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jrodefeld
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎08-13-2011

The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.

Hello,

 

I have been a customer of Comcast Internet for several years now.  I just recently got a call from Comcast after my internet was shut off.  The reason given was that my family had exceeded the data cap and they were issuing a warning.  They informed me that if I crossed the limit again, my internet would be shut off and I would be unable to use Comcast services for a whole year.  Now, I might have not been paying attention but I was unaware of the data cap when i signed up several years ago, and I have never known about any restriction on services.  No one has contacted me before now.  I was informed of the Usage Meter on this website, so I took a look.

 

This is what my family of five have been using in the last three months:

 

In May, 2011 the total data used was:  1363gb

In June, 2011 the total data used was:  758gb

In July, 2011 the total data used was:  1271gb

 

 

Okay?  Now, it must be known that I do NOT download illegal, copywrite material or torrents.  In my house there are five people with five computers, several smartphones, a Playstation 3 and AppleTV all connected to the internet through a wireless router.  Several of us are tech minded people who need to be able to send and receive large amounts of data through our network and publish material on the internet.

 

Not only that, but I have (legally) downloaded films through places like iTunes and downloaded games and software in the same manner.  I create digital content (web pages, animation, other content) and publish it on the internet.  Not only that, but I send this content to friends and colleagues through web hosting sites like Netload.  I download games and watch streaming Netflix through my Playstation 3.

 

 

I think it is absolutely beyond belief that Comcast can offer the speeds that they do, with the evolving demands of the internet and modern digital demands that people have, and think that 250gb is sufficient for even the moderately tech savvy user.  This data cap is absolutely horrible and is an insult to my family and an abomination given how much money we have given to Comcast over the last several years for their service, amounting in the thousands of dollars.  Not to mention that we signed up with the idea of getting an "always on", unlimited service.  

 

Is Comcast okay with losing me and many others like me as customers, losing huge amounts of potential revenues for the cause of defending some arbitrary data caps that are horribly outdated for the demands of the 2011 internet user?

 

The argument that was given to me makes very little sense.  On the one hand, it is said that a user going over that threshold hurts the internet experience for other users in your area, and on the other hand Comcast claims that the "average" user uses only 2-4gb per month.  If that is the case, then multiple users who average at 250gb a month would slow down the internet far more than one individual who uses, say, 500gb in a month.  If such a small number of users exceed the cap, then Comcast's network should easily be able to allow that without it affecting other users.  If, on the other hand, many users are exceeding the cap, it means that the limit is far too small and Comcast should upgrade their infrastructure if they cannot keep up with user demands.  Basically, Comcast should have no cap but strive to upgrade their network to allow users to have the freedom to use the internet how they see fit.  

 

The arguments put forth simply don't make any sense.  And the argument about the "average" user using only 2-4gb is flawed.  Number one, you are scaring off anyone who might use more than the 250gb cap, and you are counting many people who pay for internet service and rarely use it.  You are vastly underestimating the needs of the average family of regular internet users.

 

Think about this.  The video I download from legal services is Bluray quality video with a high bitrate.  This is 2011.  This can be as much as 10gb PER HOUR.  That means, if I only downloaded 1080p movies, I could only get about 25 hours of video in a month.  Not a lot.  That is maybe 12 movies.  But of course that is not all that is used.

 

I might download a Playstation game over the Playstation Network.  That might be 6-10gb.  I sometimes upload original footage I create at tens of gigabytes, preserving the quality.  Someone might download Apple Lossless albums through iTunes at multiple gigabytes for only a handful of albums.  Then there are streaming Netflix movies, always at HD quality.  There are services like OnLive, streaming gaming.  There is online gaming of all sorts. 

 

What you fail to understand is that nearly ALL media is delivered through the internet today, this is not about illegal downloads.  Bluray is the standard quality for movies.  HD video is tens of gigabytes.  People are not downloading 128kb MP3s anymore, they are downloading lossless audio.

 

All of this doesn't event touch on creative people like myself who create original material and publish it on the internet, using tens of gigabyes per completed project.  You are destroying my ability to use my own technology and express myself creatively.  

 

250 IS NOT enough for people these days.  Given my current level of usage (and the five people living in my house), I would need to cut back to ONE FIFTH of my current usage to come under that data cap.  That is outrageous and it would ruin me.  The most amazing thing is that you don't even offer a residential service without a data cap or a higher cap for tech savvy users.

 

Do you really think you can offer someone speeds of 105mb per second for $200 a month and expect them not to exceed 250gb downloaded a month?  At that speed you could reach that limit in one day.

 

 

Data caps (especially ones this small) are an archaic byproduct of an older time where internet usage was far different.  Terabyte hard drives are dirt cheap.  My own personal computer has FIVE TERABYTES of space on a RAID array.  There are four other computers in my house besides this own.  And you expect me not to move more that 250gb of information a month?  Are you kidding me? 

 

If Comcast cannot offer me a plan with a larger cap (or no cap), even at higher cost, I will probably be forced to cancel my service.  This means that Comcast will lose thousands of dollars from me over the next few years, and this disgruntled customer will spread the word about how I was threatened with being kicked off their service simply for lawfully using my technology in a manner necessary for me to express myself creatively and provide my family with opportunities for enriching online content delivery and education.

 

Is it really worth it to lose me as a customer forever because my family uses more than 250gb a month?  Can you provide some kind of evidence that my online usage has negatively affected any other Comcast subscriber in my area?  Because if it hasn't, this is an atrocious abuse of power by Comcast to control the internet usage of its customers.

 

The internet usage behavior of my family (including some absolutely vital functions) use about five times as much as the data cap allows.  Kicking me off the network would destroy me.  

 

Can someone comment?  Would any Comcast representative be able to offer me a higher cap or no cap?  I would even be willing to spend more for the privaledge.  But my feelings are that if users such as myself are really affecting others in a significant way, that is Comcast's fault for not improving their network and evolving to meet the needs of internet users in 2011.

Cable Expert
i-am-nerdburg
Posts: 11,133
Registered: ‎06-27-2009

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.

