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New Product Lets Broadband Providers Notify Customers When They ‘Use Too Much’ Internet

Phillip Dampier August 31, 2011 BendBroadband, Buckeye, Data Caps, WOW! 5 Comments

Are you using too much Internet service?  If your service provider thinks you are, it can alert you by barging in on your web-browsing sessions with forced notification messages warning you are about to be the latest victim of Internet Overcharging.

PerfTech, a maker of browser messaging systems has teamed up with Active Broadband Networks to deliver providers a way to notify up to two million subscribers about their broadband usage from just a single rack-based system.

“Feedback from ISPs who have deployed usage-based Internet tiers has confirmed that two factors are key to success: accurate usage measurement and quick, proactive notifications,” PerfTech vice president of sales Jane Christ said in a statement.

Most browser message injection systems are used to warn customers when they are approaching monthly usage limits or excessive use charges.  Some can even redirect web users to a single ISP-administered website to alert them their service has been suspended or request payment for additional usage with a credit card.

So far, only smaller U.S. providers are using PerfTech’s system, including WideOpenWest, BendBroadband in Oregon, and Buckeye Cable in Ohio.

  • WideOpenWest doesn’t appear to limit usage except for newsgroups.  According to their FAQ, users may download up to 5GB per month of newsgroup content;
  • Bend Broadband has a 100GB monthly limit on all but its highest speed Internet plan, which carries a 150GB monthly limit.  The overlimit fee is $1.50 per gigabyte.
  • Buckeye Cable favors “network management” techniques, which can slow down customers deemed to be using too much, at its discretion.  But the company does have a 3GB strict usage cap on newsgroup access.  Exceeding it is very costly.  The overlimit fee is a whopping $45 per gigabyte.
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James R Curry
James R Curry
12 years ago

Do these strict Usenet policies apply only to the providers’ own Usenet servers (assuming they’re running them) or do they apply to any and all Usenet access, including via third-party servers?

If it’s the latter, that strikes me as a gigantic Net Neutrality violation.

James R Curry
James R Curry
12 years ago

Then I think the real story here is that ISPs still run Usenet servers in 2011. 🙂

12 years ago

What happened to making tech that was useful to advance technology? Data metering products don’t exactly do this besides advancing monetary flow.

12 years ago

WOW! (Wide Open West) does not in any way limit usage. They also overprovide bandwidth (give you faster internet than you pay for so that in peak usage you still have your promised speed) and they guarantee your speed. Nobody else guarantees it. Technically, on their fastest speed, your bandwidth limit is 15.96 TB (not bits; bytes) since that is the most data you could download in 31 days at that speed of 50 Mbps.

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