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Behind the scenes on the Comcast bandwidth limit

Our friends at BigDownload have a long but interesting feature up about that Comcast bandwidth limit and how it might affect PC gamers like us. Even though they chat with a lot of people higher up in both the ISP and gaming industry, the bottom line hasn't really changed: most people won't be affected by the limit, and if you are, there are things you can do about it. As we determined last time, at max, even if you run WoW 24/7 the entire month, you're still using only about 5gb, nowhere near enough to trip Comcast's limit. And even if there's a big patch download that comes through, it'll still be a very, very small percentage of people that come anywhere near it. While Comcast may change things in the future, there are a few voices already speaking out against bandwidth caps, including the Entertainment Consumers Association.

And if you do get suspended out of the blue? Best option is to just use another ISP -- even if Comcast isn't willing to support people who use tons of bandwidth, there will likely be another company that does. And if high-level broadband does become really widespread, it would be a bad business decision for Comcast as well to suspend large numbers of their userbase -- while there's always the chance that they could start charging a premium for more bandwidth, smaller companies will likely step up to fill any spaces that Comcast tries to screw over.

In short, right now, this isn't a problem. While in the future, Comcast may try to bring the bandwidth cap lower and lower, at this point, it doesn't effect enough people out there to worry, and even if you are affected, there are likely steps you can take to get around it, including going with another ISP if that's an option.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Economy

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