ABC is reporting this, too,CE. It seems to pertain to people who use tremendous amounts of bandwidth, such as "heavy gamers and those who upload lots of video."
[url=http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=5689480]Comcast, Frontier and Time Warner Cable Are Moving Toward Imposing Internet Usage Caps
In an online announcement, the service provider said that although it already contacts residential customers who use excessive amounts of bandwidth, it had never provided a specific limit. Now, Comcast said it will amend its user agreement to say that users will be allowed 250 gigabytes of monthly usage.
Comcast's limit is substantially higher that those established by other service providers, Malik acknowledges. But he maintains that the company's decision amounts to metered billing and, if that's the case, it should provide a tool so that consumers can monitor their own usage.
However, I'm wondering if these service providers aren't getting some ideas from the oil industry.
"[With] electricity companies -- and water companies -- you have the choice to monitor the electricity you are using," said Malik, drawing comparisons between Comcast and regulated public utilities that maintain the infrastructure for public services.
"If they are going to behave like a utility, shouldn't they be treated like one?" he added.
He also argued that even though a 250 GB bandwidth cap is generous in today's terms, it may not be sufficient in the future, especially as bandwidth-needy, high-definition video becomes more common.
In its announcement, Comcast said its average residential customer uses approximately 2 to 3 GB. To put its monthly limit of 250 GB in perspective, the company said that to consume that much bandwidth a customer would have to send 50 million e-mails, 62,500 songs, download 125 standard-definition movies or upload 25,000 hi-resolution digital photos.