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Excessive Use Of Bandwidth

Thresholds are commonly used in the industry, and Charter has established in the Company's Acceptable Use Policy "AUP" residential service thresholds at 100 gigabytes (GB) of bandwidth per month for customers subscribing to Lite and Express services, 250 GB of bandwidth per month for customers subscribing to Plus and Max (Grandfathered) service and 500 GB of bandwidth per month for Ultra100 service.

Please reference Charter's AUP at www.charter.com/aup for additional information regarding our policies.

Please select a topic below for more information on Excessive Use Of Bandwidth.

Accumulating Unused Usage

The thresholds pertain to calendar month usage and will not accumulate or roll over into the following month.

Assistance With Reducing Usage

Charter will review security options to help customers reduce the risk of unauthorized Internet use. This includes neighbors consuming the customer's service through an unsecured home network, and virus infections that slow down the customer's service as well as raising monthly usage. It is the responsibility of the customer to protect and manage their Internet access; however, Charter's Security Resource Team will be available to help these customers.

Being Contacted By Charter

Customers whose use is in excess of the established thresholds in the "No Excessive Use of Bandwidth" section of our AUP are considered to demonstrate Excessive Use and may be contacted.  Customers who surpass the bandwidth thresholds are currently only 1% - 2% of all Charter Internet customers.

Effective Date

The thresholds were established in February 2009 and modified effective November 12, 2010.

Handling Excessive Use

Customers who exceed the "No Excessive Use of Bandwidth" section in the AUP may be notified by Charter that they have exceeded their monthly threshold and informed of Charter's Excessive Use policy. Charter Customer Care Representatives will help identify possible causes and offer suggested ways the customer can reduce bandwidth consumption.  If the customer exceeds the "No Excessive Use of Bandwidth" policy and is notified three times in a six-month period, the customer's Internet service may be suspended after the delivery of the third notice. 

Measuring Data Usage

Charter is currently evaluating methods for presenting usage data to customers to help them self-monitor their bandwidth usage. Customers who are notified of Excessive Use will be provided a contact at Charter who can check usage for the customer throughout the month.

Monitoring Internet Activity

The purpose of measuring usage is to ensure compliance with the usage thresholds in order to deliver the highest quality service levels for all customers, not to monitor Internet activity.

Monthly Monitoring Timeframe

The current measurement period corresponds to the calendar month, regardless of customers' monthly statement cycles.

Necessity Of Thresholds

Managing the network is critical to ensuring that all customers have an enjoyable experience using the Internet. Charter's AUP has always prohibited use that negatively impacts other users, and like most Internet providers, has established specific criteria as to acceptable use thresholds for its residential customers on a monthly basis. These limits are designed to ensure that all users of the service are able to obtain optimal service levels.

Internet bandwidth and network resources are not unlimited, and Excessive Use must be regulated to ensure optimal service for our customers. Excessive Use is not a common occurrence, as only 1% - 2% of all Charter residential Internet customers are currently exceeding their threshold.

Normal Usage Definition

Although it can vary considerably, the typical U.S. residential Internet customer consumes 15 - 20 GB worth of data on a monthly basis. This includes both downstream (e.g., watching a YouTube video) and upstream (e.g., sending email) usage.

The average is expected to change over time, as technology evolves and more bandwidth is required to provide a high quality user experience. For example, it takes more bandwidth to download a high-definition movie (8 GB) versus a standard-definition movie (2 GB). The usage thresholds defined within Charter's AUP greatly exceed current typical residential use and accommodate future growth. 

To illustrate the available bandwidth within each package, the models below depict examples of normal activities a Charter Internet customer could perform, while remaining under the "No Excessive Use of Bandwidth" section of our AUP.

Lite and Express Packages – 100 GB Threshold

  • Send 25,000 emails at 20 kilobytes (KB) per email
  • Download 20 standard-definition movies at 2 GB per movie
  • Download 2,000 songs at 5 megabytes (MB) per song

Plus and Max (Grandfathered) Package – 250 GB Threshold

  • Send 25,000 emails at 20 KB per email
  • Download 30 standard-definition movies at 2 GB per movie
  • Download 15 high-definition movies at 8 GB per movie
  • Download 4,000 songs at 5 MB per song

Ultra100 – 500 GB Threshold

  • Send 40,000 emails at 20 KB per email
  • Download 40 standard-definition movies at 2 GB per movie
  • Download 30 high-definition movies at 8 GB per movie
  • Download 4,000 songs at 5 MB per song
  • Upload 8,000 high-definition digital pictures at 10 MB per picture

Purchasing Higher Thresholds

Depending on the current tier of Internet service, customers may have options to select a tier with a higher usage threshold. Charter Internet Ultra100, available in many areas, has a threshold of 500 GB of bandwidth per month. In addition, Charter's Plus and Max (Grandfathered) tier provide a monthly threshold of 250 GB.

Suspended Internet Service

If an Internet account is suspended for Excessive Use, the account can be reinstated after six months at the request of the customer. 

Unintentional Internet Usage

There are various computer viruses that can open a "backdoor" to computers. Hackers use these backdoors to take advantage of others' computers. They can use this method to commit crimes and run up Internet usage at the same time. Customers are responsible for maintaining the security of their own computers while using the Internet. For more information on staying safe on the Internet, please visit charter.com/security.

Using Other services

If the "No Excessive Use of Bandwidth" policy is enforced, it will only pertain to Charter Internet service and will not impact the use of other services on the account. Changes to pricing and packaging may occur as a result of no longer including Internet as a part of the customer's bundle.

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