Since last year, Comcast has been experimenting with new ways to keep its users’ bandwidth usage under control. The cable provider first started disrupting BitTorrent file-sharing traffic, but after criticism from users—and the FCC—Comcast vowed to abandon the practice. Next up were bandwidth-throttling trials in Pennsylvania and Virginia, where some users faced reduced speeds during “congested periods.”
Now, Comcast is about to put a new measure into place: bandwidth quotas. According to PC Magazine, the firm will subject all of its residential customers to a 250GB monthly quota from October 1 onward. Those who go over the limit will be notified, although PC Magazine doesn’t say what will happen to recidivists. Comcast, however, specifies that it has a similar system in place today, but it will “now provide a limit by which a customer may be contacted,” and it knows “from experience” that most customers voluntarily curb their bandwidth consumption.
To Comcast’s credit, the 250GB ceiling seems pretty high, since customers would need to transfer more than 8GB of data each day to go over. Also, the company will take care to notify users of the change in policy via the Comcast.net home page, its site’s help section, and billing statements. With downloadable high-definition content on the rise and households sharing net connections, though, the limit could prove restrictive before long.