internet service!

over here it use to be the norm to have data caps then our government got pissed with the big 2 telecos and went the European route and unbundled all the cables ofc first the telcos said "dont unbundle we promise we will do better " hoping the government was bluffing but when they didnt do better and things only got worse the telcos got kicked in the head and now we have like atleast 12 diffrent companies offering all sorts of net plans i was on a 100gb plan but the crowd im with felt it was too expensive keeping my plan around and upgraded to unlimited

Oh America, The land of the screwed and home of the oligopoly. I'm dutch, I don't think i could find a data cap on internet in my area if I tried, because nobody would want it. Fairly sure it's going to take an actual revolution to get rid of all of the nonsense.

So you don't have a choice? I mean here in the UK the data capped options are the cheaper alternatives to unlimited provided you don't go over cap. Most providers give people the option.

jayzz911:
Oh America, The land of the screwed and home of the oligopoly. I'm dutch, I don't think i could find a data cap on internet in my area if I tried, because nobody would want it. Fairly sure it's going to take an actual revolution to get rid of all of the nonsense.

this is Comcast Canada

In the US the only option is unlimited

direkiller:

jayzz911:
Oh America, The land of the screwed and home of the oligopoly. I'm dutch, I don't think i could find a data cap on internet in my area if I tried, because nobody would want it. Fairly sure it's going to take an actual revolution to get rid of all of the nonsense.

this is Comcast Canada

In the US the only option is unlimited

After you said this I looked around and I can't find anything to support what you're saying here. I see a lot of Americans complain about the 300gb data cap. The guy they asked and quoted here also works in the Philadelphia. Feel free to show me where you got the idea that this is Comcast Canada from.

jayzz911:

direkiller:

jayzz911:
Oh America, The land of the screwed and home of the oligopoly. I'm dutch, I don't think i could find a data cap on internet in my area if I tried, because nobody would want it. Fairly sure it's going to take an actual revolution to get rid of all of the nonsense.

this is Comcast Canada

In the US the only option is unlimited

After you said this I looked around and I can't find anything to support what you're saying here. I see a lot of Americans complain about the 300gb data cap. The guy they asked and quoted here also works in the Philadelphia. Feel free to show me where you got the idea that this is Comcast Canada from.

Comcast did a trial run of data caps in about 7 citys, it did not go over well.
Data caps have not moved outside of those cites(if they are even still there), and Philadelphia was never one of those cities.
Alot of people thought they had data caps when Comcast stops opening peer ports, but that's another matter entirely.

direkiller:

jayzz911:

direkiller:

this is Comcast Canada

In the US the only option is unlimited

After you said this I looked around and I can't find anything to support what you're saying here. I see a lot of Americans complain about the 300gb data cap. The guy they asked and quoted here also works in the Philadelphia. Feel free to show me where you got the idea that this is Comcast Canada from.

Comcast did a trial run of data caps in about 7 citys, it did not go over well.
Data caps have not moved outside of those cites(if they are even still there), and Philadelphia was never one of those cities.
Alot of people thought they had data caps when Comcast stops opening peer ports, but that's another matter entirely.

Never said it was in Philadelphia just saying the VP quoted here WORKS there and hence is not the VP of Comcast Canada. Next to that i looked up the trials you were talking about. Yes they are 7 American cities. Still don't know why you are on about it being Canada when i still have not found anything about Comcast Canada and data caps. What i did find is an article stating the Comcast has plans to introduce the data caps nation wide within 5 years.
God bless the oligopoly

jayzz911:

direkiller:

jayzz911:

After you said this I looked around and I can't find anything to support what you're saying here. I see a lot of Americans complain about the 300gb data cap. The guy they asked and quoted here also works in the Philadelphia. Feel free to show me where you got the idea that this is Comcast Canada from.

Comcast did a trial run of data caps in about 7 citys, it did not go over well.
Data caps have not moved outside of those cites(if they are even still there), and Philadelphia was never one of those cities.
Alot of people thought they had data caps when Comcast stops opening peer ports, but that's another matter entirely.

Never said it was in Philadelphia just saying the VP quoted here WORKS there and hence is not the VP of Comcast Canada. Next to that i looked up the trials you were talking about. Yes they are 7 American cities. Still don't know why you are on about it being Canada when i still have not found anything about Comcast Canada and data caps. What i did find is an article stating the Comcast has plans to introduce the data caps nation wide within 5 years.
God bless the oligopoly

because the only option in Canada is data caps, or stupidly high costs

This is also a huge problem for people that work from home. I do not think this was mentioned at all. I work customer service from home and could easily destroy 300gigs while working, gaming and streaming media. My job does not pay me anything additional to cover my electric or internet cost so that extra data fee will come out of my pocket. It's basically a forced pay decrease for me.

