Will Comcast Ban Me For Streaming?

Considering the fact that this is merely a test, myself opting to do a test Ustream.tv broadcast over the my Comcast connection leaves me wondering where Comcast will decide to draw the line. See, I used to create a number of creative how-to YouTube videos designed to help Linux newbies overcome the hurdles that some might face starting out.

It took one minor tweak, but I had the audio working easily. The webcam video was a no-brainer as it worked out of the box. But now I have to make a choice – do I keep streaming hoping that Comcast does not ban me for too much bandwidth use? I have been up and down their TOS and sure enough, it could not be more vague. So I am running the video streaming test today and may begin considering live shows for Linux how-tos, along with re-sharing the video via YouTube later. Tonight’s videos stream is made possible as my wife is out of town visiting relatives. After all, there is no way I would be doing this if she was home, she would never hear of it. And my dog and cat are going nuts over the fireworks, so I am sitting here typing this with my dog’s calming DVD on repeat – looks like it will be a long evening.

So what do you think? Will Comcast and other cable ISPs begin the self-broadcaster crackdown here in the near future? Considering I am using more upload than download, will they even care? Only time will tell, I will be using FiOS here very soon after we move back up north so I am tempted to try my limits, just because I am curious. Will I begin doing this on a regular basis? Nothing extreme, likely on a set schedule and with the idea of broadcasting and then recording tutorials. We’ll have to wait and see how it all pans out.

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  • George

    Lets put it this way. It sucks that comcast throttles peoples bandwidth, but at the same time, its nessasary. People get all ticked off when comcast does this, but they don’t realize that they themselves are sucking bandwidth from other customers! Bandwidth isn’t unlimited, and with all the high def video viewing thats going around, its become scarce quickly. So, if comcast bans you, its because you are using too much bandwidth, and other customers are getting slow internet. I know it sucks, but thats the way it is. Recording yt vids should be fine, though ;)

  • http://www.matthartley.com Matt Hartley

    George: It’s there network, so throttle away. But to flat out ban people for overuse without a clear definition of what too much actually is, seems really unfair. Giving users hard numbers allows everyone to work with the finite amount of bandwidth provided. Does that make sense? :)

  • http://www.comcast.com ComcastCares

    Hi Matt!
    I know plenty of people who stream using slingbox that do not come close to any limitations for bandwidth, so I do not think it would be a problem. We also would never ban someone on the first offense. We would call to let you know. If you receive that call, you can reduce it at that time.

    The current policy is available on our website. Search for ‘excessive bandwidth’ at the following URL: http://help.comcast.net

    Have a great weekend!

    Frank Eliason
    Comcast
    @ComcastCares on Twitter
    [email protected]

  • Fair Use

    If they advertise an “X” amount of bandwidth up and down, they had better give every bit of it to me as much of it as I want or they WILL be in court.

  • Advertising Truth

    FU has it right. Comcast not giving you the full amount advertised is the same as Chevy advertising the ‘Vette as a V*8 and then delevering a 4 banger in the car.

  • http://www.matthartley.com Matt Hartley

    Frank: I appreciate you putting my mind at ease about using Ustream. However you must admit, the current TOS is vague and considering the changing world of bandwidth usage, dated. While Comcast may opt to not provide exact usage numbers, at least they could be clear about streaming and services like Vudu/netflix/Hulu.

    Again, I would appreciate a continued dialog.
    matt (at) lockergnome.com

  • system001

    as one one cable internet subscriber stated your current isp does cap you service at it’s allotted speed. meaning if you signup with comcast for 6 mbps you will never go over that. this bull coming out of the broadband provides about banwidth hogs is a fairy tail. as was stated they want to continue to add customers but not to pay for the banwidth those new customers use. it is estimated that including al overhead including corporate salaries that comcast 52.95 6mbps service or 45.95 bundled with cable or voip only cost them 7 dollars or less per month. lets allow for a more than fair profit. lets say 7 dollars for a total cost to the customer of 14 dollars. i come up with a difference of at least 31.95. all this bull about bandwidth hogs is just to try to kill net neutrality. it is time just like with other utilities that their books are opened for everyone to see, so we can regulate their growth and make sure people get what they are paying for. for that extra 32 dollars they are receiving they could easily quadruple everones service.

  • http://www.comcast.com ComcastCares

    Yes I am a big believer in transparency and I would prefer a set number that could be monitored and reviewed regularly. I would expect that in the future. That would put many people at ease regarding their usage. It would also show that bandwidth from things like slingbox or from sites like netflix. Netflix for example HD movies are something like 4-5 Gb (I actually think they are less than that), so if the cap 250 Gb you could watch a lot of movies in a month.

    I will also add fancast to your list!!!

    Frank

  • Ray

    My wife’s brother in law was a big user with RoadRunner and when they dumped our area and Comcast took it over, he got the shaft bigtime. He is with IBM and had to put in a T-1 line at his home.

  • http://www.jupada.com Paul

    Well, shoot man! Just put your video on U-Tube!