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Comcast's 105MBit Service Comes With Data Cap 372

Posted by timothy
from the so-best-pace-yourself dept.
itwbennett writes "Comcast just announced the ultrafast, ultra-broadband 'Extreme 105' 105 Mbit/sec Internet service for an introductory price of $105, when bundled with other services. That's the good news. The bad news: Comcast 'put a data cap on the service of 250 GB per month — about five hours worth of full-bandwidth use,' writes blogger Kevin Fogarty."
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Comcast's 105MBit Service Comes With Data Cap

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  • by Haven (34895) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @07:35AM (#35838862) Homepage Journal

    Gbit or GB?

    • Re:Bytes or bits? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Fnkmaster (89084) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @07:44AM (#35838928)

      Clearly they mean bytes, not bits. 5 hours of full bandwidth usage would be about 1890 Gbit, or roughly 235 GB of usage, so there is a mistake in the summary and the story itself.

      So yeah, it's annoying, but not as bad as they made it sound.

      • Doesn't ones download speed depend on a whole lot more than the ISP's download speed to the user. For instance I have 18Mbit/sec. Divide that by 8 and I get 2.25MBytes/sec. When I download a upgrade to my Ubuntu system I never get a download speed greater than a hundred thousand bytes per second. At that speed a 40 Mega byte download takes a little over 6 minutes. When I will download Ubuntu 11.04 in a couple of weeks which will be at least 250 Mega bytes, it should take less than 2 minutes at my rate
        • by IrquiM (471313)
          Do you get 18Mbit/sec, or is it what the ISP say is the maximum you can get? There's a huge difference. MY ISP says "At least 10Mbit/sec full duplex", and I've never been below 11Mbit/sec on speed tests. Up, it's actually closer to 13Mbit/sec, and now they're upgrading me to 25/25 later this month too. Oh, and no data cap. By the way what I really wanted to say was that I have no problems maxing out my connection, and I have friends with 100/100 which also can max out their connection.
        • When I download a upgrade to my Ubuntu system I never get a download speed greater than a hundred thousand bytes per second.

          If you're getting low-end-DSL download speeds from your chosen Ubuntu repository mirror, perhaps you need to choose a different mirror. It's unfortunate that apt-get can't download from multiple mirrors at once.

  • by Shin-LaC (1333529) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @07:36AM (#35838868)
    Basically, it's like marrying a gorgeous woman. She looks really hot, but you can never just let your lust run wild, because she thinks too highly of herself. Every instance of intercourse must be bargained for, and you're lucky to get it once a week; and when you do, she just lies there like a dead tuna. Soon, you begin to question whether it was worth spending so much money and effort on her.
  • by elucido (870205) * on Saturday April 16, 2011 @07:38AM (#35838874)

    But it isn't that bad.I haven't come close to maxing it out and I tried. I don't know, how exactly do you use more than 250GB in a month?

    There is no speed cap and its the fastest internet available in my area so why not use it? It's not perfect but it beats DSL.

    • by MrL0G1C (867445)
      10mbit for 1 day = 540 Gigabytes
    • by Hatta (162192)

      how exactly do you use more than 250GB in a month?

      Rsync.net. Why do you need 100 mbits/second if you're not really going to use it?

    • by mattr (78516)

      Just put a 1 megabit/sec camera feed on it and you're over.
      FWIW within Japan you get similar insane speed but again a similar 300GB cap as far as I know.
      Not that I have ever run into such a cap. But it may affect a video application I'm planning now.
      If they would just give a clear service menu as to what it costs to get the real thing.
      But that would be like a contract that lets you run your own ISP and would likely be at least twice the price.

    • How do you use 250GB/month? Have a family and you'll find out. It becomes REALLY easy to bump against the cap if you ditch cable and buy all your TV shows from iTunes.
      • by timeOday (582209)
        I have a family and an internet-connected TV we use for netflix and youtube frequently but haven't even approached the cap. We usually use about 50-60GB/month, I think our max was about 100 GB last December (short winter days = more TV). Netflix is roughly 1 GB per hour, so you could stream for about 8 hours per day and still stay under 250 GB. Youtube is substantially less than that.

        Also, my kids definitely watch less TV than we did. I'm afraid they still get just as much or more "screen time," but g

    • A buddy of mine has six heavy internet users on a 10MBit pipe. Believe me, with all of them wanting to stream video, download torrents, play music, etc. they'd exceed the cap in no time.

    • by geekmux (1040042)

      ...I don't know, how exactly do you use more than 250GB in a month?

      (Overheard from Charlie Sheen) "pfft...fucking amateurs."

    • by djtachyon (975314)
      Actually it says 250G*bit*, so 250/8 = ~31.25GB/month.

