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Optimum Online TOS vague terms

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What is the name of your state? New Jersey

I purchased Optimum Online internet service (a division of CableVision), a few months ago. Last week, I noticed my uploading bandwidth had been limited to 20kB/sec, normally I get around 100kB/sec. When I called, they said I had been 'flagged' because I was using too much upstream bandwidth.

What I had been doing was uploading using a BitTorrent client, which I had capped at 10kB/sec. At one point, I had increased the cap to 40kB/sec, but only for a few hours. I had done this during the entire month of November, without a problem. However, this time, it was only a few days (3 or 4).

I asked them a few questions, but when I asked how much I could upload, they said it couldn't be sustained for "hours and hours". I asked what they meant by "hours and hours", and he just kept repeating the same phrase about not hosting servers and not sustaining an upload for "hours and hours".

Since I first called, I've read through the TOS and AUP, and found no specifics about how much bandwidth I could utilize up OR down. However, in Section 21 of the TOS (see copy at end of this post), it states that I can't do anything that would interfere with other users.

I asked the rep if there was a way they could inform me, without limiting my service, that I was hindering the network. He said there wasn't. I asked if they could be more specific about the length of time I could upload at once, they couldn't. He gave me a few numbers to call (their corporate office and their "security department"), and said they had the info, but probably wouldn't tell me.

I'm curious whether the phrase "hours and hours" is legally binding, since I had to agree to it over the phone, and also whether their TOS is specific enough to allow them to decrease my connection speed if I didn't know I would hurting the network.

On a related topic, I had signed-up over the phone, and that was that. They didn't tell me this information then, they didn't send me a complete TOS and AUP in the mail, or in the email. When I asked about this, they said I should have read it when I registered my modem. I said I was never asked to register it, and I hadn't. They said, "Oh", and basically regurgitated stuff about how I should've read it, even though I hadn't been aware of its' existence. Can they bind me to a contract that they do not inform me about the existence of?

Thanks so much for your time,
Robert Moore

Terms of Service:


<Copy of Section 21 of Terms of Service below>
21. Prohibited Uses of Optimum Online: Subscriber shall comply with all of Cablevision's standards for acceptable use with respect to the Optimum Online Service and the Services and shall refrain from any and all illegal and/or inappropriate activities, including without limitation as outlined in the Acceptable Use Policy. The Cablevision Internet Product Acceptable Use Policy will be updated from time to time and the latest version will supersede all prior versions. Please click here for the most updated Acceptable Use Policy.

In addition to the prohibitions outlined in the Acceptable Use Policy, Residential Optimum Online users may not:

(a) Run any type of server on the system. This includes but is not limited to FTP, IRC, SMTP, POP, HTTP, SOCKS, SQUID, DNS or any multi-user forums;

(b) Register or point a domain, sub-domain, or hostname to any Optimum Online IP address. Moreover, users may not have traffic redirected to The Service;

(c) Resell, share, or otherwise distribute the Service or any portion thereof to any third party without the written consent of Cablevision. For example, Subscriber may not provide Internet access to others through a dial up connection, wireless access or host shell accounts over the Internet, provide e-mail or news service, or send a news feed.

(d) copy, distribute or sublicense any software provided by Cablevision, except that Subscriber may make one copy of each software program for back-up or archival purposes only;

(e) FTP/HTTP. Subscriber should also be aware that when using the Computer to access files through means such as FTP (File Transfer Protocol) and HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol, Subscriber may open access to Subscriber's computer to other Optimum Online users and Internet users. If Subscriber chooses to make use of such applications for file retrieval, Subscriber should take the appropriate security measures.



they have the right to cap your bandwidth and reduce your uploands/downloads..theres no issue about the "hours and hours" the CSR was just explaining it to you...

What do you want out of this? You could state your dissatisfaction in a letter MAILED to the CEO (no email!) and ask for a refund of this months service...if you entered a year long contract you may want to have it terminated without penalty....

beyond that, you'd need to switch to a provider that meets your needs


I'm trying to get clarification on how much bandwidth I can use, but thanks anyway.

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