If you are using your connection for business use, then you should get a business class account which does not have a cap. You probably can't upgrade your account now that Comcast Security is involved tho.

 

250GB is a pretty generous cap relative to other ISPs, but I agree it is time to up the cap, particularly for the Extreme tiers. If it is available to you, you might consider FiOS or other fiber provider (and some DSL providers)-- they typically don't have a data cap.

 

Check your private messages.

New Visitor
tgiannetti76
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎08-13-2011

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.

Depending on where you live other services have a similar cap (AT&T just rolled theirs out a few months ago).  Switch over to the business service.  They create an entirely new account so your existing issues won't follow you there like the other poster indicated.  If you negotiate a bit you can get a higher speed connection with a lower cost.  Also, they prioritize business traffic over residential so the practical transfer rates are actually about 2x higher than advertised.  And no cap.  Chill out and transfer the service, you'll love it.

New Visitor
IMAGE202
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎08-13-2011

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.

[ Edited ]

The reason Comcast is doing this is to try to fight back against services like Netflix and Hulu who offer streaming video services. Comcast sees these services as a threat as more and more users are cancling their cable and using devices like the Roku box. 

 

I too recently received a call from Comcast. I have been a customer for over 10 years and have never thought about switching or going without internet service. However, I am now looking into other options. 

 

COMCAST WILL LOOSE MY BUSINESS as I refuse to monitor my usage. 

 

Something needs to be done about this. The customers need to fight back. 

New Visitor
BloodyRogues
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎08-13-2011

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.

I Am in complete agreement, i merely played a game today for a few hours and already it says i am at 10%, I just setup my account FIVE HOURS AGO! I havnt downloaded a thing. This is not only unfair but hey guess what, YOU NEVER TOLD ME ABOUT IT. Thats illegal isnt it?

Silver Problem Solver
rog286713
Posts: 13,999
Registered: ‎06-17-2008

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.

you know what i don't understand, I have an xbox 360 ps 3 2 iphones, netflix download all the time, games, songs, data, I have never come close to the 250gb cap.  Are you guys sure you don't have a wireless router that your neighbors are borrowing the signal from.  ???

Security Expert
LoPhatPhuud
Posts: 2,804
Registered: ‎11-01-2005

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.

[ Edited ]

BloodyRogues wrote:

I Am in complete agreement, i merely played a game today for a few hours and already it says i am at 10%, I just setup my account FIVE HOURS AGO! I havnt downloaded a thing. This is not only unfair but hey guess what, YOU NEVER TOLD ME ABOUT IT. Thats illegal isnt it?


When you created your account you agreed to the Acceptable Use Policies. Whether you chose to read them was up to you.

 

See here: http://www.comcast.com/Corporate/Customers/Policies/HighSpeedInternetAUP.html

 

Look under: III. Network Management and Limitations on Data Consumption



"Once I talked to the inmates of an insane asylum in Hartford. I have talked to idiots a thousand times, but only once to the insane..."
Mark Twain

Microsoft MVP, Consumer Security, 2005-2014
Bronze Star Contributor
kraze1994
Posts: 209
Registered: ‎05-25-2011

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.

WOW!

 

In July, 2011 the total data used was:  1271gb

In May, 2011 the total data used was:  1363gb

In June, 2011 the total data used was:  758gb

 

I am not going to comment if that is legit or not but I do agree with you. If Comcast is not going to cut you off this time throttle back your usage to at least 700GB. Comcast will only mess with the heavy hitters in a certain area. Basically it means that out of all of the people in your area you are using some of the most BW. 

 

I use a decent amount of usage also and 5 people in my house along with tech minded people who use the internet for the same purposes as you. The cap is unfair.

Web Page Expert
BethKatz
Posts: 6,144
Registered: ‎11-14-2006

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.

I understand your situation and how the 250 GB cap is unreasonable given current uses of the internet. But those are really high numbers even for what you are doing.

 

Are you absolutely sure that your network connection is being used only by people in your house? Your network is locked down to only your devices?

 

You should probably contact Comcast about a business account.

New Visitor
IMAGE202
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎08-13-2011

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.

I am sure that our network is secure. We use services like Netflix and Hulu for our TV service. I play movies and stream music while working and use services like dropbox and backblaze to backup and sync our computers. There is a constant flow of data moving in and out of our house. The internet is a utility I can accept the need to meter usage with the increased demand on the internet. However, not having the ability to pay for over use and being threatened to be cut off is down right wrong. I also do not think that all account packages should have the same data cap. We have extreme 105 our monthly bill is almost $150 for internet only - this should buy a lot more than the same 250GB that the entry level accout does.

 

I have been a customer for almost 10 years and have not suddenly changed my internet habbits. This past week was the first time I had heard about this cab after being shut down and being required to chat with some security department representative.

Web Page Expert
BethKatz
Posts: 6,144
Registered: ‎11-14-2006

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.

Seriously check out the business services. You may even save money. Maybe not.

 

Visitor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎09-18-2007

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.

I agree, i myself pretty much live on the internet. I watch movies and tv shows on netflix and hulu as well as download and play a bunch of games on my ps3,360 and pc.

 

Funny thing is too that comcast owns 30% of hulu since they now own NBC, so you would think they would ease up on the cap a nice bit. 

 

This cap would have been pushing it 5 years ago, now it is outragous. Even raising it to 500gb would be a nice raise for a few years. 250 is just way too low.

 

However, even with my high use of steam and movie streaming (which i pretty much know for a fact ive gone over the cap a few times) i have yet to get a call. That i know about anyway, weve gone a few months without an actual housephone because or issues with cordless interfering with out router and couldnt find a resonably priced corded one. Which also brings me to another of my biggest gripes with comcast, how they have their phone modem built INTO the internet one. That pretty much rules out cordless phones as a posibily since it would have to be sitting right next to the router. (which is a big nono)

 

But i really hope the goverments puts a foot down to what comcast has been doing the last few years, they buy out all thse isps making themselves the ONLY high speed provider in many areas, (which last time i checked was called a monoply and is illegal) if many of us get kicked from comcast service we are completely screwed because of this because we have no alternative unless we go back to the stone ages and get dialup, or satalite which can at times be just as bad as dialup.