      I'll stick with Cablevision's Optimum Ultra [optimum.com]. An extra $50 a month on top of their Boost plan (30down/5up) for 101Gbit down (where do you think that 105 came from? ;) ) / 15 Gbit up. Plus free webspace, domain name, ability to open port 80 and 25 for web hosting, and best of all, no capping that I know of.

      But, either way, thank goodness for competition.
    • You're retarded if you can't cap it out. I hit about 150gig a month with my 3MB/s connection. If you want to cap out that connected get go download the top 5 torrents on the pirate bay and let it sit for about a day. You'll be way over your limit guaranteed. If you want to make it all legal, get the top 5 linux distros. You'll still cap it out.
    • by IrquiM (471313)

      But it isn't that bad.I haven't come close to maxing it out and I tried. I don't know, how exactly do you use more than 250GB in a month?

      You're doing it wrong!

    • All it takes is two Netflix streaming users in one household. Right before the cap started Comcast opened a reporting page to show us our average usage for the previous three months. I had hit the cap on all three months, even if for month three I cut down my torrent usage down to zero. That means we hit our cap just watching streamed video. I ditched Comcast (22/8, not that it ever performed at that level) for FIOS (25/25 for $5 per month, always performs beautifully) and never looked back.

    • I don't know, how exactly do you use more than 250GB in a month?

      I can think of a few ways:

      • Lots of high resolution video chat. If both ends have 105 Mbps connections, why would we not engage in a high res video chat?
      • Seeding large torrents for popular files
      • Using advanced cryptographic protocols (maybe this will be more of a concern 10 years from now, but some of these protocols demand quite a bit of bandwidth).
      • Mirroring for some moderately popular Linux distro
      • Running a Tor exit (yes, high bandwidth Tor exits are something the world needs)

      Yes, it is certainly possibl

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Memroid (898199)

      how exactly do you use more than 250GB in a month?

      Backing up a single hard drive over the internet. To The Cloud!

  • by metalmaster (1005171) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @07:43AM (#35838910)
    Do packages like this encourage piracy?

    If you think about it, streaming services can only go so fast. If youre streaming HD video from Netflix 105Mbit/s sounds a bit like overkill. The same can be said for streaming audio. Your media will still playback one second at a time. However, 105Mbit sounds lightning quick if you think about it in terms of downloading content. There are paid services where you can get your media, but they have to limit your speeds. Thousands of people trying to grab files from a server as fast as they can has the potential to cripple the infrastructure

    So, where is this speed most effective? P2P applications
    • No, they simply support the new wave of everyone streaming their content from places like netflix, pandora, amazon, etc.

      Of course if you do this you get penalized, but that's not my point.

    • by Tanktalus (794810)

      Whenever my Windows VMs are downloading patches, I notice that they max out my cable connection. I bet that if I had 105Mb/s instead of 15Mb/s that they would still max out. Or at least get far more than they do now.

      This morning, a new vlc stabilised on Gentoo/AMD64. I downloaded the source (24MB) at 904KB/s from a mirror. I'm guessing here, but if I had a bigger pipe, I probably could have gotten faster. Not that I would have got a full 10MB/s, but I might have gotten 1.5-2MB/s - the wget log shows bu

      • by Ltap (1572175)
        There are really only two types of torrents where you will get a lot of throughput: DVD-rips of popular movies on public trackers and reasonably popular stuff on private trackers where people are playing around with seedboxes.
    • Most of these 20++MBit/sec are not intended for use by a single connection. In fact most circuits will have bottlenecks somewhere down the line that prevent you getting anywhere near your nominal data rate on a single connection. These deals are intended for multi-user (i.e. families) where the children are playing Wii, downloading "art", video chatting etc. and other people are watching a streamed movie and backing up their work - all at the same time. It's surprising how much bandwidth that all sucks up a
    • If you think about it, streaming services can only go so fast. If youre streaming HD video from Netflix 105Mbit/s sounds a bit like overkill.

      Why? If I'm streaming raw Bluray quality, that can be up to 54 Mbit/s, and I quite like having a bit of a buffer to work with.

