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Comcast to Raise Data Usage Cap

CC: Wikimedia

In a vain attempt to force customers into a TV bundle, more ISPs are implementing data usage caps on their internet plans. When Comcast expanded their data usage caps last year on their Xfinity service, I urged all Comcast customers to file a complaint with the FCC.

Over the past few months, the FCC has been inundated with complaints over Comcast’s actions. Reading the writing on the wall, Comcast announced today, that on June 1st they would raise the data usage cap to 1000 GB per month. While I personally feel there should be no cap, 1000 GB is more than enough to watch TV without cable. We are a family of four streaming streaming video on multiple devices and we tend to stay under 250GB per month.

Comcast will still offer an unlimited data plan, but the price will be an additional $50 a month. Customers will also have the option of purchasing 50 additional gigabyte buckets of data for $10 per bucket.

While I applaud Comcast for doing the right thing, implementing the data caps in the first place was a pretty cynical move. It’s obvious the company was trying to dissuade customers from cutting the cord with the threat of data cap overage charges. With all the complaints pouring into the F.C.C. it was only a matter of time before regulators stepped in to remedy the issue.

In a press release announcing the cap increase, Comcast seems to indicate that they didn’t know their customers wanted to stream video and play games online.  Executive VP of Consumer Services Marcien Jenckes wrote:

In our trials, we have experimented with different offers, listened to feedback, and learned a lot. That is what we said we would do when we launched our trials four years ago – analyze and assess our customers’ reaction to the data plans, including being open to increasing them over time. We have learned that our customers want the peace of mind to stream, surf, game, download, or do whatever they want online. So, we have created a new data plan that is so high that most of our customers will never have to think about how much data they use.

Is this guy for real?  I guess he hasn’t read the news about the millions of people that watch TV online and are abandoning pay TV left and right.  It’s comments like these that indicate how little Comcast thinks of there customers.  They took away unlimited streaming and put in a cap.  Then, they raise the cap and act like they are giving their customers this amazing gift. What in the hell is wrong with this company?

The good news for consumers is that a large number of citizens complaining to the FCC seems to have an affect. I continue to urge customers to do this for any ISP that imposes a broadband data usage cap.

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Categories: Tech News
Dennis Restauro :Dennis is the founder of Grounded Reason. He also hosts the Grounded Reason Podcast. Follow him on Twitter: Follow Dennis on Twitter

View Comments (7)

  • Keep up emails detailing these companies actions. I always thought these guys would try to increase internet pricing to offset we who are cutting the cord

  • Thanks, I have been a Comcast customer for 28 years, only because we had no other internet choice. I finally cut the tv and phone cord in March and still had to fight with them regarding thier internet service. As they say, don't get me started.

    Anyway, thank you for all your efforts. I know I appreciate and have learned from your site.

    Thank you!

  • I dropped cable in March. The money I would save monthly on my cable/internet service from Suddenlink danced in my head. Two days ago I rcv'd a msg in my browser window that I exceeded my data cap. Data cap???? I wasn't aware I even had one! I chk my usage daily and it goes up daily. How in the world do you have 4 people streaming and stay under 250GB? What is going on with MY data usage? I'm afraid to watch all the terrific new shows/movies I discovered on my Roku. I'm approaching 350GB for April cycle and I live alone. Am I doing something wrong? I've already changed all of my viewing to medium quality & the usage keeps going up. Is there ANYTHING I can do about this? Suddenlink is FORCING ME (essentially) to add more data usage at a price that is negating my savings on dropping cable! I feel like the rug has been pulled out from under me. I love your site, and hope you can help. Thank you. Sharon in NC being crushed by Suddenlink.

    • I'm planning on putting an article together on how to avoid this sort of thing. The key is video quality. 1080p HD video will run around 2-3 GB per hour depending on the service. Try changing the video quality in each service you use. Is there another provider you can use in your area? I know Google Fiber is planning gigabit internet in Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham.

  • "Try to change the video quality in each service you use". The only service I have found that I can change video quality is on the Roku device. I checked Netflix and could not find a place to do that, so I thought changing video quality on the Roku device would set the limits for all shows being played on that Roku. Is that incorrect? Thanks

  • Do you have any opinion about Comcast "Stream TV"? We have our internet with them and they keep calling with specials for Stream TV.
    Thanks!

    • While I haven't personally tried it, it doesn't seem all that great. While you can watch content on your laptop or mobile device, there isn't much you can watch on your TV. As far as I know the only apps that work with Stream is "HBO GO, WatchABC, NBC, FOXNow, PBS, Telemundo, and Univision" If you try it, let me know how it works.