Security Expert
LoPhatPhuud
Posts: 2,804
Registered: ‎11-01-2005

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.


sbaker1989 wrote:

However, even with my high use of steam and movie streaming (which i pretty much know for a fact ive gone over the cap a few times) i have yet to get a call. That i know about anyway, weve gone a few months without an actual housephone because or issues with cordless interfering with out router and couldnt find a resonably priced corded one. Which also brings me to another of my biggest gripes with comcast, how they have their phone modem built INTO the internet one. That pretty much rules out cordless phones as a posibily since it would have to be sitting right next to the router. (which is a big nono)

 


Part of what you said is true (about having a wireless phone next to a router) but not for all wireless phones. Also, you can plug a 10' phone cable into the jack on the eMTA modem and move your phone away.

 

Best is to buy a DECT 6 wireless phone. It uses 1.9ghz and will not interfere, or be interfered by, routers which use 2.4ghz and/or 5.8 ghz.

 

I have Comcast digital voice and a DECT 6 wireless phone and have no problems.



"Once I talked to the inmates of an insane asylum in Hartford. I have talked to idiots a thousand times, but only once to the insane..."
Mark Twain

Microsoft MVP, Consumer Security, 2005-2014
New Visitor
ErvdaPerv
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎09-01-2011

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.

Nope just got att Uverse the other day they also put a 250GB cap on all there internet plans. I think it has to do with the tv provider competition against netflix. Netflix has been taking comcast and att on demand subscribers by giving consumers a cheap alternative to watching movies online unlimitedly. So in order to slow down the netflix bus multimedia providers are putting caps on there data usage.

New Visitor
Rob747
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎09-05-2011

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.

i totally agree, 250 GB needs to GO!!!

i tried to check other internet providers like verizon FIOS but  its not available in my area, so im stuck with comcast.

 

 

 

New Visitor
up_in_the_rocki
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎09-25-2011

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.

1363 gigabytes of bandwidth in one month?

 

That's a lot, and this kind of traffic could definitely be interfering with your neighbors internet access.

 

The way cable internet works is that you and your neighbors are on a local Ethernet network connected to a head end which is connected to the fiber backbone of the internet.

 

Ethernet works on the principle of collision detection, i.e., only one modem can put a message through at a time on a given RF frequency.  There may be a few hundred modems on your local network if you live in an urban area.

 

With the kind of bandwidth you use you may be keeping other customers from talking on this local Ethernet network in a fair way.  This is like a large group of people with one guy talking and not giving anyone else a chance to speak.

 

I am not a big fan of Corporate America, but there are actually some things that Comcast must do in order to be fair to all its customers. It may be true that your usage is not interfering with your neighbors at the moment but, really, what is Comcast supposed to do with more people using more bandwidth as time goes on?  They need to have a policy like this, I think.

 

DSL has a different architecture; your connection to the internet backbone is private.

 

 

 

 

New Visitor
DanTMan
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎10-23-2011

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.

I just did pictures and videos from my brother's wedding.  I use an online backup service (plus I keep extra copies locally).  I believe that I got about 10 Gigs just in one day.  I also had other pictures and videos that I forgot to mark for backup, so that means I actually needed to backup like 20 Gigs.  I download quite a bit of video from iTunes and when I buy shows I back them up using online backups (movies are not yet available for redownload, and tv shows have just recently become available.).

 

It's Oct 23rd and I only have 19 gigs available until the beginning of November.  I watch a lot of youtube videos as well.  I'm pretty sure I'll go over the 250 Gb limit this month.  I'll be very unhappy if I am in trouble for that.

 

Sure, the business service is great, but last time I checked they REQUIRE a time commitment.  What if I decide to move?  I don't want to be stuck with a contract.

 

I think they should at least offer an option for a 500 Gb limit for their users (without the commitment).

Email Expert
Posts: 18,241
Registered: ‎04-27-2004

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.

As mentioned in this thread, some customers regularly exceed the cap without getting any notice from Comcast. In addition to going over the cap, you also have to be one of the heaviest users.

New Visitor
programmer
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎10-25-2011

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.


i-am-nerdburg wrote:

If you are using your connection for business use, then you should get a business class account which does not have a cap. You probably can't upgrade your account now that Comcast Security is involved tho.

 

250GB is a pretty generous cap relative to other ISPs, but I agree it is time to up the cap, particularly for the Extreme tiers.



I don't think it is generous. I think that it has the potential to stunt the growth of the internet. As time goes on we will need more and more bandwidth - so going from unlimited usage to caps is detrimental to the future evolution of the technology that powers the internet.

 

New Visitor
programmer
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎10-25-2011

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.


rog286713 wrote:

you know what i don't understand, I have an xbox 360 ps 3 2 iphones, netflix download all the time, games, songs, data, I have never come close to the 250gb cap.  Are you guys sure you don't have a wireless router that your neighbors are borrowing the signal from.  ???


I don't even know where to begin here.
First of course you can go over 250GB a month. Seriously just do the math. Even if we say the average speed is 700kb/s
1 month = 2,629,743.83 seconds
2,629,743.83 * 700 = 184,082,0681 kb

1,840,820,681 kilobytes = 1,755.5434 gigabytes



So you already have a VERY REAL cap at 1,755 GB a month if you connection averages 700kb/s.
To be honest I do much more then 250 GB without even trying, and I don't think people should be punished for actually using the product that they paid for.
What is going on here is that comcast is saving money by not investing into their infrastructure and selling more plans then it can currently sustain so they initiate download caps so that they can sell more product they actually have. It allows them to increase profits with very little investment, this is great for stockholders but bad for customers.

Email Expert
Posts: 18,241
Registered: ‎04-27-2004

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.


programmer wrote:

i-am-nerdburg wrote:

If you are using your connection for business use, then you should get a business class account which does not have a cap. You probably can't upgrade your account now that Comcast Security is involved tho.

