Here It Comes! New Data Caps And Usage Fees From Comcast

How Long Till Others Follow?

Data CapAfter reading all the recent news about how cord cutters are starting to affect the bottom line of cable companies I figured it wouldn’t be long before price increases of some sort started. It appears that the first company to be out of the gate is Comcast, surprise, surprise. They’re calling these rate increases a trial program but you and I both know if there isn’t a major kickback from customers they will become a reality for the whole country eventually and then slowly creep up.

This good news right now is that this trial program, as it is called, is only hitting select areas of the country. Those areas presently are…

  1. Charleston, South Carolina.
  2. Huntsville, Alabama.
  3. Mobile, Alabama.
  4. Tupelo, Mississippi.
  5. Jackson, Mississippi.
  6. Nashville, Tennessee.
  7. Memphis, Tennessee.
  8. Knoxville, Tennessee.
  9. All of central Kentucky.
  10. Atlanta, Georgia.
  11. Augusta, Georgia.
  12. Savanna, Georgia.
  13. Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
  14. Miami, Florida.
  15. Key West, Florida.
  16. Tucson, Arizona.

So exactly how does this new Comcast trial program work? Well it appears as though you will be allotted 300 GB of data each and every month. If you exceed that 300 GB a $10 fee, for every 50 GB over that amount, will be tacked on to your monthly bill. You will get a pop-up notice on your browser when you get to 90% of your data limit and then again at 100% and 125% with other configuration options available. They are also implementing a three month courtesy program which means that if you exceed your data limit in three months you will get charged for the fourth month. They say this is to get people use to the new limits, so don’t be surprised if that courtesy period goes away eventually.

Why is Comcast coming to the table with this trial program now? My guess would be they are testing customer reaction for a roll-out to the entire country. In addition when you take in the account that they’ve been told they can’t charge extra for companies like Hulu and Netflix to be in the data fast lane and the amount of cord cutting that’s going on, it only makes sense that they would try to make up the lost revenue with their Internet service.

Admittedly this won’t affect very many people up front since even Comcast admits that 98% of their customers never exceed that 300 GB. This may be true right now but once Ultra HD (4K) becomes mainstream that 300 GB may just look like a drop in the bucket. That is of course unless they create a new compression logarithm to reduce the size of the 4K video stream.

The success of this new program and whether they roll it out nationwide will more likely be dependent on how much kickback they get from their customers. My guess would be though is that it will be rolled out across the country since it won’t affect most people right now. Also if they do it successfully be prepared for the other service providers to follow suit and implement their own data caps. Our condolences is Comcast is your only option for Internet service but if not start looking around to get your ducks in line for switch in case you get hit with an increase.

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