Generous Comcast Data Caps Provide Fuel For Slow News Week

The blogosphere, perhaps, is guilty of wanting to find things to rant against. At few times is this more obvious than it was in the last couple weeks, with backlash against US ISP Comcast for instituting a 250 GB data transfer cap. Oh no, limiting customer use? Sounds evil? Maybe, except that it’s a higher cap than is found anywhere in the western world. Here in western Canada, Shaw has caps of 10-150 GB depending on the plan, Bell has caps of 2-100 GB. Time Warner in Texas has recently instituted caps of 4-50 GB.

What do you need more than 250 GB for? Downloading daily database dumps of Wikipedia? Four simultaneous video streams running 24/7? 50 HD-quality movies? 3000 MP3 albums?  If you can answer yes to any of these, you should re-examine your priorities and consume less media. Even in my many years of heavy Internet media consumption and file sharing, I’ve only received “the call” from Shaw once (for transfer overuse). They’re quite nice about it and will let you off with a warning. Net Neutrality is the real ISP issue that deserves attention, if it gets compromised then it won’t matter what the caps are. If a 250 GB cap is unacceptable, you can always move to Japan, where NTT caps your 100Mb fiber optic connection at 30 GB… per day.