 

250GB is a pretty generous cap relative to other ISPs, but I agree it is time to up the cap, particularly for the Extreme tiers.



I don't think it is generous. I think that it has the potential to stunt the growth of the internet. As time goes on we will need more and more bandwidth - so going from unlimited usage to caps is detrimental to the future evolution of the technology that powers the internet.

 



I didn't say it was generous, I said it was generous IN COMPARISON to other services. They have caps in the 10's of GB, while Comcast's cap is in the 100's of GB. Obviously no cap would be ideal, but isn't 250 much better than 10?

Contributor
tommycoho
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎10-27-2011

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.

The 250 fits into todays average internet streaming enviroment  by study.  Comcast is trying to not slow down your nieghbors with your overusage. 

 

I was about to freak as well when I read there 250 back  a few months ago. We too have 4 PC;s Ps3, Xbox and we stream an average of 9 movies a week. Many in full HD on VUDU.... WE never even come close to using the cap, We average about 150gb a month. I am very happy with my service. Sounds like you need a business account. 

 

Comcast is going to be fair and they are being fair based on study of current homes usage.  Plus they more then quaddurple that for the cap,.  Be real here, I feel for ya, but your getting a fair amount of cap. You just are using more then 99 percent of users on Comcast,. They are not going to change this until all streaming is Bluray quality and I am sure if the average use goes up. So will the cap.

 

http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/Comcast-250GB-Cap-Goes-Live-October-1-97294

 

 

New Visitor
250gbcaptoolow
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎11-22-2011

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.

As i have posted in another thread, here's my conclusion to comcast's service strategy.

So, comcast advertise their internet "speed" with speeds up to a 105 Mbit download connection. However, a 250 GB up+down all together limit gives you about... (checks wolfram alpha) http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=250GB%2F105+mbit%2Fs only under 6 hours of actual usage per month. There are 730 hours in a month, you get to only use your connection for 0.8219% of the month you pay for.
But that's for the 105mbit, how about other speeds? 20mbit, http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=250GB%2F20+mbit%2Fs+ you get about 1 day 4 hours of usage PER MONTH which comes to only 3.8% of the month. Remember, an average month has 30 days... so the rest of the 28 days should be unused connection time. Comcast is cheating residential consumers of total available usage time for the internet service.
The higher the speed, the less you can use your connection per month, found by comparing their fastest speed of 105mbit having only 0.8% of the month compared to 20mbit with 3.8% of the month to reach the 250GB limit. This is a ridiculously tiny amount of consumer usage time for the total service duration of the data cap. ESPECIALLY Since most Residential customers share their service with the family/roommates.

New Visitor
Fentontech
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎11-30-2011

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.

This is completely halarious...... I run servers that connect over 40 offices, not to mention the 20+ users at the corporate office, on 2 bound t1's.....  thats 3MB up and down......  Average Bandwidth monthly is 150 - 200 GB...... you do the math....  and you cant supply 5 home users on 250GB??

Email Expert
Posts: 18,241
Registered: ‎04-27-2004

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.


250gbcaptoolow wrote:

As i have posted in another thread, here's my conclusion to comcast's service strategy.

So, comcast advertise their internet "speed" with speeds up to a 105 Mbit download connection. However, a 250 GB up+down all together limit gives you about... (checks wolfram alpha) http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=250GB%2F105+mbit%2Fs only under 6 hours of actual usage per month. There are 730 hours in a month, you get to only use your connection for 0.8219% of the month you pay for.



You can use the Internet much more than this, since you don't have to be downloading the entire time that you're "using" it. For instance, when you browse the web, you spend a significant amount of time reading, typing in forms, watching the videos. For instance, if you go to YouTube, a video will download in a few seconds, but you'll still have to spend several minutes watching it. Or are you planning on downloading a video, watching the first 5 seconds, then going to another one, and so on?

 

And even when you're downloading, you often won't be downloading at the maximum throughput that your connection allows. You may have a 105 Mbps connection, but few sites are going to be able to fill that pipe by themselves, since they're servicing so many customers at once. You'll generally need several computers downloading at once to fill the 105 Mbps pipe. That's the intended benefit of the higher speeds: it's enough capacity so that family members don't interfere with each other when they happen to be doing bandwidth-sensitive activities. But no one expects this to go on constantly.

 

Contributor
jskiles1
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎12-03-2011

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.


Fentontech wrote:

This is completely halarious...... I run servers that connect over 40 offices, not to mention the 20+ users at the corporate office, on 2 bound t1's.....  thats 3MB up and down......  Average Bandwidth monthly is 150 - 200 GB...... you do the math....  and you cant supply 5 home users on 250GB??


Corporate environments on average consume far less bandwidth than residential environments simply because they are normally limited to text, images, and sometimes low quality videos. If you had bothered to read his post (it only takes 5 minutes), you'd see that he is engaged in consuming single videos up to 20-25 GB in size.
With Netflix, Hulu, Steam, and other streaming applications becoming more popular, file sizes are ever increasing proportionally to quality. There are games that you can download from Steam that are 25 GB in size. Streaming lossless internet radio is another source of consumption.
I sincerely doubt whatever network you're monitoring is even comparable to the original poster's situation.

Barmar wrote:

250gbcaptoolow wrote:

As i have posted in another thread, here's my conclusion to comcast's service strategy.

So, comcast advertise their internet "speed" with speeds up to a 105 Mbit download connection. However, a 250 GB up+down all together limit gives you about... (checks wolfram alpha) http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=250GB%2F105+mbit%2Fs only under 6 hours of actual usage per month. There are 730 hours in a month, you get to only use your connection for 0.8219% of the month you pay for.



You can use the Internet much more than this, since you don't have to be downloading the entire time that you're "using" it. For instance, when you browse the web, you spend a significant amount of time reading, typing in forms, watching the videos. For instance, if you go to YouTube, a video will download in a few seconds, but you'll still have to spend several minutes watching it. Or are you planning on downloading a video, watching the first 5 seconds, then going to another one, and so on?

