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Comcast to trial slight increase in data caps

Thousands of Comcast customers around the country were far from happy back in 2008 when the cable company announced that it would put a 250 GB cap on its monthly broadband customers. Once that 250 GB cap was reached, customers were forced to pay an additional $10 for 50 GB of additional data.

Comcast has now announced that it will be making changes to the data caps it places on its plans. The cable company says that over the next few months it will begin the trial of improved data usage management approaches. The company says it will be piloting at least two different approaches in various markets. Details will be provided closer to launch, but Comcast is offering a broad overview.
The first new approach Comcast is talking about will offer multitier usage allowances that increase for each tier of its high-speed data services. The plan will start with the 300 GB usage allotment on internet essentials, economy, and performance tiers. Blast and Extreme tiers would get a higher allotment, but the specific amount isn't mentioned. Once those allotments were reached customers would pay an additional $10 for 50 GB of data.
The second approach would be to increase data usage thresholds for all tiers to 300 GB monthly with the same $10 per 50 GB over charges. The changes boil down to customers in the trial areas will get an extra 50 GB of monthly allotment.
Comcast wrote, "Our goal with this improved approach, these consumer trials, and our continued investment in our network is to create products that meet the needs of all of our residential customers (even the heaviest users) and provide everyone with a choice." 

Source: Comcast

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RE: Concept of Caps versus Reasonable Caps
By Trisped on 5/21/2012 2:43:49 PM , Rating: 2
The caps are arbitrary and designed to be fear mongering.

The fact is that all internet connections are capped. There is only so much data you can download at your specified speed in a month. The only reason to introduce a lower cap is to discourage users from using the service.

With an Internet connection (especially a home connection) this makes no sense. The major cost is the lines, and since most home internet connections are used between 4 PM and 11 PM (with the heaviest usage some where around 9PM depending on the area). This means that the highest bandwidth usage will be the same time everyday. Data caps will not change this, nor will they reduce costs.

The real reason Comcast introduced data caps is not because some users are greedy, it is because they wanted to stop people from using Hulu and Netflix. It is a 100% anti-competitive move, designed to leverage Comcast's internet services to gain it market share it is late to the game on. Don't believe me? Then why does their Xfinity service not count against the cap It is true that they can use local servers, there by saving them from having to pay for use of WAN lines. More telling though is the fact that they are not offering the same feature to current competitors.

By Solandri on 5/21/2012 6:31:33 PM , Rating: 2
The fact is that all internet connections are capped. There is only so much data you can download at your specified speed in a month. The only reason to introduce a lower cap is to discourage users from using the service.

No it's not. Have you looked at pricing for a T1? 1.5 Mbps down / 1.5 Mbps up T1 = $400/mo. Why is the T1 so expensive? The bandwidth on the T1 is exclusively yours. Nobody else can use it.

The bandwidth on DSL or cable/fiber is shared with others. It's essentially like a bunch of users sharing a T1 and splitting the cost. They each only have to pay a fraction the cost of a dedicated T1, while getting close to the full speed of the T1 at any given time. As long as nobody abuses it and uses up most of that bandwidth 24/7. The caps are meant to insure no single user abuses the shared service.

The T1 works out to 0.15 Mbps per $40 for a month.

300 GB over 1 month (30 days * 24 hours * 3600 sec) works out to 0.12 Mbps, and I'll bet costs in the ballpark of $40 a month.

The cap is priced about the same as what you'd pay for a dedicated connection. But you get the advantage of much higher burst speeds.

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