Bandwidth limits bit users

If you think Comcast is the only service provider limiting access to bandwidth, think again. Clearwire and Qwest also have fine print "terms of use" policies that a small fraction of customers have experienced.

Customers have run afoul of terms-of-use policies in downloading full length movies and games. At Clearwire, first connection speeds start to slow, forcing customers to call customer service to reset a connection. Customers engaging in "excessive downloading" get terminated but not before receiving several warnings, says the broadband provider.

Qwest provides three warnings to residential DSL customers who have usage habits that are "hundreds of times" normal usage.  According to the company, such warnings are given to about .002 percent of its 2.5 million customer base.

Consumer advocates say that vague policies mislead customers as to the amount of access they truly have, while Qwest says Internet technology evolves too quickly for them to specify a figure of abuse, and is only a small percentage of customers are "extreme users."

In justifying its 250 GB/month cap, Comcast says most users don't use more than two to three GB per month, while Clearwire and Qwest say they are only concerned about how much customers use, not how they might use the bandwidth.

For more:
- Yakima Herald reports on Qwest, Clearwire bandwidth management policies. Article.

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