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Have You Fought Your ISP Over Bandwidth Limits?

Cliff posted more than 10 years ago | from the for-small-values-of-"unlimited" dept.

The Internet 1076

serutan asks: "Recently, a DC++-related mailing list I subscribe to has been buzzing with posts about letters from various ISPs in the U.S., UK, Australia and NZ, warning customers to curtail their download bandwidth usage to an 'acceptable' limit (generally 200 hours/month for three straight months). These are people who thought they signed up for unlimited access. Some of the letters hint that high bandwidth usage may imply illicit activity. All are vague on possible consequences, and nobody has mentioned actually being cut off by an ISP. One guy received an apology after talking to a supervisor about the meaning of the word 'unlimited.' Is this a growing trend? Have you received similar threats from an ISP? What was the outcome?" Of course, would it be so difficult for ISPs to stop advertising "unlimited" access, and instead include in the small (or not-so small) print exactly what the "acceptable" bandwidth usage is? If you did sign up for "unlimited" services and find yourself in this predicament, what have you done to get your bandwidth issues resolved?

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

im high (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7736571)

im high

Re:im high (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7736669)

Me too

Problems with Speakeasy.net (5, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736575)

I was paying speak easy for 768/384 and they where giving me 1536/768. The bastards.

Re:Problems with Speakeasy.net (1, Insightful)

I_Want_This_ID (678839) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736622)

at one time, I signed up for AOL's unlimited access plan and I was only able to get a signal through once every 1-2 hours for about 15 minutes before being kicked off.

Re:Problems with Speakeasy.net (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7736705)

The original post was a joke about how good SpeakEasy's service is. What is the point to your comment?

Speakeasy.net plays that game too (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7736694)

speakeasy changed the unlimited dialup policy about a year ago so unlimited = 150 hrs. If you wanted an extra 50 hours you could buy them for $20. The unlimited account only cost $15 a month.
No where was this 150 hr policy written. They claimed it was was considered exessive usage in the contract.

Re:Problems with Speakeasy.net (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7736731)


"The bastards."

So it was the Speak Easy people that killed Kenny...

Re:Problems with Speakeasy.net (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7736736)

Earthlink (through covad) has the same issues?
When is Verizon going to fix this!!!?
Oh that's right, they already bribed
Powell... they are doing something.

Speakeasy.net TOS (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7736780)

Bandwidth: If you utilize any of your Speakeasy services in a manner which consumes excessive bandwidth or affects Speakeasy's core equipment, overall network performance, or other users' services, Speakeasy may require that you cease or alter these activities.

http://www.speakeasy.net/tos

IN SOVIET RUSSIA... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7736583)

...you cuts yours ISP ??

Re:IN SOVIET RUSSIA... (-1)

carpe_noctem (457178) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736650)

how about, "In SOVIET RUSSIA, it fails you!"

Unlimited = ?? (5, Interesting)

ckathens (631781) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736584)

Apparently "unlimited" has been redefined w/o our knowledge. I wouldn't mind paying extra to have really "unlimited" access if that's what it took to not have to worry about this. I have "unlimited" newsgroup access which I pay extra for, and it is well-worth every penny.

Re:Unlimited = ?? (5, Funny)

wcb4 (75520) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736608)

I think you are right.... eMusic redefined unlimited to mean 2,000, why can't the ISP redefine it? I think I will redefine "dollar" to mean one of the little copper colord coins, and I will gladly pay my ISP 50 of them for "unlimited" broadband.

sue the ISP for fraud (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7736586)

In a small town Alabama jury trial, you could get $10 million in damages!

Re:sue the ISP for fraud (1)

I_Want_This_ID (678839) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736716)

That's one of the problems in our "sue-happy" country.

Damages far in excess of actual or even theoretical damages.

guilty until proven innocent? (5, Insightful)

ed8150 (554077) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736592)

i dont see why users that use large amounts of bandwidth are automatically tagged as pirates. for example: a few weeks ago i saw an article about an isp shutting down a guy for going over his "cap"(even though this cap was invisible). they described his bandwidth use in terms of movies, saying that the amount he downloaded was equivalent to 40 movies or somthing like that. what happend to due process? it is not a good bussiness practice to see your customers as criminals and treat them like that.

Re:guilty until proven innocent? (-1, Funny)

IsThisNickTaken (555227) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736662)

"it is not a good bussiness practice to see your customers as criminals and treat them like that." Too bad the RIAA hasn't figured that one out yet...