 

And even when you're downloading, you often won't be downloading at the maximum throughput that your connection allows. You may have a 105 Mbps connection, but few sites are going to be able to fill that pipe by themselves, since they're servicing so many customers at once. You'll generally need several computers downloading at once to fill the 105 Mbps pipe. That's the intended benefit of the higher speeds: it's enough capacity so that family members don't interfere with each other when they happen to be doing bandwidth-sensitive activities. But no one expects this to go on constantly.

 


Comcast provides the services of the Internet. We pay them so that our computers can send packets to remote locations and receive packets in return. Comcast guarantees this communication and that is what we pay for. Your assertion that we should be paying Comcast for using the content after the transaction is complete is mind boggling.

 

Let's say that I download a 5 MB video on Youtube. Comcast provides the service that allows my computer to obtain that file. That's the only thing I'm paying Comcast for. What I do with the content after I receive it is up to me and me alone. Comcast was paid for the 30 seconds it took to download the video, not the 10 minutes it took to watch it.

 

Even if the available bandwidth for everyone was 5 mbps (far below the marketed rate), Comcast only provides approximately 4 days and 15 hours worth of Internet service.

 

250 GB / 5mbps = 400,000 seconds = 4 days 15 hours 6 minutes 40 seconds

Contributor
abbasgirl
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎12-04-2011

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.

Each of our family of 5 all use a computer and we have a Wii for watching Netflix....  We go over or close to it and have been warned as well, with no forwarning whatsoever until just a couple months ago.  We're not doing anything tricky like downloading movies-- only watching them on Netflix.  Our youngest son is autistic so tends to play Roblox Online a lot.  We don't have a business or anything like that-- this is just normal useage, and we get warnings?  I'm insulted and angry.  To top it off, it's not even as fast as they say it's supposed to be...  We've been loyal customers for years!!!  

Email Expert
Posts: 18,241
Registered: ‎04-27-2004

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.

Why do you feel insulted? They're not making a value judgement about your use, it's just the quantity. Why do you think it makes a difference to Comcast whether you're downloading or streaming the movies, it's the same amount of data?

 

Contributor
abbasgirl
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎12-04-2011

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.

You must work for Comcast or something....

We're insulted because after all these years that we've put out out a chunk of change to Comcast (never receiving good service btw, but there is little game in town for our area), and they keep a cap on the usage that was meant for years ago...  And of course we never really knew about it, because who knew we would need to understand this now?  Comcast probably did, but not the average Joe.  I feel quite taken advantage of by Comcast--once again.  The reason I pointed out that we don't download is because the original poster said that he downloads gobs of stuff--who knows what he's doing with those??  His useage is ridonkulous, and obiously for his business--go after him.  But regular families need the 250 raised to 500 for Pete's sake in this day and age.  God knows we've paid for it.  If Comcast simply tells us they are raising rates to make up for this, we're a goner this time--Comcast needs to take a lesson from the Netflix page...  Customers DO NOT PUT UP with bad treatment.

Web Page Expert
BethKatz
Posts: 6,144
Registered: ‎11-14-2006

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.

abbasgirl, it sounds like your usage is pretty normal. I agree that the limit should be raised.

 

Are you absolutely sure that your wireless access is locked down so that your neighbors aren't using your internet connection? If a friend brings over a laptop and wants to connect to your internet, do they need a password?

New Visitor
s_c_f
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎01-01-2012

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.

[ Edited ]

This is truly hilarious.  Fentontech has kindly pointed out that 40 offices on T1 connections don't even reach 250 gb.

 

If you average 700kb/s, and you are downloading as much as a terabyte per month, then you must be downloading data at full speed for 396 hours per month. There are only 720 hours in a month.

 

Clearly it's possible for families like yours to be spending half of every day downloading movies, games, and other data-intensive items, but it's certainly far more then ordinary customer.  You are downloading while you sleep, you are downloading while you eat, you are downloading when you're not at home.  When you download a movie, you continue to download while you watch the movie.  No offense, but you are light years from being a typical customer, you're like the guy at the buffet restaurant who stays for 4 hours.  Sure, it's possible to be running P2P apps all day long, but this is not typical behaviour.

 

You said: "In my house there are five people with five computers, several smartphones, a Playstation 3 and AppleTV all connected to the internet through a wireless router."

 

Now, it seems to me, that if you can afford 5 computers, several smart phones and a game player, then you can afford to upgrade to comcast business class.

 

Or, if that is not an option, it seems to me that with just a little bit of effort, very little effort, you might be able to reduce your usage down from your stratospheric levels.

 

You must be in the top 0.0001% of users.  Nobody uses as much traffic as you do. 

 

Thanks to people like you, the people like me that downloads 2 or 3 HD movies per month and a couple of music albums per month using P2P, we have our traffic throttled!  It takes triple the amount of time for me to download my movie or song.

 

Thank you very much.  Gluttonous users like you are the reason my traffic is throttled.  You should apologize to your neighbours.

 

 

 

Contributor
jskiles1
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎12-03-2011

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.

[ Edited ]

This is truly hilarious.  Fentontech has kindly pointed out that 40 offices on T1 connections don't even reach 250 gb.

You've conveniently neglected to read my reply to Fentontech that essentially nullifies his false argument.

 

If you average 700kb/s, and you are downloading as much as a terabyte per month, then you must be downloading data at full speed for 396 hours per month. There are only 720 hours in a month.

I'm guessing you didn't even read his actual post. Do you use services like Xbox Live, PS3 Store, Netflix, Hulu, or Steam? These services can easily rack up 250 GB in a single month. There are games on Steam that are over 25 GB for a single download. Add these downloads in with HD streaming content (Blu-Rays can be up to 50 GB for a single movie).

 

Clearly it's possible for families like yours to be spending half of every day downloading movies, games, and other data-intensive items, but it's certainly far more then ordinary customer.  You are downloading while you sleep, you are downloading while you eat, you are downloading when you're not at home.  When you download a movie, you continue to download while you watch the movie.  No offense, but you are light years from being a typical customer, you're like the guy at the buffet restaurant who stays for 4 hours.  Sure, it's possible to be running P2P apps all day long, but this is not typical behaviour.

