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Frequently Asked Questions about Comcast Usage Cap
EarthLink Powered by Comcast Usage Cap
  • Article ID: 52336
  • Last modified date: May 18, 2010 8:05

This Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQ”) regarding the monthly usage cap (“Usage Cap”) only applies to the EarthLink Internet Cable Service powered by Comcast (“EarthLink Powered by Comcast Service”).  This FAQ is intended to help clarify the Usage Cap policy.

EarthLink Internet Cable Service Powered By Comcast
Frequently Asked Questions – Usage Cap
Frequently Asked Questions – Usage Cap
What is the EarthLink Powered by Comcast Service’s Usage Cap?

The EarthLink Powered By Comcast Service includes a 250 gigabyte (“GB”) monthly data usage cap for all of its EarthLink Powered By Comcast Service customers.   This Usage Cap means that your monthly data usage cannot exceed 250 GB.  250 GB per month is a large amount of data usage and is significantly higher than typical residential usage.  To put 250 GB per month into context, you could download 125 standard definition movies (at 2 GB per movie) or more than 40 HD movies (6 GB per movie) per month and still be below the 250 GB per month Usage Cap.

What is data usage or bandwidth usage?

Data usage, also known as bandwidth usage, is the total amount of data, such as photos, movies, videos and other files that you send, receive, download and upload over a specific period of time. 

Data usage is not the same as the speed of an Internet service. For example, a typical customer who uses the service to send and receive email, surf the Internet, and watch streaming video may consume 2 – 4 GB of data in a month (these numbers may vary on a monthly basis); while another customer who uploads or downloads 1,000 pictures in a month may use 10 GB. In both cases, however, the speed of each customer's service could be the same (for example, 6 Megabits per second downstream and 1 Megabits upstream).

Why did EarthLink and Comcast implement this Usage Cap for the EarthLink Powered By Comcast Service?

Comcast and other cable providers  provide portions of the network that EarthLink High Speed Cable service uses to deliver broadband Internet access. EarthLink provides the other portions of the network and services like Webmail and the myEarthLink Start Page®.  EarthLink works with its business partners, like Comcast, to manage the network infrastructure.

Excessive users consume so much data that their data usage could negatively impact the service for other customers. In order to clarify excessive use, Comcast established a 250 GB monthly data usage cap for residential Comcast Internet access accounts.  Based on its analysis of customer data usage, Comcast determined that more than 99% of their residential customers would not be impacted by this Usage Cap.  Because Comcast is EarthLink’s business partner in providing the EarthLink Powered by Comcast Service, EarthLink is working closely with Comcast in implementing this Usage Cap.

When was the 250 GB monthly Usage Cap put into effect?

EarthLink initiated the 250 GB monthly Usage Cap on July 1, 2010.

What will happen if I exceed 250 GB Usage Cap in a month?

The vast majority - more than 99% - of customers will not be impacted by the monthly 250 GB Usage Cap. In the event that you exceed more than 250 GB, you may receive a telephone call from Comcast notifying you that you exceeded the 250 GB Usage Cap in the previous month.  The customer service representative on this telephone call  will (i) tell you how much data per month the account has used, (ii) help you identify the source of excessive use, (iii) explain ways to moderate  and reduce your data usage, and (iv) explain the consequences of continuing overusage including termination of the EarthLink Powered By Comcast Service.  

Based on Comcast’s past records, the vast majority of customers voluntarily reduce their data usage after this initial call.  However, if after you receive this telephone call from Comcast, you continue to exceed the 250 GB Usage Cap during any month within the six month period after this first telephone call, your EarthLink Powered by Comcast Service may be terminated.  For example, if your account exceeded the Usage Cap in the month of August and Comcast contacted you the first week of September informing you that your account exceeded the 250 GB Usage Cap in August, if your account exceeds the monthly Usage Cap in September, October, November, December, January or February, your EarthLink Powered By Comcast Service may be terminated.   In the event that your EarthLink Powered by Comcast Service is terminated as a result of exceeding the 250 GB monthly Usage Cap, you will have to wait one year from the termination date to be able to subscribe to the EarthLink Powered by Comcast Service again.

How can customers who have been identified as exceeding the monthly Usage Cap be helped?

Some customers who exceed the 250 GB Usage Cap in one month were not aware of the activities that caused this excessive data usage.  For example, after being notified by Comcast that your EarthLink Powered By Comcast Service exceeded the monthly Usage Cap, some customers may identify another person in their household, such as a child or roommate, who uses the EarthLink Powered by Comcast Service in ways that exceed the 250 GB monthly Usage Cap.  In other cases, a customer's personal computer may be compromised by a virus or spyware that uses the computer to send large amounts of spam or perform repeated bulk transfers of large files. Still other customers may have an unsecured wireless router or be using the residential EarthLink Powered By Comcast Service for a commercial or business purpose and not the intended residential purpose. In each of these situations, and many others,  Comcast helped the customer to identify and address the cause of such excessive data usage.   In fact, Comcast has found that most customers who exceed the Usage Cap during one month change their usage patterns or make other adjustments in their data usage. It is our expectation that only a small fraction of the tiny number of customers whose accounts exceeded the monthly Usage Cap for at least two months during a six month period will have their EarthLink Powered By Comcast Service terminated for one year. 

How is monthly Data Usage calculated?

Monthly data usage is based on aggregate data usage for that month.  

If I do not use the 250 GB monthly allotment, can the remainder be carried over into the next month?

No, we do not offer a data usage rollover option.

Will there be any notification to me if I am getting close to 250 GB?

Not at this time.

How do I find out how much data usage I have per month?

Call (888) EARTHLINK (888-327-8454).

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