Cox Slows Internet Speeds of Entire Neighborhoods to Punish Data Hogs

Buffering Slow Internet Speeds Credit: Tero Vesalainen / Shutterstocks
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Cox Communications is taking a tough stance against people who are using copious amounts of data on their home internet connections. According to a report in Ars Technica, the internet service provider is lowering internet upload speeds across an entire neighborhood when it detects what it considers to be excessive usage.

Cox reportedly has been sending notices to its customers who are considered to be using an excessive amount of data. The letter asks the user to use less data and warns them about neighborhood-wide speed decreases for not complying.

Cox reportedly throttled uploads speeds, decreasing them from 35Mbps to 10 Mbps for all the customers in the neighborhood.

According to Ars Technica, this type of threat was sent to an unlimited plan subscriber who was using 8TB to 12TB of data per month. Most of this data usage was overnight and consisted of backups and other peer-to-peer network transfers.

The customer claims this has been his typical usage for the past four years, but he was only recently flagged for using too much data. After repeated warnings, Cox eventually threatened to shut down the customer’s internet connection if he did not reduce his usage.

This Ars Technica reader was only one of many examples of people being bullied by Cox over their internet usage. Other people on Reddit report similar warnings from Cox to cut upload speeds and internet usage.

“10Mbps is plenty of speed for the vast majority of customers to continue their regular activity and have a positive experience.”

Cox Communications to Ars Technica

When questioned by Ars Technica, Cox defended the practice arguing that throttling should have a minimal effect on a user’s experience.

The company recently added a disclaimer to its website that describes the use of throttling to “support consistent service across customers during periods of sustained increased Internet usage.”

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