Games, movies, p2p, cell phones, music, and all sorts of other streaming content are becoming increasinly normal these days. Don't pretend that these services don't add up especially when you add entire families into the mix.

 

Now, it seems to me, that if you can afford 5 computers, several smart phones and a game player, then you can afford to upgrade to comcast business class.

Sure, he probably can, but why should he have to buy a BUSINESS class version of an internet service when he's using it for PERSONAL consumption? If he had a business, I'd agree, but this is his family service.

 

You must be in the top 0.0001% of users.  Nobody uses as much traffic as you do.

Citation needed.

 

Thanks to people like you, the people like me that downloads 2 or 3 HD movies per month and a couple of music albums per month using P2P, we have our traffic throttled!  It takes triple the amount of time for me to download my movie or song.

 

Thank you very much.  Gluttonous users like you are the reason my traffic is throttled.  You should apologize to your neighbours.

Keep the ad hominem arguments out of this please. You're buying in to the Comcast marketers that have apparently been successful in scaring people away from using a service they're paying to use. Other countries with much higher bandwidth availability have no problem with servicing millions of customers (see Europe and Japan).

New Visitor
s_c_f
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎01-01-2012

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.

[ Edited ]

"Sure, he probably can, but why should he have to buy a BUSINESS class version of an internet service when he's using it for PERSONAL consumption? If he had a business, I'd agree, but this is his family service."

 

Two reasons:

1. He uses it like a business.  He uses it all day long, every single day, as if he's never anywhere but at home.

2. Only businesses use as much data as he does.

 

Seriously, you and others claim he is not an atypical customer, but it's obvious that he is, because very few people get notices like he does.  I never have, and neither has anybody I know.  I've never heard of someone downloading as much as he does.  I know these heavy-user internet people exist, who use their connection like an oil pipeline, streaming continuously every hour of the day.  But you can try to pretend it's typical, when it's not.  It's highly atypical.  If you want to download a trillion bytes per month, then you should expect to pay more money.

 

"Keep the ad hominem arguments out of this please."

 

It's not an ad-hominem, it's thr truth.  My torrent traffic is throttled, and it's throttled because of people like him.  They can either enforce caps on users, or caps on types of traffic, and they do both, thanks to heavy users like him.

 

And so what if they have higher limits in Japan?  The USA is 300 times the size of Japan, and thus the infrastructure required is much more expensive.  And why compare to Japan?  Let's compare to the rest of the world.  In most countries high speed access is prohibitively expensive or completely unavailable.

 

And Europe? In many European countries access is more expensive.  The US prices are very competitive, despite a population density that is much lower than Europe.  A few of the countries in Europe have prices a bit cheaper, but many are more expensive. 

 

Contributor
jskiles1
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎12-03-2011

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.

1. He uses it like a business.  He uses it all day long, every single day, as if he's never anywhere but at home.

Why does that automatically make him a business? The world is moving to a digital format for nearly all media content. Disc based media is going to be dead soon, because people are slowly realizing the convenience of streaming and downloading at high speeds. Cable TV will be replaced by streaming services when people finally realize they don't have to put up with commercials and can finally watch what they want when they want in HD. Console and PC gaming is moving to a downloadable format reaching into the 10, 20, and 30 GB file sizes. Video and audio is moving to a lossless streaming format. Compressed video and audio will be over when providers get their act together and allow users to use the infrastructure to its fullest. If Comcast cannot provide these services, then they need to expand to meet these upcoming demands.

 

My torrent traffic is throttled, and it's throttled because of people like him.

Can you please provide proof that you are being throttled as a direct result of other users consuming more bandwidth? I have not experienced throttling of any sort and I regularly hit the cap between Netflix, PS3, Steam, and internet radio streaming.

 

And why compare to Japan?

Japan has approximately 130 million people living in a country smaller than California. Do you realize just how much of a larger population density their internet providers have to put up with in comparison to the US? It's not even close. How can their providers deal with a density of this nature and provide much higher or unlimited bandwidth caps for residential services? Perhaps the services are more expensive, but then why doesn't Comcast offer a more expensive residential plan that has no cap? Even the most expensive residential plan has the 250 GB per month cap.

New Visitor
Whinis
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎12-31-2011

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.

[ Edited ]

As a single user downloading games from steam along with the network traffic of youtube videos hit the 250 gb cap every month, however I have a usage meter built directly into my router that allows me to better measure my usage. At 35 mb/s and 145 games of 1gb or more its easy to go over the cap every month I am currently at 50 gb just today. 500 gb would be better but with the speed the internet is growing that would long last for a year or so before a larger cap is needed.

New Visitor
phillipthiel
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎01-02-2012

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.

Well, American corporations will never get the picture so there really is no use in complaining, you just need to "vote with your checkbook" as my Dad always says. Rather than keep up with the times and advance their own business strategy, companies like Cable companies, postal services, banks etc... simply use legislation (SOPA) to try and block all of the new, light, industry sharks who are gunning for them. They don't try to get any better, they just sue everyone else that is better and their team of lawyers wins, problem solved. Eventually they go the way of the Dinosaurs before them and die, but they take a long, sad, consumer disgruntling time to die. There would be no piracy if companies could offer a competitive alternative, just like people would love Comcast if they would advance their infastructure and eliminate the cap. Oh, and lower prices would be nice. Companies like webpass will eventually dominate with their uncapped 100 mbps internet for like $40 a month. Unfortunately we don't have that out here yet, so it looks like I am staying a loyal Comcast customer for now.

Contributor
Bulk001
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎08-23-2011

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.

If Comcast is concerned about the impact on neighbors they should use their profits to upgrade their infrastructure instead of limiting customer use. In our area Century Link offers unlimited usage.
Cable Expert
i-am-nerdburg
Posts: 11,133
Registered: ‎06-27-2009

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.


