Cable Modem Usage FAQ

Question Mark

Do you have questions about your Internet usage? Get answers to the most common questions other customers have asked.

What is a Megabyte (MB)?

A megabyte is 1,024 kilobytes of information transferred to or from your modem. Visiting approximately ~10 web pages will generate a megabyte of data usage

What is usage and what can I do with the amount included in my plan each month?

Usage is the amount of data transferred to and from your data connection while you are online. Usage is measured in megabytes (MB). There are many different online activities that will consume varying amounts of usage. An example would be sending a digital photo (about 1 MB) versus downloading a full movie (about 675 MB), but remember this is only a rough guide – files are not created equal.

For what time period is my usage calculated each month?

Usage is counted on the same dates as your GCI phone and Internet service invoice is generated. For example, if your invoice is generated on the 15th of each month, your usage will be tabulated from the 16th day of the previous month through the 15th day of the current month. You will then start a new usage cycle on the 16th of the current month. The actual dates of your usage calculation are noted in our usage viewer which can be found under the “Monitor Your Usage” section.

Can I carry over ‘unused’ usage to the next month?

No, unused MB’s do not roll over to your next billing cycle. Included usage amounts reset each month with your GCI account billing cycle.

Is there any way to find out how much usage I have used each month?

We offer a usage viewer tool that is available online. Not only does this tool enable you to see the amount of data you are using during your current billing cycle but it also stores the total amount of usage you have used by month, for up to 12 months. To learn more about how to access this information and receive email notifications regarding your usage, click on the “Monitor Your Usage” button on the right.

Why did I receive an email saying that I reached 80% of my monthly included usage?

As a courtesy, we will automatically send you a notification if you reach 80% of the usage defined for your residential cable modem service plan. In addition, you will receive additional emails at 100% and 120% if you reach those amounts. These messages are intended to help keep customers informed about their usage and to avoid potential additional usage charges and/or if they are approaching violation of the Fair Use Policy threshold for their selected service plan. You can also monitor your Internet usage using GCI’s usage viewer tool. For more information on how to access your usage, click on the “Monitor Your Usage” button on the right.

I just received a message stating that I reached 100% of my monthly included usage and I still have several days left before I am into a new month. Will I be charged and if so, how much?

If you are on a residential cable modem service plan that includes “unlimited downloads”, you will not automatically be charged for usage exceeding the amounts defined in the Fair Use Policy. However, GCI will be contacting you about the usage associated with your account to discuss options that will assist you to stay within defined usage profile of your plan and/or provide upgrade options.

If you are not on an “unlimited downloads” cable modem plan, additional usage above your included amount is billed at a rate between $.001 (half penny) to $.03 (three cents) per MB, depending on the service plan you have chosen. If you find yourself consistently exceeding the included usage amount that comes with your selected cable modem plan, you may want to consider a plan upgrade if available in your area. Many plans not only offer significantly more usage but more speed too!

Why wasn’t I notified when I went over my monthly included usage?

Courtesy notifications/alerts are sent via email to residential cable modem customers and text messages to wireless data subscribers. If someone else has access to your email or phone, they might have already read and/or deleted it. You should also double-check any spam filters you may be using to see if the email message was caught there and update your spam settings to prevent it from happening again.

For additional helpful information, please review the “Get Usage Notifications” section.

Is there any way for me to find out how much usage I have consumed so far this month? I downloaded a few games/movies and am concerned I may be close to going over.

To help keep you informed about how much data you are using each month, we have provided a Usage Viewer tool online. This tool enables you to view the amount of data you are using during your current billing cycle on a day by day basis, as well as up to 12 months of history. To learn more about how to access this information, click on the “Monitor Your Usage” button on the right.

Why does GCI have monthly usage allowances?

Some customers use many, many times more usage than other customers. Although they pay the same monthly price, in some instances these customers are using 35-50 times more than the average. Such heavy usage can increase costs to all customers.

Rather than raising prices on all customers to pay for the usage patterns of a few, we believe the fairest approach is to keep the costs for a vast majority of customers down while allowing those with larger appetites to pay for their higher levels of usage. As a result, GCI now provides a substantial amount of usage with each service plan and encourages customers to choose a plan that fits their individual needs.

If you would like to discuss the details of your data plan, please call us at 1.800.800.4800.

Why does GCI only offer plans with included usage allowances?

GCI offers affordable service plans with substantial usage allowances – virtually unlimited for an overwhelming majority of customers. Though there are customers who use substantially more usage, GCI believes the fairest approach is to keep the costs for a vast majority of customers down while allowing those with larger appetites to pay for their higher levels of usage. This in turns enables GCI to offer such fast speeds!

I think there is something wrong! My cable modem usage was a lot higher than the month before, do you have any idea what may cause this?

Besides the fact that customer’s usage typically will vary from month to month, below is a list of some common causes of unexpected usage spikes.

  • Your computer may have a virus! Do you have anti-spyware and virus protection installed and receive frequent updates to your virus definitions? Someone may be using your computer to send out spam messages or the virus to other users without you even knowing!
  • Do you have a wireless network? Is it password protected? If not, others may be using your signal/internet connection, causing the unexpected increase in your usage. You might consider changing your password if you already have one to see if that fixes the problem.
  • Have you had guests over at the house possibly using your connection?
  • You may have file sharing programs running on your computer(s)? When you utilize these programs, such as BitTorrent, you are not only downloading large files, you are also allowing others to download files from your computer. If you review your usage online and see your upload usage equaling or exceeding the download usage, this is a good indication file sharing programs are the cause. If you use these programs, you should be careful about how much and in particular, how much you allow others to download from your computer.
  • Did you get a new computer/electronic device such as an Internet connected TV, Blu-ray/DVD player, or game console (Xbox 360, PS3 etc.)? In particular, video devices such as Vudu brand video boxes and service can add *significantly* to your monthly usage since they use peer-to-peer technology to provide movies.

Still not sure what caused your usage to increase? Please call our technical support department at
1 (800) 800-4800 for additional troubleshooting.