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Cox: ‘No Immediate Plans' to Expand Cleveland Data Trial

Cox Communications said it has no immediate plans to expand a usage-based data trial launched in Cleveland last May that charges for extra blocks of data once subscribers surpass their monthly allotments. 

Speculation that Cox might push forward with that pilot policy in other markets emerged after the MSO recently tweaked the data policy in other markets that keeps excessive use in check by urging customers to upgrade to other plans that better reflect their data usage.

As reported first by DSL Reports, Cox recently updated its data policies, with the monthly limit on its Ultimate tier (200 Mbps down by 20 Mbps or 300 Mbps down by 30 Mbps upstream, depending on the market) moving from 2 terabytes per month to 1 terabyte, with the monthly ceiling on its 1-Gig Gigablast package at 2 TB.

The change in usage allowances, Cox confirmed “was made this week to more consistently reflect the increased speed and usage included with each Cox Internet package. Ultimate now includes 1 TB of data usage and our Gigablast package includes 2 TB.”

Those changes are effective in all markets where those speeds are available. The exception is in Cleveland, where customers are  grandfathered with the 2 TB data usage allowance for Cox’s Ultimate speed tier.

Cleveland is the site of a usage-based pricing trial where Cox is charging $10 for an additional bucket of 50 gigabytes when customers exceed their monthly data limits.

“We have no immediate plans to extend the trial (the option to pay for additional usage beyond the included allowances within a package) beyond Cleveland,” a Cox official said via email.

On June 1, Comcast initiated a new trial policy in select markets that sets the monthly data bar at 1 TB before overage charges are applied, as well as an unlimited data plan that runs an additional $50 per month.

Per Cox’s FAQ on its data policies, about 95% of its high-speed Internet subs are on a data plan that adequately meets their monthly needs.

Under its current policy, Cox sends alerts by email and Cox browser messages when subs have used 75% of their monthly data plan, and sends out similar alerts when they have reached 100% and 170% of those data ceilings.