Bulk001 wrote:
If Comcast is concerned about the impact on neighbors they should use their profits to upgrade their infrastructure instead of limiting customer use. In our area Century Link offers unlimited usage.

Data usage has nothing to do with infrustructure. It's about volume, not speed.

Contributor
jskiles1
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎12-03-2011

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.

[ Edited ]

i-am-nerdburg wrote:

Bulk001 wrote:
If Comcast is concerned about the impact on neighbors they should use their profits to upgrade their infrastructure instead of limiting customer use. In our area Century Link offers unlimited usage.

Data usage has nothing to do with infrustructure. It's about volume, not speed.


I agree. The amount of data downloaded has nothing to do with bandwidth. Limiting the amount of data that a user can consume does absolutely nothing to solve congestion during peak hours.

 

Imagine that I am a user who consumes a monstrous amount of data each month (let's say, 1 TB ). If I am operating between the hours of 12 AM and 12 PM every single day, then I am consuming that data outside of peak hours. After everyone gets home from work each day, the bandwidth consumption skyrockets to the point where ISPs will incur costs. I agree completely that these peak hours are problem hours. But to think that limiting every single user who consumes large volumes of data each month will somehow fix the congestion as peak hours is ignorant and ridiculous.

 

If anything, prices should be based on when data is accessed rather than how much data is accessed.

New Visitor
JLC5
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎01-09-2012

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.


s_c_f wrote:

And Europe? In many European countries access is more expensive.  The US prices are very competitive, despite a population density that is much lower than Europe.  A few of the countries in Europe have prices a bit cheaper, but many are more expensive. 

 



I can only say one thing: LOL.... Seriously, before making claims, please do some search. Google is your friend.

I admit I am too lazy to search for other European countries, but from my personal experience, from about 6-7 years ago in France, this is the service that was proposed: 20 MBps (equivalent to the Comcast "Performance" service), with absolutely no data cap, for a mere 19.99 euros/months. With a generous rate of 1.4 USD/euro, that's $28/mth. That's twice cheaper than Comcast....with no cap.

 

I am a Comcast customer since less than a month, and discovered this data cap only today. From 12/21/11 to 12/31/11 I used 39 GB and from 1/1/12 to today I used 25GB.

I am very concerned since we did not even watch so many Netflix movies (usually 2 movies and 2-3 episode a day) and did not play much online (probably 20 mins a day instead of 3 hrs/day). I am not even thinking about downloading games from Steam (~15-20 GB/game), software updates,...

I am getting even more nervous when thinking about using remote desktop for a long time...

 

So it may seems stupid, but I am wondering if I am not better off using tethering with my cell phone and use Sprint 4G network. The only issue there is the latency (bandwidth is >10 MBps with 4G)  wich would not let me play games... Yeah, Sprint has no cap on its data, provides cell phone service, internet service and more, for about the same price as Comcast...just for a limited Internet service.

New Visitor
SYMB
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎01-10-2012

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.

[ Edited ]

I have been with comcast for 9 years now.The whole thing is it isn't just downloading that they count it is uploading. So you upload pictures to email friend and family that goes into your data cap. I am in the same boat. I have xbox live and gamers in my house. My network is secure and 6 people in the house. My computer for 3d content creation and development vids. Netflix almost run 24/7 in my house but lately I my data have been creeping up on the cap being that the older kids want to play Battefield online which uses a bit of data, Netflix running cause it has more movies that my younger kids want to watch and two computer and a tablet that uses the internet,purchase games from Steam and Direct2Drive uploading content to my website and uploading to youtube.

 

I felt like complete s#%? when I was kicking my kids off everything Christmas day cause I was 30GB from going over my data cap. I have gotten to the point I will not monitar something I am suppose be enjoying. FIOS have just come to my area and they are constantly knocking on my door. So when comcast says they don't need my money I guess it will go to Verizon. Maybe those with other options to service should use that I don't care take cause it might be 1 today but it could be 200 tomorrow and it's going to get to the point the going to see the dollars flying out the door. Maybe Comcast needs to get the GoDaddy treatment and hit them in their pockets.

 

In reality no business is too good for money.

New Visitor
Findiggle
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎01-14-2012

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.

Forget streaming and downloading and whatnot; there's a simpler example. Here is *one* of my disks on my home computer. It's just personal "stuff" I've accumulated in some 30 years of computer life.



  Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
  /dev/md127 3.7T 1.1T 2.5T  30%  /stuff

 

That chunk of data (1.1 Tbytes) is not particularly large these days. This is just personal stuff: emails, articles, personal videos, photos, and so on. There are some games that have become difficult to find (and whose installation media I lack working hardware to read anymore). There is a great deal of music. I don't think there's a single Hollywood-type movie. This is my virtual shoebox-under-the-bed: sentimental stuff, worth more to me than the latest episode of Real Housewives of Whogivesacrap.

 

The speeds I pay for from Comcast should let me back this up in well under a fortnight (not to mention that I should be able to pull it all back down in just over two days). But, it would take more than four months (without using the service in any other way) to back this up and avoid the cap. 

New Visitor
Findiggle
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎01-14-2012

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.


Barmar wrote:

250gbcaptoolow wrote:

As i have posted in another thread, here's my conclusion to comcast's service strategy.

So, comcast advertise their internet "speed" with speeds up to a 105 Mbit download connection. However, a 250 GB up+down all together limit gives you about... (checks wolfram alpha) http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=250GB%2F105+mbit%2Fs only under 6 hours of actual usage per month. There are 730 hours in a month, you get to only use your connection for 0.8219% of the month you pay for.


...

 

higher speeds: it's enough capacity so that family members don't interfere with each other when they happen to be doing bandwidth-sensitive activities. But no one expects this to go on constantly.

 


But that's the point, isn't it? It doesn't have to go on constantly. It has to go on for less than an elementary schoolchild's day. Less than a fair night's sleep. Less than the hours most of us work a day. Heck, the 1927 silent film Napoléon was longer. 

 

 

New Visitor
scottbohlen
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎12-06-2011

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.

