Announcement Regarding An Amendment to Our Acceptable Use Policy
It's no secret we've been evaluating a specific monthly data usage or bandwidth threshold for our Comcast High-Speed Internet residential customers for some time. Rumors circulated online last year and they popped up again in May.
In January, we added new frequently asked questions about what we consider acceptable use of our service to our online Help site www.comcast.net/help and Security Channel page www.comcast.net/security.
We've listened to feedback from our customers who asked that we provide a specific threshold for data usage and this would help them understand the amount of usage that would qualify as excessive. Today, we're announcing that beginning on October 1, 2008, we will amend our Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) available at http://www.comcast.com/policies and establish a specific monthly data usage threshold of 250 GB/month per account for all residential customers.
250 GB/month is an extremely large amount of data, much more than a typical residential customer uses on a monthly basis. Currently, the median monthly data usage by our residential customers is approximately 2 - 3 GB. To put 250 GB of monthly usage in perspective, a customer would have to do any one of the following:
- Send 50 million emails (at 0.05 KB/email)
- Download 62,500 songs (at 4 MB/song)
- Download 125 standard-definition movies (at 2 GB/movie)
- Upload 25,000 hi-resolution digital photos (at 10 MB/photo)
This is the same system we have in place today. The only difference is that we will now provide a limit by which a customer may be contacted. As part of our pre-existing policy, we will continue to contact the top users of our high-speed Internet service and ask them to curb their usage. If a customer uses more than 250 GB and is one of the top users of our service, he or she may be contacted by Comcast to notify them of excessive use. At that time, we'll tell them exactly how much data per month they had used. We know from experience the vast majority of customers we ask to curb usage do so voluntarily.
As stated above the new monthly data usage threshold will officially take effect starting October 1st. We are notifying customers in a number of ways. For example, we have posted a preview of the amended AUP as a PDF on this page. We are also running banner notices on our Comcast.net home page and on our Security Channel Web page to alert customers about this upcoming change. In addition, we have provided a number of FAQs that are available at http://help.comcast.net/content/faq/Frequently-Asked-Questions-about-Excessive-Use. Finally, we will also notify our customers directly by including an insert (also called a bill stuffer) in an upcoming monthly billing statement.