Comcast Lets Pittsburgh-Area High-Speed Internet Customers Check Usage

Article excerpt

Comcast Corp.'s residential high-speed Internet customers in Western Pennsylvania now can check online to see how much data they've sent, received, downloaded or uploaded.

"We see it as a consumer education tool," said Charlie Douglas, a Philadelphia-based Comcast spokesman. "The meter allows people to understand how much data usage they're actually using." The meter is online in 20 states, he said Thursday.

Customers in this region began receiving e-mails from Comcast about its Internet usage meter this week.

The telecommunications giant began limiting Internet data usage to 250 gigabytes per month on Oct. 1. A limit is needed, the company says, to manage traffic on its network and maintain service quality.

Comcast's implementation of a usage meter occurs about two years after the company was ordered by the Federal Communications Commission to stop blocking and slowing Internet traffic, and to publicly disclose its network management practices.

Critics had complained that Comcast targeted and deliberately slowed specific usage applications, so-called peer-to-peer Internet traffic.

Douglas said more than 99.9 percent of all customers don't approach using 250 gigabytes of usage monthly. Comcast has about 850,000 customers, including high-speed residential users, in its Keystone West Region, which includes Western Pennsylvania and parts of Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland. …