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CommSpeed: Yesterday’s Internet, Tomorrow — Another Internet Overcharging Scheme

Phillip Dampier November 29, 2011 CommSpeed, Data Caps, Editorial & Site News, Rural Broadband, Video, Wireless Broadband 6 Comments

Stop the Cap! reader Davey in Arizona was displeased to receive notification his Internet Service Provider, CommSpeed, suddenly announced an Internet Overcharging scheme that limits customers to two levels of service: a basic $40 plan with a ridiculously stingy 10GB monthly usage allowance, or a more generous (and double the price) $60 plan that comes with a 200GB usage cap.

Davey is particularly upset the company plans to punish customers who exceed the allowance with a stinging $2/GB overlimit fee.  It will not be difficult for customers to blow past  CommSpeed’s standard 10GB plan limit if they discover file backup, online video, or downloading.  If they do, CommSpeed’s overlimit fee will be coming soon to a bill in their mailbox. For those who use the Internet to watch television and movies, the only real options are to watch less or upgrade to a more expensive plan with a more realistic usage allowance that can accommodate high bandwidth applications.

CommSpeed claims their “advanced 4G network combines the best features of cellular, cable modem & DSL, and Wi-Fi networks, without the inherent limitations associated with these legacy systems.”  The company brands itself as “Tomorrow’s Internet Today.”

What they don’t mention is today’s wireless ISP’s are increasingly challenged by the growing usage demands consumers place on providers.  CommSpeed’s claim that their network “was designed and built, from inception, to deliver a full range of broadband content and applications” flies in the face of their 10GB usage limit. Fiber, cable broadband and even telephone company DSL has a better track record handling increasing usage demands, as long as providers maintain investments in their respective networks.

CommSpeed’s usage cap tells the real story — their network may not be able to handle the growing traffic from customers in their northern Arizona service area.

“The Internet has seen tremendous growth in total usage over the last year. New applications are being developed everyday and these applications are causing an ever increasing demand for bandwidth. Quite simply, the content of the Internet has evolved,” CommSpeed explains on a page dedicated to explaining their new caps.

Unfortunately for wireless, until more spectrum and better technology is available, usage limitations are an increasing reality for customers stuck using these networks. It’s why Stop the Cap! rarely recommends wireless broadband as a primary Internet service except as a last resort, when other choices simply are not available.

Still, we’ve seen much worse from other Wireless ISPs.  CommSpeed’s 200GB limit on their $60 tier is more generous than average.  Plus, the company takes the limits off during the overnight hours of midnight to 6AM.

We also think the company’s usage guestimates are a more honest approximation of real-world usage, not the ridiculous “send 10,000,000 e-mails and download 500,000 songs” reassurances we usually see from Internet Overcharging ISPs:

Average user with a 10GB allowance
Total Gigabytes Used = 9.9GB
Actual internet consumption may vary.
Per Month Total Bandwidth Consumed
General Internet Browsing 100 hours 500MB
Email Communication (total sent/received) 400 emails 20MB
Internet Phone Service 500 minutes 1.1GB
Music Downloads 100 Tracks 600MB
Movie Streaming 3 movies 6GB
Online Gaming 100 hours 1.5GB

CommSpeed’s old plans ranged in price from $34.95 for basic 768kbps-1.5Mbps service to $54.90 for 1.5-6Mbps service, depending on the technology in use in the area. The new plans bring a $5 rate hike and usage caps — just two reasons why customers like Davey are so upset. They’ll be even more upset if their bill also include overlimit fees. Stay tuned.

CommSpeed heavily promotes its newer 4G wireless broadband service, claiming its great for online video, downloading, gaming, and more, as long as you don’t use it too much.  In 2012, CommSpeed throws up limits on their wireless experience.  (3 minutes)

Currently there are 6 comments on this Article:

  1. a gamer/movie watcher says:

    this did not includ the downloading of files like games that u buy online that can be up to 20GB per game

  2. Dude says:

    Well I’ve had Commspeed for quite some time now and I must agree the company is lagging behind. They know they have outdated equipment, yet they don’t update it because they know they have a monopoly on broadband in much of rural Arizona. While I agree data allowances are annoying as hell, at least I can still download updates/big files at night to keep it from counting towards the 10Gb. The main issue in my opinion is that Commspeed cant handle the torrents on their network. Of the many times I’ve talked to tech support wondering why my ping is at 1000ms+ I’ve learned that they don’t have a bandwidth manager and some customers have been pulling like 6Mb/s and as much as 15Gb/day. With the new pricing scheme also comes the bandwidth manager, which they will also use to keep those customers from pulling more bandwidth than their contract allows if it will affect the other customers. The new pricing is complete moneygrubbing BS, if they properly manage the equipment they have now and upgrade in a timely manner their network issues would go away.

  3. mad as hell says:

    if you have windows update, and antivirus updates turned on, you are going to get at least 5g a month just on keeping windows running.

  4. scott says:

    had sluggspeed for years. used to be very fast with normal problems. they “upgraded” and service went downhill. was told it was my computer, my software ect. had phone techs that were good and had some yell at me. had very good field service guys and some that would lie to your face. been given every excuse you could think of. been threatened by their spokes guy from the radio for posting my opinions on their public forum. have had a reduced payment because of their lack of service. every time their system farts it puts me back on full payment schedule. have talked to their higher ups and it does no good. they are sympathetic but thats it. stay away unless you are a night person and only want to use your net after midnight. not enough bandwidth, marginal service and a TON of excuses……………this is 4 YEARS of dealing with them!

  5. scott says:

    oh! i fully expect this to be deleted due to them running a full gambit of web douchebagery by getting non “i love sluggspeed” comments deleted

  6. Robin says:

    HEY..YA’LL ARE REALLY BITCHING WITHOUT KNOWING THE OPTIONS. I’m on Verizon. Seemed ok at first, fast enough, and reconnects easily by itself….EVERY THIRD PAGE OR SO. THEY CHARGE $50.00 FOR (5) FIVE GIGABYTES and $80.00 for (10) TEN GIGABYTES and overage is $10.00 per (1) GIGABYTE overage. I contact COMMSPEED about every 6 to 8 months, to see if they can service me yet. I’ll trade services, even pay to get out of VERIZON CONTRACT just to get on COMMSPEED. Go check out what your going to be looking at. I just can’t believe y’all are complaining.

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