Re:guilty until proven innocent? (5, Insightful)

trentblase (717954) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736684)

Due process only applies to government actions (when it's not overlooked altogether). I'm not saying it's moral, but your ISP has every right to terminate your service for any reason they want. It's in the contract, and as long as they pro-rate your monthly fee, there isn't much you can do about it.

Re:guilty until proven innocent? (1, Insightful)

RealityMogul (663835) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736719)

What legitimate need does a single person have when downloading 40 gigs of data over a short period of time?

I would suspect that the ISP may also know what port all the traffic was taking place on. It's quite reasonable to suspect that if 40GB of data was taking place of the port Kazaa uses, that he's not transfering a family photo album or business documents from his office network.

Regardless of due process, common sense still exists and it is Ok to call a spade a spade. While you may unfortunately have to defend it in court, you can still say what you want without a 500 page report and permission from a judge and jury.

Re:guilty until proven innocent? (1)

ed8150 (554077) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736758)

i dont see anything wrong with downloading large amounts of files. i for one have downloaded many gigs of legitimate, free, isos and source code for linux. there is no evidence that suggests that it was over a kazaa port, only the amount of data transferd

Re:guilty until proven innocent? (2, Insightful)

trentblase (717954) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736777)

There are plenty of legitimate needs for downloading/uploading large amounts of data. If I pay my monthly fee for "unlimited" access, I should be able to stream high resolution live video 24 hours if I so choose.

Re:guilty until proven innocent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7736773)

There are accounts for people that move a large amount of data. They are called "business accounts" and cost more.

High bandwidth speed doesn't mean you get to max your connection all the time. If you look in your SLA, I bet you find a provision for reasonable use.

If you don't like it, buy a business account where they won't care how much you use.

l8,
AC

cox (4, Interesting)

proj_2501 (78149) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736593)

Cox.net clearly states their bandwidth limits and their definition of "unlimited", which means:

-always available, no dialing
-no hourly usage limits
-no tying up the phone line
-no content restrictions

looks like only one of these really applies to "unlimited"

Re:cox (1)

proj_2501 (78149) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736627)

one other thing. you now must use windows and IE5.5 just to access the support site with this information on it. DSL here I come!

Re:cox (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736677)

you now must use windows and IE5.5 just to access the support site with this information on it. DSL here I come!

How about that. I only contact them when my service has problems, so I usually end up calling them. They've been pretty good so far.

Re:cox (1)

c4Ff3In3 4ddiC+ (661808) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736692)

See my other post here [slashdot.org] about Cox.net's "unlimited" use.

Re:cox (1)

milgr (726027) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736704)

Cox.net clearly states their bandwidth limits and their definition of "unlimited", which means:
always available, no dialing
no hourly usage limits
no tying up the phone line
no content restrictions

looks like only one of these really applies to "unlimited"

I guess that means that they could have daily usage limits.

Re:cox (4, Informative)

proj_2501 (78149) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736763)

they do! max 2GB per day downloads, 1GB per day uploads.
the max per month is 30GB downloads, 7.5GB uploads.

what (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7736597)

chali = whore

123123th post (-1, Offtopic)

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No, I just DDOS them (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7736601)

Using their own bandwidth! Ha Ha!

Rogers! (5, Informative)

wo1verin3 (473094) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736603)

Rogers has been doing this to a lot of my friends, I haven't gotten 'the letter' yet.

The facts:
1) The service is advertised as 'unlimited'
2) They are unwilling to tell customers how much they've transferred
3) They are unwilling to tell customers what would constitute an acceptable amount of bandwidth

Judging by postings here [rbua.org] , they seem to be going after some areas and no others. Here is an interesting thread [rbua.org] .

Bandwidth limits? (3, Interesting)

kidgenius (704962) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736605)

Supposedly, Cox has a bandwidth limits of like 10GB of downloads a month. I know for a fact that for the past 6 months, I have definately exceeded that. And it's not necessarily illegal activity. I've d/led various linux ISOs for a Linux Installfest. I've downloaded "safe" music through mp3.com, dmusic.com, etc. I'm also always downloading new software to try out in Linux to see what's out there. Add this all to my regular surfing, and I wouldn't be suprised if I was over a "limit" of sorts. The thing is, I've never once received a letter, but other people I know have. I'm curious how they go about deciding who to send letters to.

