So it’s official.
Comcast have publicly announced what they’ve been denying they’ve been practising for ages. No, not blocking P2P traffic – but download capping.
From October 1, all residential customers will be subject to a 250GB cap. Ok, it’s better than some North American operators that have caps as low as 60GB in place, but in these days of audio and certainly video downloading it still stinks.
Comcast say that less than 1% of users will be affected. This again is perhaps true, but as more and more folks use online video, that is going to increase.
Surely it would be better to bring the network up to modern standards, rather than limiting users, but then that would encourage more users to download TV and video from the Internet, than pay for numerous premium rate channels.
My opinion is that everything will eventually come through the net. The technology is there already; it’s just the likes of Comcast that don’t want to see the true convergence of Television and Internet. If they did, it would be widespread now. There would be media centers in very many living rooms. After all, if a viewer can afford a 40-50 inch HD TV, then they can probably afford a computer with HD output to drive it all. It makes sense too. It’s still not easy to get the downloaded movie from your PC to your TV – not nearly as easy as it could be, for the majority of folks.
Meanwhile, the Twin Cities are getting 50mbps download speeds, with 5mbps upload, albeit at a price. The service is to come on stream shortly for $149.99 a month. Then again, if you have Comcast Internet, and all the TV channels they offer, the bill is currently around $200 anyway – so why not simply have a bigger pipe, and get the whole lot off the net? It would be easy to build charging model in – what’s happened to smart cards that go into your computer to unlock premium channels? Wasn’t there some law that mandated that a few years back?
Mind you, will these wideband users in the Twin Cities be subject to the 250GB cap as well? That would truly suck.