      If I'm in a multiway video conference, why should everybody be reduced to low quality video and sound? Build a proper encoder for a it (even hardware), and you could be doing Bluray quality video conferencing with your family and friends, instea

    • by MoonBuggy (611105)

      Aside from the fact that (as others have mentioned) it's good for households with multiple heavy users, there's also a chicken and egg problem here; legal download services to make use of this speed won't come along until the speed is already available, whereas the response of the illegal market is near-instant. Back when everyone was on dial-up, you could've said that 512Kbit/s DSL would encourage more people to use Napster, and maybe it did, but it also made services like the iTunes store viable; the move

  • with this service your browser will load a web page incredibly fast (no lag surfing) but good luck trying to download a Linux ISO on dvd (about 4.5 gigs)

    oh, you actually want some content in your content?
  • by QuietLagoon (813062) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @07:53AM (#35839022)
    ... coming from a company that made it into the final four of the worst companies in America [consumerist.com]? It took a company as bad as BP to knock Comcast out of the running.
  • by neokushan (932374) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @08:04AM (#35839092)

    In the UK, we only really have one cable company - Virgin Media.
    They offer 10, 30, 50 and 100Mbit services - all "unlimited" (with an Acceptable Use Policy attached for people who constantly throttle their full connection). The kicker is they employ some pretty heavy traffic management. Download more than about 3Gb in the evening (between 4pm and midnight) and your connection speed gets cut by 75%. So the 30 becomes about 6 or 7mbit.
    The thing is, you can still keep downloading as much as you want, it's just slower - so which system is better?
    They also employ traffic shaping, so between the same hours (And ALL weekend), P2P and newsgroup traffic gets slowed by 75% as well, no matter how much you're downloading.

    It's a bit of a ridiculous catch. There are some decent DSL providers that have no usage limits, but they can only offer an "Up to" connection that can do 24mbit, but you're more likely to get about 8mbit (on average), whereas on Virgin you'll get the speed you signed up for (until traffic management/shaping kicks in). So /.ers which would you rather have, obscene traffic management or hard caps?

    • by CrashandDie (1114135) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @08:43AM (#35839346)

      I'll take the French ISP Free. No traffic shaping, no bandwidth cap, no traffic management, oh, and 100MBit down and 50Mbit up fiber connection delivered to your home – not shared by the street as it is with Virgin in the UK.

    • by Idbar (1034346)

      so which system is better?

      None? I sort of hate this kind of thinking. Why did we let them do that. I'm just going to ask for a fairly good solution. Because this is going out of hands already with their "unlimited capped Internet" that makes no sense. What's next? a 1Gbps service that sends you to random places and doesn't let you even pick your URL? (Yes, that's probably coming soon, the type of hijacking of "hey I noticed you wanted to go to Slashdot. We thought you wanted instead to go to Gizmodo. Here it is!" or "You wanted to r

      • by neokushan (932374)

        Just so you know, I completely agree with everything you've just said. Neither option is ideal, neither option is the "best" option as the best option would involve no caps or traffic shaping at all and really we should have a third option that meets these needs.

        I guess the thing is that most people would be happy on either of those two systems. By "most" people, I mean average non-techy person that uses the internet for little more than Facebook, gaming, porn and the odd bit of streaming. This is probably

    • I'm totally fine with this kind of caps, the soft ones.. If someone is hitting their cap, slow them down to a reasonable speed, where they can still use their connection, but its noticeably slower.

    • by Xyrus (755017)

      8 Mb is still twice as fast as the average American has access to. And I'll bet spotted dick to lamb fries that it's cheaper for you as well.

  • I doubt it's really 250 gBIT...... it's gotta be 250 GBYTES.

    250gBIT is only about 32gigs, so there's no fuckin way that's right.

  • That's useful. Thanks comcrap.

  • Ridiculous.

    Please USA, sort your shit. Internet must get cheaper, not more expensive!.

    • by Impeesa (763920)
      Hey, that's only $21 an hour. That still compares pretty favorably to even the cheapest of hookers, it's a bargain for how hard they'll screw you.
  • by yoshi_mon (172895) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @08:59AM (#35839468)

    Caps to me are still the real issue. I say that because once you have any decent broadband connection it is typically going to be 'fast enough' for an average end user. Most end users are not downloading an ISO a day or something to that effect. In fact since most if not all end user pipes are not even close to full duplex they are not really that much good for anything but normal end user type stuff.

    Now I will throw in the caveat that as you add more users to a connection clearly that is when a bigger pipe will help. But that still brings us around to again the real issue, caps. With more users you are running even a bigger risk of going over a cap if you are using what the modern internet can do. Streaming, online gaming, downloads, smartphones/tablets switching over to Wifi mode when they are in range, and of course all of the standard stuff like email/web/IM/etc.

    Caps are something that need to be seriously regulated as it is not like we have a lot of options when it comes to our broadband options. They should be pretty damn high as in you really would be having to running full bandwidth for a week straight out of a month.

    • There should be no caps--period. Don't sell a 100Mbps internet connection of your service can't handle it. Done.
  • also deadpanning on how the node is setup up / how many people are on it you may have a hard time even getting to 105MEG download speed.

  • All this talk of the data cap... what consumer grade router is even capable of utilizing that speed? How about any consumer OS? This is a marketing stunt and nothing more... or is there a slew of GigE WAN port consumer routers that can actually handle the routing at these speeds that I'm not aware of?

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