On average I think more and more businesses are moving to just at home workers and news like this will only hurt everybody including Comcast themselves when they eventually get the backlash of these decisions.

Fucking Comcast. You know they just started throttling my internet this week again? You have to call them every month or two to yell at them or they keep doing it because fuck you give me money.

Kameburger:

Well Microsoft also had trouble with these laws right? I mean of course that doesn't make anything you've said less true, but man does it say something when the companies that own the means of communication also own the media that reports on it. It's like something out of a ridiculous movie.

Microsoft (and recently, Google) got slapped by the EU courts over its monopoly position. It's unlikely those'll concern themselves with US USP's.

sonicneedslovetoo:
At one point Comcast was rated below the IRS in customer satisfaction. Let me state that again, the INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE has higher customer satisfaction rates than Comcast. But they have such a monopoly on their market that they could frankly have a 1GB internet cap, dial up speeds, and address every bill with a personalized insult and it probably wouldn't cut into their bottom line.

How can they have such a monopoly? Is there no choice for the customer? Did they do something right or better once upon a time, then pull a switcharoo?

KingsGambit:

sonicneedslovetoo:
At one point Comcast was rated below the IRS in customer satisfaction. Let me state that again, the INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE has higher customer satisfaction rates than Comcast. But they have such a monopoly on their market that they could frankly have a 1GB internet cap, dial up speeds, and address every bill with a personalized insult and it probably wouldn't cut into their bottom line.

How can they have such a monopoly? Is there no choice for the customer? Did they do something right or better once upon a time, then pull a switcharoo?

Government Sponsored.

That's what that net neutrality thing was about. Cable saw a way of getting more money. It's like "Yeah, I know you pay for water every month. But so does everyone. That puts a strain on my pipe infastructure, so make do with shitty, rusty water with little to no pressure. But hey, I'm a nice guy. Here, you give me 50 extra bucks a month and I'll make sure you get the less shitty water. 75 per month, and you can upgrade to even having hot water!"

And to make sure Cable would get that money, they gave millions to Politicians to lobby against net neutrality.

Hell, they gave money to politicians meeting to over look Comcast's purposed acquisition of Time Warner

There's little that tends to unite a leading liberal like Dick Durbin and a conservative firebrand like Ted Cruz.
But when the two senators join their colleagues for a hearing this month on Comcast's $45 billion bid for Time Warner Cable, many of them will have something in common - they've each collected Comcast cash.

The Philadelphia cable giant historically has been a major Beltway player, and it's sure to strengthen its political offense in order to sell the new, controversial megadeal. Yet even before announcing its plans for Time Warner Cable, Comcast had donated to almost every member of Congress who has a hand in regulating it.

What was the money break down for Comcast's run for more power? Decent question.

But just how many politicians have accepted money from Comcast's political arm? In the case of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which held the first congressional hearing on the Comcast/TWC merger yesterday, the answer is all of them.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) led the way with $35,000 from the Comcast federal political action committee (PAC) between 2009 and 2014, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) received $32,500, and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) received $30,000. These figures are the combined contributions from Comcast to the senators' campaign and leadership committees. (Schumer has recused himself from the merger hearings because his brother, a lawyer, worked on the deal.)

Out of 18 committee members, 10 Democrats and eight Republicans, 17 got money from Comcast's federal PAC, according to the database at OpenSecrets.org.

There's a list of how Comcast spread it's money around here.

KingsGambit:

sonicneedslovetoo:
At one point Comcast was rated below the IRS in customer satisfaction. Let me state that again, the INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE has higher customer satisfaction rates than Comcast. But they have such a monopoly on their market that they could frankly have a 1GB internet cap, dial up speeds, and address every bill with a personalized insult and it probably wouldn't cut into their bottom line.

How can they have such a monopoly? Is there no choice for the customer? Did they do something right or better once upon a time, then pull a switcharoo?

Welcome to America. It's because they own all the infrastructure which can be costly to place. Then the US lets them buy/merge with the only other options. They were never good, they were always ass, just they're the only ass around and you need them.

KingsGambit:

sonicneedslovetoo:
At one point Comcast was rated below the IRS in customer satisfaction. Let me state that again, the INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE has higher customer satisfaction rates than Comcast. But they have such a monopoly on their market that they could frankly have a 1GB internet cap, dial up speeds, and address every bill with a personalized insult and it probably wouldn't cut into their bottom line.

How can they have such a monopoly? Is there no choice for the customer? Did they do something right or better once upon a time, then pull a switcharoo?

I cannot find it right now but they have an agreement with Time Warner Cable(the only other people in the region) not to compete with each other and they admitted to it blatantly in an interview.

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