Here is an interesting article from the Star Tribune about a Comcast customer’s experience with his so called “unlimited access.” You can read the details by following the link, what I want to focus on is the move by Comcast and how it could be handled better.
I certainly understand Comcast’s point of view, if someone is hogging a lot of bandwidth, that can be bad for service overall, but I think that level must be rather high. If you look at Comcast’s commercials, they leave you with the impression that, you can download a ton of stuff all the time. So Ken Glover probably was just doing what Comcast itself implies is what you can do with their service.
The thing that gets me though, is how Comcast has handled this, it is a case of marketing and customer service disconnect. They won’t even tell Mr. Glover what the limit is that he needs to keep under. So how can he do his part as a customer if he doesn’t even know what his limits are? As the article states, on the site bradbandreports.com, many other have reported this same problem that Mr. Glover has had, and have said they were never informed of the policy. So it appears Comcast needs to do a bit more work on explaining the limits of its unlimited access.
The problem for Internet companies are, they like the weekend surfer, the person who only checks their email at night and maybe do a little Internet shopping. For them it’s a big bonus. There they are, charging $40 plus a month for basically a little drip of bandwidth. It’s like having a luxury sports car but only driving 30mph, never really seeing what that engine can do. But as we move more towards a connected work and personal life, more people are demanding more and more bandwidth for what they consider just common everyday surfing.
So as people’s tastes change in surfing and more data is needed, I don’t think it is going to be a good business move to start to limit more and more customers. Instead, a savvy provider will see these changes coming and take steps to expand their network’s ability to handle to inevitable. Then while other providers are showing degradation in service, that provider that now took the steps to improve will be in a position to better gain new clients.