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Comcast Settles Up to Close Florida Network Management Probe

Comcast Corp. will pay $150,000 to end an investigation into its network usage capping policies in Florida, according to that state's attorney general.

The company has also agreed that it will communicate to its users—by no later than Jan. 1—specifically what the company considers too much monthly high-speed data usage.

The economic crimes division of the office of attorney general Bill McCollum has been investigating whether Comcast's acceptable use policy violated the state's deceptive and unfair trade practices act. In reaching the agreement on Aug. 29 with the attorney general, Comcast admitted no wrongdoing, according to the text of the settlement.

The settlement states that Comcast notifies an estimated 1,000 customers a month nationally that they are using too much bandwidth. That amounts to .007% of Comcast's 14.4 million high-speed Internet customers, according to the document. The settlement quotes Comcast as stating a customer has to send 40 million e-mails, transmit 20,000 high-resolution photos, download 50,000 songs or 8,000 movie trailers in a single month to be threatened with termination.

State investigators faulted the provider for failing to inform consumers of a specific bandwidth use figure, information that would allow users to consume responsibly. The settlement said Comcast wouldn't even provide such a figure to a consumer even as they were providing a bandwidth hog with a warning prior to service termination.

The state will use $50,000 of the fine to reimburse itself for the investigation; the other $100,000 will fund other pro-consumer investigations.