Cox Raises Broadband Data Usage Ceiling

Cox Communications confirmed that it recently raised the data plans for its residential broadband service tiers and will soon post the update on its Website to reflect the changes.

On a tier-by-tier basis, Cox’s new monthly data allowances are now as follows: 

- Starter: 150 GB/month

- Essential: 250 GB/month

- Preferred (Cox’s most popular plan): 350 GB/month

- Premier 700 GB/month

- Ultimate 2,000 GB/month

When Cox raised those limits in February 2013, Starter usage was limited to 30 GB, Essential at 100 GB, Preferred at 250 GB, and Premiere at 300 GB, while Ultimate held steady at 400 GB.

It was not immediately known how the revised policy affects Cox’s fiber-based, 1-Gig G1GABLAST service, which is now being offered in parts of four markets: Phoenix; Orange County, Calif.; Omaha, Neb.; and Las Vegas. The current, posted policy for G1GABLAST in Phoenix (opens in new tab), the first market to get the 1-Gig service, shows a monthly data plan of 1 terabyte. 

Update: Cox also  confirmed that 1 TB remains the monthly usage allowance for its 1-Gig residential offering. 

DSL Reports first reported on the revised Cox data usage policies on Friday, citing info posted to its user forum by Cox customers.

Cox’s policy aims to keep excessive use in check and, unlike some policies that have been adopted or are being tested by other MSOs, Cox does not charge extra for additional buckets of data once a consumer breaks through the monthly cap. Speaking at this week’s INTX show in Chicago, industry analysts said usage-based pricing for broadband is inevitable as an increasing amount of video is consumed over-the-top.

“When things get bad enough on the video side, they will have this arrow in their quiver,” Vijay Jayant, Evercore ISI Group’s senior managing director, said.

According to the Cox policy that is currently posted (opens in new tab), customers who do exceed their monthly data ceiling will be notified by one or more methods (email, phone, or a message to the PC) before action is taken.

“We will then work proactively with you,” the policy explains. “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. Cox can work with you to ensure that these issues are identified and corrected. In other cases, customers may choose to reduce their usage or switch to another Internet package that provides more data. In rare cases of extremely high usage, Cox will suspend the user's service until they call Cox. In even rarer cases, Cox will terminate a customer's service if they do not decrease their usage after consultation with Cox.”