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Cutting the Cord

Comcast cut Internet service to heavy downloaders, according to this Washington Post story. Mind you, these customers weren’t engaged in illegal activity; they were simply using a service they pay for. Such activity is, apparently, becoming verboten.

 The Post’s Kim Hart writes:

As Internet service providers try to keep up with the demand for increasingly sophisticated online entertainment such as high-definition movies, streaming TV shows and interactive games, such caps could become more common, some analysts said.

It’s unclear how many customers have lost Internet service because of overuse. So far, only Comcast customers have reported being affected. Comcast said only a small fraction of its customers use enough bandwidth to warrant pulling the plug on their service.

As I read this I thought, well sure that’s a crumby thing to do to your customers, but in these litigious times there has to be some fine print that warns customers off heavy downloading. These people were just ignoring it.

 Or not:

Comcast spokesman Charlie Douglas declined to reveal specific bandwidth limits … Companies have argued that if strict limits were disclosed, customers would use as much capacity as possible without tipping the scale, causing networks to slow to a crawl.

In other words: downloading but for the Grace of Comcast.