Mediacom, a cord business with around 1.4 million Internet consumers throughout 22 states, is informing hefty uploaders to decrease their information use—also when those customers are well listed below their regular monthly information caps.

Mediacom’s fastest Internet strategy provides gigabit download rates and also 50Mbps upload rates with a regular monthly information cap of 6TB. But as Stop the Cap composed in an in-depth record on Wednesday, the ISP is “reach[ing] out to a growing number of its heavy uploaders and telling them to reduce usage or face a speed throttle or the possible closure of their account.” Mediacom informed Ars that it is calling hefty uploaders “more frequently than before” due to enhanced use activated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The business claimed that hefty uploaders “may be under their total bandwidth usage allowance but still have a negative impact on Mediacom’s network.”

Mediacom’s conditions state the business bills $10 costs for every extra block of 50GB made use of by consumers that surpass the information cap. But customers might be alerted regarding their use long prior to they take the chance of overage costs. One individual in East Moline, Illinois, that explained the situation on a DSLReports online forum in very early January, claimed they spent for the 6TB strategy “to make sure we wouldn’t go over the cap” and also had actually never ever made use of greater than 4TB. The individual composed:

So, obtained a telephone call from the Mediacom scams and also misuse division today. The representative informed me they were calling consumers that have “higher than average” transmission capacity use as they are having network concerns. I rushed and also examined my account and also just made use of a little bit over 2.5TB last month. He informed me my upload was 450GB over their standard and also if I really did not decrease my use they would certainly either strangle or detach me. I suggested that I made use of much less than fifty percent of the overall information permitted by my strategy, however he claimed my 1.2TB of upload was way too much which this was my caution.

Another gigabit individual in Missouri called Cory informed Stop the Cap that the 6TB regular monthly cap “is way more than I will ever use, but I still received a warning letter claiming I was uploading too much. I discovered I used about 900GB over the last two months, setting up a cloud backup of my computer. At most I can send files at around 50Mbps, which they claim is interfering with other customers in my neighborhood. I don’t understand.”

Too much use in “Mediacom’s sole opinion”

Letters sent out by Mediacom to hefty uploaders claimed, “your account’s usage is greater than 99.5 percent of all Service customers. Due to your excessive use, you are negatively impacting Mediacom’s network and other users of the Service.”

The letter takes place to state that it’s a “violation” of Mediacom’s appropriate usage plan to “use excessive bandwidth, whether upstream or downstream, that in Mediacom’s sole opinion, places an unusually large burden on the network or goes over normal usage. Mediacom has the right to impose limits on excessive bandwidth consumption via any means available to Mediacom.”

Mediacom gave somewhat much more information to the Federal Communications Commission in action to consumer problems. A Mediacom letter to the FCC claimed the business’s “network is built to allow for more downstream usage than upstream usage.” Mediacom’s letter to the FCC additionally explained the information cap as “a large conduit with a smaller conduit within it… Due to historical trends, the smaller conduit allows for upstream usage while the remainder of the conduit is reserved for downstream usage.” Heavy upload usage can worry that “smaller conduit,” significance that consumers “can be under the total data usage allowance but still be negatively impacting the network.”

Mediacom condemns pandemic

Even without the general information caps, Mediacom’s Internet strategies have integrated limitations on uploading. While the gigabit-download strategy limitations posts to 50Mbps, the 60Mbps-download strategy limitations posts to simply 5Mbps and also the 100Mbps-download strategy limitations posts to 10Mbps. The 60/5Mbps prepare has a 200GB regular monthly cap, and also the 100/10Mbps prepare has a 1TB cap.

We asked Mediacom why it hasn’t updated its network sufficient to completely sustain the upload rates and also information allocations that its consumers spend for, however we really did not get a response. New variations of the Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS), which have actually been greatly hyped by the cord market, can sustain in proportion download and also upload rates of 10Gbps. Even an earlier variation of the DOCSIS 3.1 requirement that’s currently commonly released in theory enables 10Gbps downloads and also 1Gbps upload rates. But the cord market has actually been sluggish to elevate upload rates.

When gotten in touch with by Ars, Mediacom indicated cable-industry data revealing 31.8 percent development in downstream website traffic and also 51.1 percent development in upstream website traffic considering that the pandemic increase in March 2020. Mediacom representative Thomas Larsen additionally informed us:

Given the rise in website traffic throughout the pandemic, we have actually been connecting to the consumers that come under the leading 0.5 percent of upstream customers much more regularly than in the past. This is not the most convenient subject to discuss since Internet use is proliferating in this job from house/study from home setting, so it is challenging to provide a precise number that places a client right into the 0.5 percent classification since that number adjustments from month to month.

Ideally, we can aid the consumer recognize the root cause of the upstream overutilization problem and also aid them take actions to handle it. We can provide company course solutions that are made to sustain better upload ability, however that’s truly not the factor of this workout.

Mediacom additionally get in touches with hefty download customers “when their usage negatively impacts” various other consumers, Larsen claimed. “Since our network is engineered to be able to handle significantly more downstream traffic, this happens less frequently.”

As for whether consumers that do not reduce their use will certainly encounter strangling or account discontinuations, Larsen claimed, “use that causes a negative impact on Mediacom’s network is prohibited and Mediacom may implement necessary network programs to address such use or suspend or terminate the service.”

Switching ISPs “not an option”

Mediacom’s handling of uploaders is evocative actions taken by Cox Communications previously in the pandemic. Cox enforced neighborhood-wide downturns in many cases, minimizing the gigabit-download strategy’s upload rates from 35Mbps to 10Mbps. Mediacom does not show up to have actually done anything that drastic, however informing customers to decrease their upload use when they have not also resemble striking their information caps is irritating for consumers.

“If there were any other Internet options other than horribly slow AT&T DSL, with a small data cap, I would switch in a heartbeat,” the Mediacom consumer in Illinois that published on the DSLReports online forum composed. “Unfortunately with my job and working from home, going without usable Internet is not an option.”