Reality check (3, Insightful)

JessLeah (625838) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736606)

We are 'little people'. They are big corporations. They could redefine 'unlimited' as 'up to 1GB of traffic per month', and frankly, none of us on here have a snowflake's chance in Hell of seriously combating it.

Let's not get any delusions of grandeur here. Eventually, this is going to be the Standard Operating Procedure for all ISPs. Then what are you going to do-- "vote with your wallet" by going to another ISP who'll be just as bad?

Sorry to be so pessimistic, but this is the way things are, as far as I can see.

And if you think I'm being unrealistic: Well, I can remember a time when you'd call up an ISP and actually be able to talk to a knowledgeable techie... that's obviously in the past now. And don't tell me about your wonderful local ISP. You know damned well how rare those are now.

Re:Reality check (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7736665)

They could redefine 'unlimited' as 'up to 1GB of traffic per month', and frankly, none of us on here have a snowflake's chance in Hell of seriously combating it.

Fortunately, there are laws against fraud. Sue the bastards for false advertizing.

And if you think I'm being unrealistic: Well, I can remember a time when you'd call up an ISP and actually be able to talk to a knowledgeable techie...

You don't want to talk to a techie. You want to talk to a lawyer about a class action lawsuit.

Re:Reality check (1)

JessLeah (625838) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736695)

There are laws against fraud, yes. There are also laws protecting our right to Fair Use. Tell that to the RIAA, the MPAA, the BSA, and every company using the DMCA as a defense...

Laws in America follow the Golden Rule: (S)he who has the gold makes the rules.

Re:Reality check (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7736764)

Thanks for trying to push your own agenda into this thread from left field.

Re:Reality check (4, Insightful)

shylock0 (561559) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736706)

Actually, voting with your wallet really does work. If there is a market for something, it will exist. That's the beauty of capitalism. So, if there's a market for truly unlimited access, there will be ISPs who offer it -- possibly at a premium, possibly not. You get what you pay for.

Re:Reality check (1)

trentblase (717954) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736732)

The most we can do, other than switching companies, is get them to stop advertising the service as "unlimited", and possibly apply a "truth in advertising" type fine. That's not a very big win, IMO.

Re:Reality check (1)

JessLeah (625838) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736750)

Ah-- almost forgot. I should note here how INCREDIBLY easy it would^Wwill be to tar-and-feather anyone who complains about this shameless redefinition of the word "unlimited" as a "file-sharing hacker" and a "thief". Cue patronizing brow-beating about "capitalism" and being a good "consumer" here.

Remember what a certain modern leader said: "There ought to be limits to freedom." This is the same concept. It's currently in vogue.

Exposed: The Carlyle Group (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7736610)

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39 95.htm

Shocking documentary uncovers the subversion of Americas democracy.

I defy you to watch this 48 minute documentary and not be outraged about the depth of corruption and deceit within the highest ranks of our government and the first family.

Note: The first one minute forty seven seconds of this program is in broadcast in Dutch, The remainder is in English.

NTL cable in the UK (2, Insightful)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736611)

proposed a bandwidth cap on "abusers" of their system, but the subsequent outcry made them reconsider...

IIRC, the amount of data allocated would have been exceeded by downloading (for example) the Redhat CD's as ISO's...

Simon

great irc discussion (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7736612)

We are discussing this now on:

irc.perfectping.com

#finite

Oh Come ON (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7736616)

Some of the letters hint that high bandwidth usage may imply illicit activity.

Like it or not, 90% of those people who have high bandwidth usage are using it for illicit activities.

Call the Amazing Randy! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7736655)

Slashdotter proves that they have psychic powers and can read people's minds.

Have you fought your ISP over bandwidth limits? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7736618)

No. I have not.

An update to this story (5, Informative)

DirkDaring (91233) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736619)

Should include this link here on DSLReports:

http://www.dslreports.com/forum/remark,8737754~r oo t=comcast~mode=flat

"My experience with Comcast bandwidth suspension"

I AM TIRED OF SLASHDOT ADS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7736620)

So I disabled them with my trusted Mac Internet Explorer browser and now browse slashdot without a problem.

children, what do you do when someone shows you ads?

Ans: you shut them off.

Right.

speakeasy dialup (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7736623)

I was so pissed when speakeasy changed the unlimited dialup policy so unlimited = 150 hrs. If you wanted an extra 50 hours you could buy them for $20. The unlimited account only cost $15 a month.

