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BendBroadBand Changes Mind, Still Caps 'net Usage, But Raises The Cap

(If you haven't been following the BendBroadband bandwidth cap update, read up here first which links to the few entries that follow this whole mess. Most of the discussion has happened here.)

BendBroadband announced today that they've dropped their tiered-bandwidth-cap for the upcoming service change in July, in favor of an across-the-board residential 100GB cap. The pricing differences will now be because of the speed differences and the Platinum Plan that was created during this whole discussion has been dropped.

Just the same, Comcast still gives you a higher cap.

The press release (full text after the jump) also mentions their business plans that are coming soon. It was originally thought and mentioned that these would be uncapped, but it appears that the cap will be set at 150GB for all but the high-end plan (no details on pricing has been released -- which I'm still a bit miffed about and have been all along). As was mentioned before, the cap on business plans might hurt Bend as a destination for new technology entrepreneurs. Experimentation with technology can sometimes be an expensive and stressful endeavor if you have to worry about caps.

And there is still is my problem with the overnight downloads/uploads that I do (for backup/security purposes). Again, they shouldn't count against me, but they're going to, even though they're going to hurt nobody. While I'm not over the 100GB limit, there are times where I easily could be. And I can't consider a business plan as they still haven't released them.

So an improvement? Yes. Completely fixed? Nope. Are people still going to complain? You bet. Will the usage graph be fixed? As of May 7th, it say it is on the site, but who knows if it'll break again.

I just don't think people will realize the impact this could potentially have on their bill. While the cap is much higher than before, with Summer coming and the kids being at home and discovering torrents and iTunes video and such, I just have a feeling there will be more outrage to come.

Full press release after the jump, feel free to comment below.

Update: FixBBB is all over it as well.

BendBroadband Doubling Internet Speeds and Increasing Bandwidth Usage Plans for Residential Customers to 100GB per Month May 14, 2008 Bend, Ore. - In addition to previously-announced increases in Internet speeds and the introduction of usage-based tiers launching in July, BendBroadband has responded to customer feedback by expanding bandwidth usage allowances to 100GB per month for each level of residential Internet service. The company's initial plan included monthly usage allowances that varied by level of service and that were set at 10GB, 30GB, 50GB and 100GB.

In March, BendBroadband noted that about 5% of the company's high-speed Internet customers account for 50% of the data that is transferred though the cable system. The average BendBroadband Internet customer consumes less than 5GB per month. However, a small percentage of customers (about 0.5%) regularly use more than 100GB each month.

"Based on feedback from a small group of customers, we became concerned that there was a perception that the 10GB, 30GB and 50GB bandwidth levels would create confusion and inconvenience for average users," commented Frank Miller, BendBroadband's Chief Technology Officer. "That was never our intent. The key theme all along has been one of fairness; we believe it is fair that customers who use more bandwidth – which drives the capital investment to expand capacity -- should pay more for that bandwidth."

"Network architecture requires bandwidth capacity to be shared among neighbors and we design our system based on peak usage," continued Miller. "So it's important for consumers to be aware that extraordinarily high levels of usage do have an impact. With rapidly-expanding usage among a small percentage of customers, proactively maintaining adequate levels of capacity and optimum Internet speeds simply costs more money. We looked at our escalating infrastructure costs and evaluated our options. After careful consideration, we have elected to implement a usage plan with a generous bandwidth allowance designed to impact only those few customers using more than 100GB per month. This plan keeps prices the same for about 99% of our customers -- and it is fair."

Beginning in July, the few customers that exceed 100GB per month will be charged $1.50 for each additional GB.

As noted in March, BendBroadband will double download speeds for its two existing Internet packages and will offer a new Gold level of service with download speeds of 16Mbps. Classic service will be renamed Bronze and speeds will increase from 4Mbps to 8Mbps, Deluxe will be renamed Silver and speeds will increase to 12Mbps. Prices will not change for Classic/Bronze or Deluxe/Silver. The new Gold service will be priced at $54.95 a month when bundled with BendBroadband phone or digital cable. Silver and Gold service will include free virus protection software and all three packages will include access to my.bendbroadband.com, a new web portal offering access to news, sports, weather and entertainment.

BendBroadband Business Services will also soon launch three new Internet plans delivering increased speeds, enhanced features such as virus protection, expanded email storage and a new level of dedicated local business support. These upgrades will come at no additional cost to business customers. To protect the customer experience and to maintain prices, the first two tiers will include a monthly bandwidth allowance of 150GB with no bandwidth allowance for the top plan. Bandwidth allowances are set so that the typical high-speed Internet business customer (99.8% of all customers) will see no difference in their monthly charge.

For further information: Frank Miller, 541-388-5817 or fmiller@bendbroadband.net

About BendBroadband:

BendBroadband is a privately-owned, Oregon-based company serving Central Oregon since 1955. BendBroadband provides a full range of services including Video on Demand, digital video recorders, 100% digital cable, HD television, high-speed Internet, commercial and business telephone services, and an extensive fiber infrastructure. BendBroadband also delivers a variety of local sports and civic programming created and produced by COTV (channel 11 on BendBroadband's channel lineup).

Posted by Jake on 05/14/08 @ 12:26 PM
Posted in Geekdom, Local | Permalink

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