Comcast expands its usage meter

As it looks at how to better gauge consumer network usage patterns, Comcast is bringing its bandwidth usage meter beta into more Pacific Northwest markets. Initially available in just Portland, Ore., an article in DSL Reports revealed that users in Bellingham and Spokane, Wash. received a letter telling them they can access their usage-meter. Subscribers can access the meter through their Comcast customer portal.

The bigger issue here is Comcast's overarching desire to conduct metered billing of its cable modem customers. Of course, Comcast has never taken the concept beyond a pilot test because they were concerned about how customers would respond and whether they could even get accurate usage measurements. Although Comcast claims to have been able to achieve accuracy of plus-or-minus 0.5 percent each month, earlier efforts by Time Warner Cable had to be shelved due to public protest from consumer groups and congressional leaders. And while TWC said it would revisit the bandwidth cap issue again, their experience should serve as a cautionary tale to Comcast that users would rather have simple flat-rate pricing.   

For more:
- DSL Reports has this post

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