No where was this 150 hr policy written. They claimed it was was considered exessive usage in the contract.

no problems with Comcast yet... (1)

The Lynxpro (657990) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736624)

...although I never pay my bill on time so what do I know? :)

Upstream (1)

Thrymm (662097) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736626)

I havent been targetted to get capped on downstream and I do download alot of items, but my upstream got the cap locked on at 15k/s where for a while it was 110k/s... Damn Bittorrent!

Hours is now a measurement of bandwidth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7736629)

Perhaps you mean hours worth of downloading, or uploading? I can be connected for 200 hours and mostly idle (ie checking email every few minutes) and not use much bandwidth. I can also connect for 20 minutes and fully use my connection.

More worried about unlimited upload speeds (1)

GangstaLean (102189) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736631)

You know how hard it is to sell Dish TV off my home server when Comcast only gives me 30KB/sec upstream?

Not that bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7736632)

I've never had any problems with my ISP. I download more games than I could ever play and more software than I could ever evaluate in a lifetime. I guess there is some satisfaction to the hunter-gatherer in me to add another cd to a stack that will never be used. I doubt the average p2p user, porno watcher, or even obsessive downloader will be that impacted if the free bandwidth lunch is over.

Matter of Definition (2, Insightful)

orangenormal (728999) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736634)

"Unlimited" is almost always defined by the ISP. If there is no explicit definition (read the fine print--there might be one), you may want to get it in writing.

Of course, anyone who is over their limits by an amount high enough for their ISP to notice is probably running some sort of public service off their machine (FTP, Web, etc). Many ISPs disallow this, so check your contract.

Unlimited frequently is not. (5, Funny)

glomph (2644) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736636)

One of the mobile phone providers advertises "UNLIMITED" minutes in one high-end package. In the submicrometer-sized print at the bottom of the ad it states that usage above 3000 minutes "is subject to review".

Reminds me of the old Dennis the Menace episode where Dennis sets up a lemonade stand with the sign "All you can drink, 5 cents". A thirsty customer gets a small paper cup, empties it promptly, and asks for more. Smart-ass Dennis replies: "That's all you can drink, for 5 cents!"

Unlimited means.... (2, Informative)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736637)

unlimited ( P ) Pronunciation Key (n-lm-td)
adj.
Having no restrictions or controls: an unlimited travel ticket.
Having or seeming to have no boundaries; infinite: an unlimited horizon.
Without qualification or exception; absolute: unlimited self-confidence.

Bandwidth caps... (2, Funny)

Jacer (574383) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736640)

I have a 200mb/day upload limit on my computer in my dorm via the school's policy. It makes it hard to run a decent warez server! Downloads are unlimited though. Not that it matters, sharing my connection with 30,000 other students kind of limits the speed. I have a nice yagi antenna on my Christmas list though. If I point it out of my window, I should be able to hit the access points, which aren't on the residence hall network. That's 200mb/s of untapped bandwidth. They won't notice if my room mate and I are using a mere 11mb/s!

That's why I switched (2, Informative)

GreenCrackBaby (203293) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736642)

Here in Alberta, Canada, I was initially using Shaw cable but received "the call" pretty quick. I changed to Telus DSL and it appears they either don't care/don't monitor usage. I easily use 100 GIGS up & down each month and have never received notice.

The funny thing is that they do advertise a cap, but just don't enforce it.

Ditch dialup (1)

antarctican (301636) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736643)

Simple, I stopped using dialup about 5 years ago when ADSL became available.

What's more interesting is the change from "unlimited high speed" to "always on" when advertising broadband. Could a similar semantic change be in the works for dialup.

Of course the solution is to have your regulatory body mandate a better rollout of broadband, ensuring it it available to 90+% of the population. Boy, what would that do to the backbones around the world? :)

Re:Ditch dialup (1)

antarctican (301636) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736738)

Whoa, everyone is talking broadband when replying to this post... I just assumed when I saw "200 hours/month" it meant dialup... who measures broadband in hours? Broadband is always connected.... hell, I always have an ssh window open to my home machine from work.

Alright, broadband limits... Telus here explicitly states it's limit for bandwidth usage, however I have never heard of it being enforced. Hell, I usually go over my "limit" every month - not that they tell you how much you've used.

Shaw (or Rogers) won't tell you the limit, won't tell you what's acceptable, and won't tell you how much you've used. And they do send those nasty letters saying you've exceeded your limit.

