Comcast will expand its 1.2-terabyte data usage cap to its entire footprint, adding Xfinity high-speed internet customers in 14 additional states and territories to the scheme starting in January.
Customers will be charged $10 for every 50 gigabytes of data they exceed the 1.2 TB cap, plus tax, every month, with overage charges limited to $100. Comcast won’t charge customers in newly affected regions if they exceed their limits in January and February. And customers will receive one “credit” each year, which they can use to cover themselves the first time they’re charged for exceeding the cap.
So customers effectively have until April to get used to the usage limits.
Customers will also be advised when they’re approaching their usage limit. Customers can opt out of the cap and essentially render their service unlimited for an additional $30 a month. Gigabit Pro and business tier customers are exempt.
For Xfinity internet customers in 27 other U.S. states, these rules are not new. But they will be to subscribers in Comcast's northeast division, which inlcudes New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachussettes, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina, as well as Washington, D.C.
Comcast competes with Verizon's uncapped wireline broadband operations in these northeast territories.
Even with customers streaming and zooming more these days, Comcast insists that 95% of its customers don’t come close to using 1.2 TB in an average month. Average monthly usage comes in at around 308 GB, Comcast said.
But OpenVault, which provides data to cable operators about their networks, just released a report suggesting that the number of so-called “power users” is rising fast. The company said that within 2-3 years, 5%-10% of internet users will consume 2 TB or more data each month.
Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!
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