Comcast: We'll blackball big downloaders with no warning

Comcast has begun canceling the accounts of people who perform lots of downloads, but the ISP refuses to reveal exactly what its download limits are. The Boston Globe reports that an increasing number of users are kicked off Comcast for exceeding bandwidth limits. What are those limits exactly...or even approximately? Don't bother asking, because if you do, you'll feel you ended up in a Kafka novel.

According to the Globe, Amanda Lee of Cambridge, MA received a call from Comcast, warning her that she had to cut back on her downloading, or else the ISP would cancel her account for a year. Lee wanted to know how much she could download, so asked what the limit was.

The Globe reports, "When she asked what the download limit was, she was told there was no limit, that she was just downloading too much."

Then, one month later, he account was canceled for -- you guessed it -- exceeding the download limits, even though Comcast refused to tell her what those limits were.

Lee is not alone. The Globe reports on other people stuck in a similar situation. In fact, even Comcast's customer service reps don't know about the rules.

The Globe says that when Lee called back Comcast after her initial warning to ask about the limit, "the customer service representative suggested that (the initial Comcast call) may have been a prank call." Of course, it was't.

Others have reported similar problems, says the Globe. It reports that Frank Carreiro of West Jordan, Utah contacted customer support after his family was warne that they would be kicked off because they use too much bandwidth. And then, the Globe says, "The customer representative said there was no official limi." But then, "the family's service was shut off in January."

Here where I live in Cambridge, you can't turn on your TV and not get bombarded by Comcast ads promising fast download speeds, and showing music, videos and other content you can download fast with Comcast.

Comcast somehow never mentions that if you actually do those things, it'll blackball you and kick you off the service.

The idiocy of this is apparent, and I think it's going to come back and bite Comcast. When it comes to broadband, people want one thing primarily: More bandwidth. Comcast hypes its ever-increasing download speeds. If you promise people fast downloads, you shouldn't then kick them off your service for actually taking you up on your promises.

Other ISPs, like Verizon for example, imposes no limit on downloads. Unless Comcast changes its rules, Verizon and others will eat its lunch.

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