I think I'll stick with Telus for now. :)

Read the TOS (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7736646)

Most TOS say they have the right to revoke your account at any time, and probably mention something about bandwidth limits. I know when Ameritech.net (my ISP) was merging with SBC Yahoo!, the new TOS said something about bandwidth usage. Because of this, I didn't upgrade (they can't force me to upgrade either).

Yes, the fine print DOSE matter.

Fortress of Insanity [homeunix.org]

Well, you were on DC++'s mailing list.. (1)

clifgriffin (676199) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736647)

So the people there are probably engaging in illegal activity.

What's your point? ;)

bandwidth (2, Interesting)

eegad (588763) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736648)

Some of the letters hint that high bandwidth usage may imply illicit activity.

Haven't these guys ever heard of videoconferencing or streaming media? There are legitimate uses for high bandwidth.

Re:bandwidth (4, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736727)

sure they have and they don't want you using it. Sadly for us, we have no recourse if they terminate our service...

Just because they advertise "unlimited" service does not mean that they can refuse us service at any time for any reason.

They want to be as vague as possible (by not setting specific limits) so that they can continue to lower and lower the cap until the only people able to use the service are those that are into checking www.msn.com, www.comcast.net, and their email via Outlook Express to their Comcast mailbox.

It is much more profitable for them to drop the high bandwith users and keep these people that never use their connection.

Comcast states, "if you are using service more than the average". If you are living in a residential area in southern FL you are likely to have a lot of elderly residents checking the status of their pregnant daugther-in-law. If you are in a college town you are likely averaging with the best of the pr0n/warez kids.

YMMV,

My ISP.. (0)

Aliencow (653119) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736651)

Is Videotron, owned by Quebecor, which owns Archambault, the biggest record store around. They're pissed at P2P.
Ph33r.

EarthLink's policy (2, Informative)

Mr.Zuka (166632) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736654)

I know being a subscriber to EarthLink that they say it is unlimited time while you are in front of your computer. So trying to claim you were in front of your computer for 3 days straight wouldn't fly. (not even with enough caffeine. )

Comcast is starting to pull this crap. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7736657)

Comcast is starting to suspend and cancel the accounts of "bandwidth hogs" who use too much. The problem is, they don't tell you how much is how much, and THEY'RE the ones raising their throughput caps. So they're basically saying "here, we're upgrading you from 1.5k downstream to 3k downstream, but stop hogging all of our bandwidth!"

It makes no sense. They can do it, though, because their terms of service has a generic clause about them being able to shitcan your account if you do anything that "degrades the network." Last time I checked, downloading ANYTHING subtracts from the overall amount of bandwidth, and "degrades" the network.

So, basically, they want to lure you in with the promise of unlimited bandwidth, but they aren't going to let you use your "always on" connection to its fullest. A win for the Comcast monopoly and their shareholders, a loss for the consumer.

Cox.net has limits, but not enforced so far... (2, Interesting)

c4Ff3In3 4ddiC+ (661808) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736659)

See Cox.com's Limitations of Service [cox.com] .

Personally, I regularly consume quite a bit more bandwidth than I am "supposed" to. However, I've yet to hear from Cox regarding my excessive use.

Threaten back (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7736661)

If they do this, why not return the threat. Something like that if they keep sending you letters instead of e-mails, you will sue them for the risk of indirectly transmitted disease, structural damage to the house from the weight of the letter, paper cuts, and damaging the environment by cutting down trees and making paper out of them.

Comcast (5, Interesting)

FractusMan (711004) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736664)

Comcast has a limit. It is unspecified. Right now, there is a movement within the ISP to send letters to users who are using 'excessive bandwidth'. And I do agree with them, almost. Actually, not at all.

See, the whole "it's always on" thing doesn't apply. It's NOT unlimitted. We don't know what the limit is. We aren't told. We aren't allowed to know. Customers are not allowed to know what this 'limit' is unless they go over it. Do you know why? Let me tell you why.

Because this limit only applies to those who are in an area where there are a lot of people. If you are on a headend with very few people, you can download to your heart's content, because it just won't affect that many customers. If you try to do the same amount of activity on a node that already has too many users - UH OH! You're being excessive!

So, by not naming a limit, they can impose one as they see fit - not by your actual usage, but by how you work as a unit within your geographic area.

Working for Comcast (though not for much longer) gave me some interesting insights into ISP mentality.

Re:Comcast (0, Flamebait)

Syberghost (10557) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736742)

Whine, whine, bitch, bitch, cry, cry.

Get a T1 and try being an ISP yourself. You'll understand why they can't make any money if everybody is pulling a full T1 worth of bandwidth for a fraction of a T1 price very quickly.

