Now, it's official. Comcast will impose a 250GB monthly cap on its Internet customers, as the SF Chronicle reports.
Violators will get a notice and a warning. If you do it twice in a six-month period, they may terminate your account.
What's more, Comcast won't be releasing any programs that will let you easily monitor your bandwidth usage, although anyone who is seriously in danger of hitting the cap probably can figure out how to download their own monitor.
This is how Comcast manages its network when it can't cut off BitTorrent users. Comcast says most users use 2 to 3 GB.
The thing is, isn't Comcast's future – the commercial future of the Web – in higher-def video, stuff like the NBC Olympics site? Won't Comcast be encouraging users to download video – and video ads – at greater and greater volumes even as it threatens to cut heavy users off?
"This wouldn't be necessary if Comcast had chosen to expand its capacity," said Michael Shames, executive director of the Utility Consumers' Action Network in San Diego. "They've chosen instead to degrade service."And the monopoly nature of broadband providers means few people will have any choice but to accept the limits, even if their usage is completely legitimate. That's the broadband policy we have chosen, said Free Press's S. Derek Turner:
"Unfortunately, Americans will continue to face the consequences of this lack of competition until policymakers get serious about policies that deliver the world-class networks consumers deserve," Turner said in a statement.