After turning the data-usage meter off for the last three months of the pandemic quarantine period, Comcast has restored its limit on residential broadband usage for most customers.
But the No. 1 U.S. cable operator will now allow users to gobble through 1.2 terabytes of data before it imposes additional charges, as opposed to the pre-pandemic limit of 1 TB. The limit was imposed July 1.
Comcast said it will now allow users to exceed the limit during one month without charges — it was previously offering two months’ worth of mulligans. However, the MSO reset the clock for all customers, meaning if you previously used one or more courtesy overages during 2020, that won’t count.
Comcast bills customers $10 for every 50 Gigabytes of data used once they exceed the 1.2 TB limit.
Comcast insists 1.2 TB is enough for pretty much anybody. With that allotment, the cable company said, customers can stream 480 hours to 560 hours of HD video a month, or more than 150 hours of 4K video.
These data-usage policies apply to most of Comcast’s more than 29.1 million U.S. residential wireline broadband subscribers, save for some areas in the Northeast where Comcast competes directly with Verizon Fios.
Notably, Charter Communications, the second-largest U.S. wireline broadband service provider with just over 27.2 million customers, does not currently impose usage limits. But it just petitioned the Federal Communications Commission to relax deal conditions related to its purchases of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks so that it may, among other things, set data caps.
AT&T, the No. 3 U.S. fixed broadband supplier with roughly 15.3 million customers, has extended the moratorium on its 1-TB usage cap until Sept. 30.
AT&T has received criticism for “zero-rating” its HBO Max and AT&T TV video services, which means the two platforms don’t count against its data caps. Suspending usage limits forestalls dealing with that issue.
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