Oh, and yes, I have.

No threats in Brazil, but we're getting limits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7736666)

Several DSL and other boradband businesses changed their contracts to include limits on the amount of download. Looks like nobody expected people to actually use all that bandwidth (how smart).
There are even some companies who always had the limitation on their default contract, but never enforced... Let's see how long it'll take until they change their minds.

But anyway... This means there'll be no option for those who use a lot of bandwidth, and hopefully, there will be new ISPs offering unlimited access in the future (for a higher price of course).

Comcast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7736670)

I've had my comcast internet connection shutdown becuase of the number of code red attacks on my bsd firewall. At one point I was getting 3500 attacks a minute.

But I also serve a small website on the same box and Comcast has also shutdown my internet connection after I upload more than 1.5 gigs in a few days.

optimum online... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7736671)

As far as I am concerned, I have no problems with Optimum online when it comes to bandwidth limit. My connection is up 24/7/365. I download linux distribution iso's for myself and my friends who are not fortunate enough to have a broadband connection.

Can you blame them? (3, Insightful)

CaramelCod (588674) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736675)

All it takes is a few greedy P2P users to hose the business model for home broadband. The reason you pay a lot less at home than a business user for the same circuit is expected usage rates. You can argue that this is false advertising "UNLIMITED" but unlimited really means that you are not cut off after X MB download in 30 days. (or charged at $.Y per MB over X)

Where is all this badnwidth going? (1, Flamebait)

sirket (60694) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736676)

I don't want to start a war here but I would love to know how people are running into bandwidth limitations _without_ doing file sharing?

I've had 768 SDSL for three years, and before that I had ISDN. I host a number of sites, download .iso's and documentation, handle email for a number of people and do a variety of other things with my connection.

Despite this, I have never come close to maxing out my line for anything more than a few minutes. Traffic usage for me, according to MRTG, amounts to an average of about 100kb/sec during daytime hours and less at night.

What I am curious aout is what are these people doing that is getting them noticed by their ISP's?

Having said all this, if a company is going to offer unlimited service, they sure as hell better be prepared to deliver it.

-sirket

Re:Where is all this badnwidth going? (1)

sirket (60694) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736756)

Ok I have managed to peg the line for a few hours when downloading .iso's. That doesn't come close to the kind of insane bandwidth some people are using however.

-sirket

Kicked of of Shaw Cable in Victoria, BC (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7736688)

My father was booted off Shaw cable for 1 month as punishment for using too much bandwidth. I'm not exactly sure, but from some techy at Telus whom he switched too, aparently he had his internal network mis-configured, such that all his internal bandwidth went to Shaw and back before reaching the destination comptuer inside his house.

Regardless, we both thought he had unlimited access, but they warned him once, then booted him. No illegal activity here, just the unwritten policies at Shaw (which lost them a customer).

empty threats? (1)

KReilly (660988) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736696)

The problem is that most service providors limit what you can use the service for without breaching their terms of service. In my neck of the woods, we are not supposed to be running any servers or they can take us off. And when you use that amount of band, without a server, you probably are doing something illegal. IE mass downloading of music/video files. Or your computer is infected with a virus that sets yourself up as a spammer, irc server, or game server.

Yes, there are legitimate uses of using that band, but the vast majority of people are simply doing something that breaches their terms of service, or they are unaware of some kind of computer virus.

It seems to me that the companys are just fishing for guilty persons to stop what they are doing, and do not mean to use any force since the letters are sent without consequences listed. But in this day and age of RIAA suining 12 year olds, the majority of people will be spooked into stopping.

My advice is, ignore the letter. In the unlikely event that they actually do cut your service, raise hell, you may even get a couple months free!

Just a little plug... (4, Informative)

Dimwit (36756) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736697)

Speakeasy [speakeasy.net] does nice things like have a truly "unlimited" policy. For around US$60 a month, I get a 640/128k pipe, and two static IPs. That's it.

The really cool unlimited part is this:

* I can use as much of that bandwidth as I want.
* There are no content restrictions.

And this is the big one...

* I CAN RUN SERVERS. Yes, I realize that a lot of broadband providers don't stop you at their routers or anything, but most of them have it in their AUP that you can't run your own servers. Speakeasy just asks that you don't make money.

Oh, and I get free nationwide dialup. It's not bad.

