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.