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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