Oh, and one other cool thing: They even explicitly say that you can set up a WAP and share your access with anyone you want, so long as you don't charge money for it.

Let the market work it out (1)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736698)

This is why allowing ISPs to have access to cable infrastructures and central offices is so damn important. If the RBOCs or LECs can muscle competition out, we'll get to the day when bandwidth is billed by the Megabyte. If competitive ISPs are allowed access to broadband infrastructures - then they can come along and offer true unlimited access and the market will react. The problem is, a little ISP used to be able to service a large population with a T1 and a modem bank. Now, with broadband, becoming an ISP means you better have good peering and a couple OC3s, just to start. As a result, competition is squeezed out, Covad and Comcast will own the world, and then you are screwed unless you want to go T1 to your house.

Another Speakeasy Customer (1, Funny)

Limburgher (523006) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736700)

I can relate to the guy above. I'm paying for 608/128, minding my own business, and then they tell me that in March, I'm getting pushed to 1.5/358, just like that, no choice in the matter, AND at NO CHARGE!

I am OUTRAGED! This, and they can't even be bothered to limit which ports I can use or tell me I can't run servers. . .assholes. . .:))

Re:Another Speakeasy Customer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7736726)

dito.....

another outraged Speakeasy customer! ;)

Throttling in Belgium (1)

spectrokid (660550) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736710)

This is common in Western Europe. P2P doesn't hit the ISP's Squid and costs a bundle when it's transatlantic. In Belgium, Telenet limits you to ISDN-like speeds once you used your monthly quotum, and Skynet is simply throttling all P2P traffic on their main Cisco routers.

Not on download, but upload (2, Interesting)

shawnmchorse (442605) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736711)

Only time I've ever been involved with something like this was when I needed to upload a gigabyte of data to my web server from home, over RoadRunner. That obviously took a long time with the upload bandwidth restrictions and such, but it got done.

Less that 24 hours later I get a phone call from the RoadRunner police, warning me about excessive usage of upstream bandwidth and obviously implying that I'm running some sort of server out of my house and had better stop. I told him why I was uploading data but that fell on deaf ears, and I was basically told that the only reason they were going to let it go this time was because I was paying for an additional IP address anyway. I got the distinct feeling from this rude guy that they wouldn't care if I'd downloaded a hundred gigabytes of data, but that if I used a hair more of their upstream bandwidth than they thought I should be they'd cancel service in a heartbeat.

Cable Company (1, Interesting)

SamiousHaze (212418) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736712)

I remember there was a company (that shall remain nameless) in NE Ohio awhile back that had promised uncapped speeds (which seems to be the 'unlimited' debate here) -- however there was such a boom in business that their infrastructure couldn't support it, so they capped the bandwidth to 20k upload and (i think) +-100k download. There was a huge uproar about it but it seemed silly to me for people to bitch about the temporary cap whilst that company was upgrading their infrastructure.

Comcast has started a capping methodology... (-1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7736717)

...that mirrors the rolling blackouts used to meter electricity in Baghdad. They simply use their abysmal service levels as form of a cap.

Direcway FAP (5, Informative)

donkeyoverlord (688535) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736722)

It's advertised and part of the sign up agrement but man does it suck. Your basicly given a "bucket" filled with 165 MB of data that you can do what ever you want with for 8 hours. If you use it all up your screwed down to dialup speed while the "bucket" refills over the next 8 hours.

Verizon DSL (0)

NetMagi (547135) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736734)

I've had my Verizon DSL now for about 2 months 1.5down 128k up and I've been very pleased. . no complaints from them regarding my use.

I'm a HEAVY gamer and I dl quite a lot.

has anyone who's had them longer comment?

no problems (1)

SevenTowers (525361) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736739)

Videotron here in Quebec, I have 4mbit/640kbits cable (get those speeds all the time). I often download over 130GB a month and haven't had any problems yet. The price is quite decent too 80$ canadian all taxes included (about $55 US). This is the most expensive residential service they offer. They have other types of accounts suche as a 40$ a month 15Gig download 10 gig upload @3.5Mbit/160kbits.

Find a better ISP (1)

TWX (665546) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736740)

I use a local ISP called FastQ Communications. They do DSL and Dialup. Their attitude is, "You're paying for the bandwidth, use it." Of course, the fact that they have static IPs available cheap and only block Windows NetBIOS and Sun RPC (for security), allow registering of DNS servers, running of services like FTP, HTTP, SSH, SMTP, POP3, and delegate reverse resolves if you want to go on top of it makes them rock. Being inexpensive too is a nice perk...

