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one step forward, two steps back

It finally happened: Comcast has signed me up for their Data Usage Meter, as I don't belong to the "vast majority" of their customers:
Your Comcast High-Speed Internet service has a monthly data usage allowance
of 250 gigabytes (GB). If you are wondering whether you are at risk of exceeding
this 250GB threshold, you should know that the vast majority - around 99% - of
Comcast customers use significantly less than 250GB per month.
huh? I thought volume-based contracts are a thing of the past. It's all about flat-rates now, no? It's 2010 now and they're still maintaining this limitation. I've even throttled my RelayBandwidthRate to 90KB/s but I'm still exceeding their 250GB/month:



So, what's next? Their FAQ states:
If you exceed more than 250 GB and is one of the heaviest data users who consume
the most data on our high-speed Internet service, you may receive a call from the
Customer Security Assurance ("CSA") team to notify you of excessive use. At that
time, we will tell you exactly how much data per month you had used. When we call
you, we try to help you identify the source of excessive use and ask you to moderate
your usage, which the vast majority of our customers do voluntarily. If you are
contacted by the CSA team again for excessive use within six months of the first
contact your service will be subject to termination for one year. We know from
experience that most customers curb their usage after our first call. If your
account is terminated, after the one year period expires you may resume service
by subscribing to a service plan appropriate to you needs.
(yes, the spelling errors are really in the FAQ). I like the last senctence the best - as if anyone would subscribe to the ISP again who kicked them out before :-)

Well, let's see when that happens and hopefully I'm already moving out when they're about to terminate my contract - that way I'd save postage sending my cancellation letter :-)

Oh, the reason why they've set up this limit is customer feedback, of course.

Update: I've reduced AccountingMax again, now we're down to 3GB/day, which will be reached after ~15 hours, the remaining hours my Tor daemon will live in hibernation, oh well. I've updated the graph above. It's May 13th now and I just passed 100 GB. For the record, Comcast did not call yet....maybe they're busy sniffing exit nodes, hm?

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Anon on :

Hi, If they are really sniffing exit node traffic, you eventually should feed them with the appropriate tcpdump exploits, as a lot of folks run tcpdump as root. Greetz Anon btw, besides that I find it awesome to run Tor via comcast. Couldn't you come up with a better Provider in the first place?

Christian on :

tcpdump exploits, hehe, good idea :-) Oh, and regarding "choose another provider": believe me, Comcast was the one provider I did NOT want to subscribe to when I moved here. So I looked around but there wasn't much choice: AT&T couldn't get me DSL to where I live and so couldn't the smaller ISPs. And all the cable ISPs I found were just reselling Comcast lines (and I have a bad experience with resellers), so I had to bite the bullet. Btw, the https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/wiki/TheOnionRouter/GoodBadISPs site is more keen to listing hosting providers, not so much home internet providers :-\

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