Comcast Suspends Broadband Data Plans in Maine

Comcast confirmed that it has suspended its usage-based broadband data policy in Maine, a decision that comes soon after the MSO expanded the policy to several markets outside of its Northeast division.

Per DSL Reports and other media outlets, Comcast recently informed high-speed Internet subs in Maine that the policy is being suspended there.

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"We're writing to let you know that we are suspending our Terabyte Internet Data Usage Plan in the state of Maine," the notice said of the change, which becomes effective December 1.

Comcast reasoned that the decision is about aligning the policies for its Maine market with the rest of New England and the Northeast division with respect to areas such as customer care, engineering and operations.

Following a trial period, Comcast recently began the commercial rollout of a usage-based data policy that limits usage to 1 Terabyte (1024 Gigabytes) per month before customers are charged $10 for each additional bucket of 50 GB (but not to exceed $200).  

In those markets, Comcast is also offering an unlimited data option that costs an additional $50 per month, and, for lighter users, a “Flexible Data Option” for customers on its Economy Plus and Performance Starter high-speed tiers that provides an automatic $5 credit if their total monthly usage is less than or equal to 5 GB per month. On that plan, Comcast charges $1 for each 1-GB of data used over the 5 GB threshold.

When Maine is removed from the mix, Comcast will no longer have a data policy for its Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region, and has not announced if or when it will expand the policy to those areas.

In the meantime, the usage plan is active in several other Comcast markets around the country, including parts of Alabama; Arizona; Arkansas; Colorado; Florida; Georgia; Illinois; Indiana; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Southwestern Michigan; Mississippi; Missouri; Minnesota; Tennessee; Texas; South Carolina; Southwest Virginia; Utah; Washington; and Wisconsin.

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Comcast’s data usage plans don’t apply to Comcast Business Internet subs, customers on “Bulk Internet” agreements, and customers that use the MSO’s new Prepaid Internet service (offered in a handful of markets), or itsFTTP-based Gigabit Pro (symmetrical 2 Gbps) offering.

The FCC is looking into data cap and zero-rating policies, has not set a timetable on when the Commission would complete its review.