In August of 2008, cable internet provider Comcast imposed a 250GB limit on bandwidth, scaring many of their internet gaming customers. Now the company is rolling out an internet usage meter, so customers can obsessively track every single megabyte. Great!
As a Comcast customer who regularly downloads four to five games off of Steam a month, not to mention large amounts of high resolution screenshots and uncompressed video, news of the bandwidth cap in 2008 hit me like a ton of bricks. So far I've managed to avoid going over, but there have been times where I've seriously sweated it out. Once I went out of town for the weekend and left a game patch torrent running in the background, only to return and discover I had uploaded 120GB of data while I was out. Not a good feeling.
So in a way, Comcast's new usage meter feature, currently being rolled out in select coverage areas, including Crecente's Colorado home, is a godsend. If you fear you've used too much internet, simply log into your account and take a peek. Then quickly unplug your cable model and huddle in the corner, waiting for the internet withdrawal to pass.
On the other hand, some people, given the ability to check and see how much bandwidth they are using on a regular basis, will completely freak the f*** out. People like me.
When Crecente passed along his notification email, I immediately logged into my Comcast account to see if the feature was available to me. Luckily, it is not. If it were, I would keep it open on my secondary monitor, watching it out of the corner of my eye every second of every moment I spent on the internet.
Believe me, that's a lot of moments.
Those interested in seeing how the usage meter works can visit Comcast's information page on the new feature.
You can also see that it initially rolled out to Portland, Oregon in December, and now it's reached Colorado. I can feel it slowly creeping towards Atlanta. It makes the hairs on the back of my neck raise. Perhaps I should set up a spam filter for Comcast mail now, so the announcement never reaches me.