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Cox Bumps Up Internet Usage Limits

Cox Communications has raised the monthly data-usage limits on most broadband packages nationwide, as it also boosts connection speeds.

Earlier this month, the Atlanta-based MSO began increasing connection speeds for major tiers in markets including Arizona and Las Vegas.

“Cox has raised our bandwidth-usage allowances in all markets, and we’re increasing speeds throughout this year,” director of media relations Todd Smith said. “We continually enhance our product capabilities to reflect the changing needs of our customers.”

The new monthly usage caps, according to Cox’s website on data usage, are: Starter at 50 Gigabytes (previously 30 GB), Essential at 100 GB (previously 50 GB), Preferred at 250 GB (previously 200 GB) and Premier at 300 GB (previously 250 GB). The Ultimate tier remains capped at 400 GB.

Cox’s usage-cap increases were reported by Thursday.

According to Cox, if subscribers exceed their allowance the operator will notify them and potentially select a different Internet package.

“In many cases, customers are not even aware of their usage because they have an unsecured Wi-Fi network used by others or a computer virus,” the MSO says on its customer-information website.

In “rare cases of extremely high usage,” Cox will suspend a user's service until they call a customer-service representative. In even rarer circumstances, according to the MSO, it will terminate a customer's service “if they do not decrease their usage after consultation with Cox.”

Cox doesn’t levy surcharges on customers who exceed the monthly usage thresholds. Other U.S. Internet service providers including AT&T and Suddenlink Communications have adopted such usage-based broadband plans, while Comcast is among ISPs testing them out.

In an address last month, National Cable & Telecommunications Association president Michael Powell said cable operators were interested in usage-based pricing as a way “to fairly monetize a high fixed cost,” not mainly as a network-congestion management tool.