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Comcast to quietly expand data cap "trials" to several additional markets next month

By Shawn Knight
Nov 6, 2015
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  1. More than three years ago, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings suggested Comcast should either apply data caps equally or not at all. Come December, Hastings’ recommendation takes another step closer to reality.

    On that date, Comcast plans to quietly expand its usage cap “trial” to several new markets including Little Rock, Arkansas; Houma, LaPlace and Shreveport, Louisiana; Chattanooga, Greenville, Johnson City / Gray, Tennessee and Galax, Virginia.

    Like other regions already subject to the cap, those in the aforementioned areas will be moved to a 300GB monthly data cap. Customers that run over the cap will be charged $10 per each additional 50GB bucket they use. Data-capped customers can negate the cap entirely for an additional $30 per month (on top of their regular Internet service rate). In Atlanta, the “unlimited” option sells for $35.

    Comcast contends that most Internet subscribers will never have to worry about the cap. According to the provider, the median usage is just 40GB each month.

    Cable and satellite providers have seen their subscriber rates drop over the past several months as people are increasingly opting to cut the cord and rely on services like Hulu, Netflix and Sling TV for their viewing needs. Comcast’s data cap is a clear response to this movement.

    To supplement lost revenue from cable subscribers, Comcast will simply slap its Internet subscribers with additional fees to make up the difference.

    I recently switched from Uverse to Comcast for my Internet needs. I don’t have cable but do subscribe to multiple streaming services. In my first full month with Comcast, I used 403GB of data from simply surfing the web and streaming shows from the aforementioned service. Just six days into November, I’ve already consumed 61GB – or about 20 percent of my monthly allotment.

    Comcast provides a three-month courtesy program meaning users will only be subject to overage charges after exceeding the cap for a fourth time.

    Have you experienced Comcast's data caps? If so, feel free to share your story in the comments section below.

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 908   +384

    With people cutting the cord, these cable companies have figured out that if they cap it, either people will (in their mind) hook the cord back up, over paying overages. Hey, it's their lines, they can sort of charge what they want. It will mean more people will search for an alternative than get raped by the ISP's again.
     
  3. princeendo

    princeendo TS Rookie

    I've been over my new data cap every month. Between Netflix, Hulu, and the game updates on my PS4, it's difficult not to go over.

    Further, my apartment complex has an exclusivity agreement which prevents me from using any other ISP.

    It's not ideal.
     
    gingerpower121 likes this.
  4. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,181   +528

    ISP are the Railroad monopolies of today.
     
    Jeffrey S likes this.
  5. SkyEpic

    SkyEpic TS Rookie

    We switched from Uverse due to their speeds were usually slowing even though we were hooked with unlimited internet (approximately 12Mb down, 2Mb up). We wanted to do more and stream... So we switched to Xfinity and really loved it for their promotion of $60 something per month. Once that ended I was continually overcharged up towards $200 a month for two months from the initial $70 dollars. I was so fed up and was about to switch back until I read about the $35 dollars to bypass.

    I have 3 people who continually watches vidoes at home in separate rooms so it really was difficult to choose internet providers especially when you're left with so little to choose from.
     
  6. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,750   +1,105

    this problem with this is that it's just not realistic. Most places in the country have choices like this..
    $50 gets you 20Mbps with cable
    or $40 gets you 5Mpbs with Uverse or something like that.
    YOu can't pick between a few cable companies, unfortunately.

    I get it that they have to do something to make up the lost revenue, but the real bummer here is that the place the lost revenue is going is to people who are also customers. Meaning... people are dropping cable for internet, but Comcast has BOTH, so they can still get the money from the same people. That's what really stinks.
     
  7. robb213

    robb213 TS Addict Posts: 315   +93

    I average out around 800GB a month or more. Between the game's getting larger, or my streaming habits, coupled with my older parents whom I've gotten hooked on my streaming subscriptions, I'll probably hit 1TB eventually.

    Unfortunately I live in New England, so I either overpay and get guaranteed service from Comcast, or overpay proportionally for a much slower service from Frontier that will likely cut off often. Who needs more choices! /s
     
  8. gingerpower121

    gingerpower121 TS Member

    I feel your pain. I had the same thing happen to me at two separate apartment complexes. How is that now a monopoly?
     
  9. eevansx

    eevansx TS Rookie

    Comcast started this "test" program recently in South Florida. Around the 20th of October we started receiving harassing pop-ups about approaching our "limit".
    By the 22nd, we were being pinged (sometimes several times a day) about exceeding our limit and their "generous" plan to allow us to go over without penalty during their test period.
    After several days of bitching at us, Comcast received a call and, subsequently, an agreement to the additional payment to upgrade to "unlimited" service.
    Imagine our surprise when, after having paid the additional fee, we received a message on the 6th of this month (after claiming we would receive no such) informing us that we had exceeded our 300GB limit and would be billed if it happened twice more.
    Since our internet usage has NOT changed from the norm, we were at a loss to understand our multiple issues and the folks in the Phillipines have no explanation for it.
    YES!!, our customer service department is in the Phillipines!
    So far, Comcast has claimed that they will allow us one more violation and then begin to charge us at the overage rate.

    Needless to say, we are currently researching legal representation.
     

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