Charter Good, Charter Bad

As announced yesterday in an exclusive from DSL Reports, Charter Communications will be implementing new usage caps for their broadband bandwidth.

Broadband Reports has learned that Charter will be updating their acceptable use policy (AUP) next week, setting the stage for clear usage caps and potential overage fees. A source familiar with the plans tells us Charter will be imposing a 100GB cap upon any Charter connection of 15Mbps or less, and a 250GB usage cap for broadband tiers “over 15 Mbps up to 25 Mbps.”

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So I was pretty excited when Charter finally hashed out their differences with the local Saint Louis CBS affiliate for HD broadcast rights. Charter Good.

Usage caps when I’m paying $70 a month for bandwidth in a Saint Louis monopoly… Charter Bad.

This news isn’t really news, I suppose. I’ve talked about this a few times already… So how have I adjusted?

Bandwidth Usage Chart 200902

Meh… No really. Considering I have the 16 MB service – I’d fall into the 250 GB cap. At $1 a GB overage charge… That would be over $470 for two of my months where usage was pretty high. (Average over the last 12 months was right at 251 GB…) Maybe that’s a better way to measure… A rolling 3 month average perhaps? And what about uploads? Do they count? Better hope that there’s some ways to track usage… (Currently there isn’t any…)

I suppose this is a way for the $20 Billion debt ridden company to force users to upgrade to a higher cost tier of service or have those fees roll in. Right now the next tier up from 10 MB to 16 MB is only $25 a month… Do you think that Charter will automatically upgrade users to the new service if they go over 25 GB in a month? Perhaps I should charge Charter $1 a month for every GB under 250 GB I don’t use? How about banking bandwidth like AT&T does with rollover bandwidth?

Now that I’m a full time telecommuter / work-from-home employee who has to pay for his own broadband (don’t get me started) – this just doesn’t help.

We’ll see how it works out… (Especially considering in a month, “unlimited usage” could equate to 5 TB of download capcity on a 16 Mb/s bandwidth tier…)

BTW – I have had a good time reading the comments on Slashdot… A search on Google will bring you plenty of other fun stories about this issue…

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  1. Bummer… Sure enough – it’s added… But I wasn’t notified as a customer – and still no way of knowing what my bandwidth usage is…

    13. NO EXCESSIVE USE OF BANDWIDTH

    Excessive bandwidth is usage beyond a reasonable level for the service subscribed to. Residential service usage will not exceed 100GB of bandwidth per month for Customers subscribing to Services of 15 Mbps or less per month and 250GB of bandwidth per month for Customers subscribing to Service over 15 Mbps and up to 25 Mbps. Charter reserves the right to revise usage limits or to implement additional usage limits. In the event residential usage exceeds the above-described limits Customer will be notified and required to either limit Customer’s bandwidth consumption to permitted levels/limits or subscribe to a Service with a higher monthly bandwidth limit if a higher limit subscription is available. In the event Customer does not limit bandwidth consumption to permitted levels/limits after notice of the same, Charter may determine, in Charter’s sole discretion, that Customer is using an excessive amount of bandwidth over the Charter network infrastructure for Internet access or other functions using public network resources, during any period of time, Charter may thereafter: (a) adjust, suspend or terminate Customer’s account or Service at any time and without notice; or (b) require Customer to upgrade Customer’s service level and pay additional fees in accordance with Charter’s then-current, applicable rates for such Service; (c) cap Customer’s usage or limit aggregate bandwidth available to Customer; (d) implement prioritization of traffic; (e) implement protocol filtering; or (f) use any technology to be chosen by Charter at its sole discretion including, but not limited to, packet-reset and/or other packet management technology, to slow Service to Customer for purposes of conserving bandwidth. Charter may also notify Customer of excessive use and request Customer to employ corrective or self-limiting actions to comply with this provision.

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