Choosing an ISP (2, Insightful)

ChefInnocent (667809) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736741)

I chose my ISP specifically because I knew they don't care. Velocitus (formerly RMCI) doesn't do bandwidth monitoring or any other blatant tracking. They are the laziest ISP in my area. Frequently, I peek out at speeds faster than I'm paying for.

I think the trick to finding an ISP is to find the most apathetic company out there. The only problem with this is that I'm down about 4 days a year. I find it a reasonable trade off, and it is increadibly better than AOL, MSN, or Qwest.

This is not new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7736743)

Shaw's (in Canada) been doing this for years. At first they never stated bandwidth limits, but if you uploaded too much they fired off an email saying to tone it down. Then after a while they started doing it with downloading. If I remember correctly I think their "acceptable" download limit for a month is something around 2 gigs (which is obviously ridiculous).

First they email you, then they demand you phone them, and finally if you don't comply they'll shut your service off for a week. After that if you repeat the "offense" they'll cancel your subscription.

I wish they would have done this at dorms (2, Interesting)

Stray7Xi (698337) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736744)

Back when I was in dorms, they decided that the traffic was getting to high in the "Computer-Interest Dorm" building.. so they capped the whole building. As anyone can imagine, this didn't stop the dozen people from doing unlimited bandwidth sharing but just made it so everyone else in the dorms couldn't open web pages.

After talking to the sys admin, he said they weren't willing to send out warning letters to the worst offenders.. and he even said there was plenty of bandwidth for everyone after the cap if people would just be responsible.

Of course now that I'm out of the dorms and paying for my bandwidth, I expect to be able to use every last bit (pun intended) of it.

It's just a tragedy of the commons.

Unlimited = " top 1%" (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7736748)

I've had a several lengthy phone conversations with people from Comcast regarding my account being disabled for downloading a lot of data. Apparently they like to send letters to the top 1% of people who download the most, and then cut them off the next month. Their justification is that it interferes with other people's use of the resources. But frankly, if their network infrastructure were capable of supporting the speeds that they advertise for the number of people they supply then it wouldn't be a problem.

Bottom line, if you call them on their bluff of unlimited fast internet access, then they cut you off.

They did, however, claim that content wasn't being monitored, though I have no way of verifying this.

Mfire - Unlimited = 150 hours ? (1)

Exaurdonn (733296) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736752)

Mfire advertises unlimited access, and then their user agreement states you agree to connect no more than 150 hours?!? At least they do specify in their agreement what they provide. P.S. Yes, they do actually cut off your access after 150 hours until the following month....

Its a very common trend (2, Informative)

mnmn (145599) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736765)

I went from Sympatico to Rogers to Sympatico and now looking elsewhere here in Toronto. About 4 years ago, they were offering the same speed at the same cost with no limits. Naturally bandwidth costs fall over time but theyve frozen between the two monopolists in Ontario.

Whats funny they quitely implemented bandwidth limits that are pretty rediculous, and Sympatico has even blocked port 25. In another incident when I was trying to explain network problems to a customerservice rep at Sympatico, I kept switching between win98 and linux to exhaust all their over-the-phone tests so they know the problem is on their side. Well, when he heard "Linux" he went bonkers and told me there was no way he is helping me with any further issues and I shouldnt waste his time.

So now we're paying an average of $65 per month for our usage, which does not support Linux, let alone the openvmx, solaris and openbsd that I have at home.

No problems here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7736774)

Maybe I'm weird, but I haven't fought with my ISP about anything, let alone bandwidth/traffic issues. When I paid for my internet account, I knew exactly what I was getting and I was willing to pay how much they were charging. I don't care if I only get X gigabytes of transfer a month, as long as they tell me up front, let me check out how much I've transferred at any time, and let me get more when I need more at a reasonable price. Isn't too much to ask of an ISP, is it?

Me (0)

lh0628 (517993) | more than 10 years ago | (#7736782)

I use shaw cable in Canada, and they advertise 'unlimited usage'. And I download alot of stuff from the net, so twice I've been called by the customer service (service, yeah right). Guy: sir, did you know you network usage is above normal? Me: what is above normal? Guy: well your package do have a quota of 50G per month. Me: Don't I have unlimited usage as you advertised? Guy: No sir, by that we meant you are connected all the time and can use it whenever you want to. Me: oooh... well I'm switching services unless you stop harrasing me. Never got called again.
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