What's so dangerous about this policy is that it seems reasonable. Comcast's cap is at 250 gigabytes, or 100 times what the average user consumes. Very few of us download 62,500 songs or 125 standard-definition movies each month.
Nevertheless, Comcast's cap ignores something fundamental: The Internet is growing exponentially. Look at the key players. Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendations Akamai
For its part, Comcast says that the cap is designed to prevent bandwidth hogs from stealing time from Joe and Jane Webizen. Yeah, and when my cousin Eddie tells me he'll pay me back on Tuesday the $50 I'm loaning him today, he doesn't really mean that I'll never see that money again. Silly me.
Here's what Comcast should have said:
"See, we've got this legacy cable business. That wouldn't be so bad if innovators weren't making it easier to stream video over the Web. Microsoft's
Most troublingly, this cap reveals Comcast to be gutless. Otherwise, management would immediately replace it with utility-style pricing, in which bandwidth burners would pay extra. Trouble is, that involves risk. A limitless pay-per-use model could boost demand and force Comcast to upgrade its infrastructure, even as top customers shop for cheaper services.
Still, blaming the bandwidth hogs is a cop-out, Comcast. You're small-f fooling no one.
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Fool contributor Tim Beyers had positions in Akamai and Google shares, and Google's 2010 LEAP options at the time of publication. He hunts for the best of tech as a contributor to Motley Fool Rule Breakers, which counts Akamai and Google among its holdings. Here's how to try this market-beating service free for 30 days. Get access to all of Tim's Foolish writings here.