Limited Access

4:15 PM -- We're all adults here, right?

We understand that "unlimited" Internet access isn't really unlimited. And restaurants with all-you-can-eat buffets want you to leave after a couple of hours, no matter what the sign says.

So why do ISPs hide behind scary lawyer language when discussing how much bandwidth each customer can expect to use?

From Charter's latest terms of use:

If Charter determines, in Charter's sole discretion, that Customer is using an excessive amount of bandwidth over the Charter network infrastructure for Internet access or other functions using public network resources, Charter may at any time and without notice, suspend excessive bandwidth capability, suspend Customer's access to the Service, require Customer to pay additional fees in accordance with Charter's then-current, rates for such service, or terminate Customer's account.

They're overdoing it, aren't they? Why can't they just tell me about how many hours a day they expect me to be online? Why not give me a ballpark figure for the amount of bandwidth they're thinking I should be consuming, given what I'm paying?

This kind of thing shouldn't just be hanging out there. Folks are more likely to watch HD shows using their Internet connection these days and I'm sure that exhausts a lot of bandwidth. Especially if the shows are in full-resolution HD. You know, the kind of pristine quality picture that cable companies aren't serving in your neighborhood.

— Phil Harvey, Editor, Light Reading

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