September 3, 2008

Comcast to Set Cap on Internet Usage

NEW YORK - Comcast, the nation's second-largest Internet service provider, said Thursday it would set an official limit on the amount of data subscribers can download and upload each month. On Oct. 1, the cable company will update its user agreement to say users will be allowed 250 gigabytes of traffic per month, the company announced on its Web site.

Comcast has already reserved the right to cut off subscribers who use too much bandwidth each month, without specifying exactlywhat constitutes excessive use.

Customers who go over the limit are contacted by the company and asked to curb their usage.

"We know from experience the vast majority of customers we ask to curb usage do so voluntarily," the company said.

Comcast floated the idea of a 250 gigabyte cap in May and mentioned then that it might charge users $15 for every 10 gigabytes they go over, but the overage fee was missing in Thursday's announcement.

Curbing top users is necessary to keep the network fast and responsive for other users, Comcast has said. It stressed that the bandwidth cap is far above the median monthly usage of its customers, which is 2 to 3 gigabytes.

A user could download 125 standard-definition movies, about four per day, before hitting the limit.

Originally published by Associated Press.

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