The 700kb/s is kilo-BITS per second.  Not Bytes.  You would need to divide by 8 to get Bytes.  At least I am thinking you meant kilobits from it being a small "b" and using the normal nomenclature for average download speed for a month...

New Visitor
goodfela26
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎01-28-2012

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.

[ Edited ]

i-am-nerdburg wrote:

Bulk001 wrote:
If Comcast is concerned about the impact on neighbors they should use their profits to upgrade their infrastructure instead of limiting customer use. In our area Century Link offers unlimited usage.

Data usage has nothing to do with infrustructure. It's about volume, not speed.


That's a ridiculous statement. The infrastructure dictates both the volume and the speed.

Cable Expert
i-am-nerdburg
Posts: 11,133
Registered: ‎06-27-2009

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.


goodfela26 wrote:

i-am-nerdburg wrote:

Bulk001 wrote:
If Comcast is concerned about the impact on neighbors they should use their profits to upgrade their infrastructure instead of limiting customer use. In our area Century Link offers unlimited usage.

Data usage has nothing to do with infrustructure. It's about volume, not speed.


That's a ridiculous statement. The infrastructure dictates both the volume and the speed.


The CAP has nothing to do with infrustructure or speed.

New Visitor
goodfela26
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎01-28-2012

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.


i-am-nerdburg wrote:

goodfela26 wrote:

i-am-nerdburg wrote:

Bulk001 wrote:
If Comcast is concerned about the impact on neighbors they should use their profits to upgrade their infrastructure instead of limiting customer use. In our area Century Link offers unlimited usage.

Data usage has nothing to do with infrustructure. It's about volume, not speed.


That's a ridiculous statement. The infrastructure dictates both the volume and the speed.


The CAP has nothing to do with infrustructure or speed.


I understand that the CAP is implemented based on volume. However, why are they implementing that cap in the first place? They aren't charging per GB for going over the cap or offering any sort of option for purchasing additional cap space, so it doesn't appear to be a way to create additional revenue. In my opinion, they implemented the cap because they're infrastructure can't handle the sheer volume during peak hours. They, and many other ISPs, weren't prepared for the explosion over the last few years of streaming services such as netflix.

Cable Expert
i-am-nerdburg
Posts: 11,133
Registered: ‎06-27-2009

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.


goodfela26 wrote:
I understand that the CAP is implemented based on volume. However, why are they implementing that cap in the first place?

Back in the day (2007-8) Comcast was cutting people off for "abuse", however they didn't define abuse, it was rather arbitrary. Comcast at the time was advertising unlimited internet, but it obviously wasn't. Customers were screaming bloody murder. To address the issues (and lawsuits) Comcast defined abuse as 250GB. In other words, Comcast gave customers what they asked for.

 

You are right tho, Comcast's network is not designed to give all user max bandwidth at all times. But to be fair, no network is designed that way.  The cap is more about data use (which cost the company $) then speed or congestion. Comcast uses a congestion managment scheme to address those issues. Additionally, others have suggested the cap is to protect video revenues.

 

A 250GB cap was perfectly reasonable in 2008, but Comcast really needs to reconsider the cap, at least for "extreme" tiers.

New Visitor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎02-13-2004

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.

> "DSL has a different architecture; your connection to the internet backbone is private."

 

This is hardly the case. Once your DSL connection (copper pair) reaches the local switch (phone office) it goes into a DSLAM unit where it's muxed with up to hundreds of other DSL connections onto a fiber wire. At that point your still mutliple switches/gateways away from the "backbone". Bottom line is it's up to ISP to determine where the bottlenecks are and resolve them.

 

I have "standard" Comcast internet service for $45/month and I get 24Mb down and 3.5Mb up. DSL at the same cost wouldn't come close to those speeds. Unfortunately I don't have access to FIOS so there is real no competition for Comcast in my area (outside Boston).

 

Overall I've been happy with my Comcast service although I had to recently replace my Docsis 1.1 modem for a 3.0 which cost me $80 for absolutely no performance gain.

 

As far as the cap goes, when Comcast came out with it 4+ years ago I thought the limit was way too high. Then again I wasn't streaming movies then either. Netflix and Hulu use up to 2+GB/hour for HD streaming. Multiply that times 3 kids and we'll use 30+GB/day if I let them. This month were around 275GB so it will be interesting to see if we get a call.

 

Personally I would like to see Comcast switch to a "reasonable" per GB fee. Say $45/month for the first 250GB and maybe $5 for each additional 50GB. In this way people can use as much as they want and just pay for the extra usage. Ideally they would offer $25/month for the first 50GB and $5 for each 50GB after that but I doubt they would do that because of the loss in revenue with "light" users.



Visitor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎11-10-2009

Re: The 250gb data cap is ruining my family. It HAS to go.

wow!    are you sure someone hasn't joined your network?   There are ways to check.  My husband and I found 2 people using our network.   Those figures you give are HUGE.......something is wrong.  We too use a ton of computers, and use netflix daily, and stream music from pandora, spotify, and slacker...    It is SO easy, with programs like Cain and Able, for people in your neighborhood to view your encrypted password to your router, and hop aboard.    We downloaded Comodo Dragon, put our router into "stealth" mode, which means that it doesn't even show up for people to know to highjack it!   Our usage went way down after that.   We saw 2 people on our network, "In your backyard," and "Smelling the flowers."   There is an easy way to show you ALL the computers on your network.  Please check, I think you will be surprised.  Check at all times during the day, as someone may not be on during the day, but late at night when less likely to be caught. There are things called ARP poisoning, in which people can highjack your network, upload and download all sorts of files with your ip address.....it's a scary thing.  Read about it, and check your computer!   If indeed you truly are legally using the internet, then you need to upgrade to the business plan.  Good luck......I seriously think someone is using your router.......and more than one person.   My son is an avid gamer, sometimes gaming 24/7.  My daughter is an avid netflix lover.  I am a youtuber, and we all stream nonstop pandora, spotify, etc.   We hit around 121GB-160GB on average per month.  On some days, we easily hit 10GB a day.   Good luck....You definitely need to check your network!