The Broadband Police Are Coming

Analysts fear impending crackdown on high bandwidth users
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 15, 2008 12:07 PM CST
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(Newser) – Enjoy your broadband while you can, because it won’t be this way forever. Consumer advocates think ISPs will soon have claim to have no choice but to crack down on high-bandwidth users or applications, in order to keep their networks afloat. Already Comcast has drawn fire for slowing file transfers, while Time Warner is experimenting with a tiered payment system, charging for heavier use, ComputerWorld reports.

Broadband demands have a habit of doubling each year, but ISPs insist they can handle the traffic. “We’ve been successfully delivering broadband services for 10 years, and that’s not going to change anytime soon,” said one Comcast executive. But Comcast has been known cap bandwidth hogs’ accounts, or kick them off entirely, complaining that a single individual can consume more data than some businesses.