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Will Comcast's New Bandwidth Limits Bring Rise In Wireless Broadband Hijacking?

Starting next month, Comcast says it will start metering the amount of bandwidth its customers can consume each month, and users that exceed the threshold may be cut. If I understand anything about human nature, this means that more people will steal the additional bandwidth they need.
Starting next month, Comcast says it will start metering the amount of bandwidth its customers can consume each month, and users that exceed the threshold may be cut. If I understand anything about human nature, this means that more people will steal the additional bandwidth they need.From a recent story by K. C. Jones:


This week, Comcast announced that it would phone customers who transfer more than 250 gigabytes of data each month. The company plans to ask those users to cut back.

As the announcement came out, Comcast explained that it wasn't a change in policy. The company said it is simply clarifying the gigabyte limit after customers who received calls asked for a specific threshold for data usage.

The limit will appear in an amended Acceptable Use Policy, which takes effect Oct. 1.

While announcing the limit, Comcast said the median monthly average for data use among its customers is about 2 or 3 GB. To reach the 250 GB threshold, a customer would have to send 50 million e-mail messages (at 0.05 KB), download 62,500 4 MB songs, download 125 standard movies (2 GB each), or upload 25,000 high-resolution photos (10 MB each), Comcast said.

I don't believe this policy has anything to do with limiting Internet usage so much. I think it has everything to do with curbing its customers from accessing the increased competition coming from iTunes, Netflix, and YouTube when it comes to video content. Comcast's core revenue still from cable TV subscriptions and pay-per-views. Now, after years of hype about movies over the Web, it's gearing up to get the status quo a real run for value.

But I digress, and I predict that this cap will not provide much any benefit to its customers, or even keep its competition at bay. But it will increase broadband theft, especially wireless broadband theft. People looking to get a few extra gigs of songs, or an extra HD move, or that copy of the mega-graphics suite from Pirate's Bay will more likely now hop in their car and drive until they find an open, unsecured WiFi connection. Hopefully not yours, and steal your WiFi for this big download.

It's all the more reason to make sure your wireless connection is secure , and that includes you Mr. Schneier.