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Suddenlink’s Thumb on the Scale That Measures Your Usage

Suddenlink’s decision to implement an Internet Overcharging scheme that couples usage caps with overlimit fees can be a real revenue-booster for the cable company, especially if a usage measurement tool decides to nip at your allowance with phantom usage that can eventually expose you to overlimit fees.

Simon, a Suddenlink customer in northern Texas contacted Stop the Cap! with news he managed to catch Suddenlink in the act of ginning up his broadband usage, measuring around 23GB of broadband usage in just one day:

Here is what Suddenlink’s usage measurement tool reports Simon has used during the month of August. Not the 23GB measurement recorded for Aug. 18.

“Suddenlink believes I used ~23GB and my router confirms I only used 2.22GB (a difference of 936%),” Simon writes. “It’s insane.”

Even more unusual is Suddenlink’s measurement tool recorded that usage on a day when a thunderstorm knocked out his cable broadband service for nearly six hours during peak usage times. It is not the first time Suddenlink’s meter has gone haywire.

Consumers are at the whim of broadband provider-supplied measurement tools, which are unregulated and unmonitored by federal, state, or local authorities. What those tools measure is what customers will be billed for, with no verification or proof of accuracy required.

Companies utilizing these measurement tools require customers to accept the provided measurements as the final word on the matter.

“I think it’s a repugnant money grab that needs to be regulated by the state or federal government,” Simon shares.

Unregulated metered billing is a dream come true for providers who can bill customers whatever they want.

Here is what Simon’s router measured on that same date – 2.22GB, almost a 1,000% difference… in Suddenlink’s favor.

Currently there are 3 comments on this Article:

  1. Austin says:

    It looks like Suddenlink is billing him for raw data including overhead, instead of just actual bandwidth delivered. His modem spent all day retraining and retraining and retraining, and they cheerfully counted that as service rendered. I would expect to see that they measure more bandwidth used on poorer quality lines. This would be a disincentive for them to repair them if substandard lines were more profitable.

  2. Ian L says:

    …except there’s no way that retrains would run into the tens of gigabytes in a single day. To put that into perspective, you’d have to be transmitting 1.2 GB per hour for every single hour the connection was online, for a mean data rate of around 2.7 Mbps. Not impossible if you’re heavily using the connection for a day, but impossible if a modem is trying to reconnect to the cable system.

  3. Mr Black says:

    If you don’t upgrade your modem it hard for them to meter your usage. Amount of noise meter usage is also there !! It be better for ISP to tag ad-ware cookies since most of us didn’t request their services to report on us inside our systems.

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  • Jonny: My smaller cable company Suddenlink (1.4M customers) started the same thing. 250GB cap with with their medium speed of 50mbps. They are only doing thi...
  • Joe V: Man these guys just don't get it. Not to worry, just as the music industry learned the hard way that to piss off their customers by giving them crap, ...
  • Mike D.: The TV providers have never been willing to fight for the consumer with the other conglomerates who bundled crap with one or two channels of good cont...
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  • Phillip Dampier: Rats... and I knew I caught this in the proofread and made the change but it stayed a draft while the inaccurate one went live. Thanks for catching th...
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  • bob: how is this fair to existing customers who reside in areas where upgrade hasnt gone through. im supposed to pay 60 plus dollars each month for extreme...
  • Michael Elling: Paul, part of this stems from the industry's infatuation with vertical models and the govt-granted quasi-monopoly structure stemming from spectrum sal...
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  • Duffin: I have just dropped my cable, and I do plan on getting Hulu Plus instead, but you know what? If they stop putting current episodes on Hulu I'm just no...
  • David Manthos: The bill is actually HB 2551, not 2511. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Status/Bills_history.cfm?input=2551&year=2016&sessiontype=RS&...

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