Comcast Moves to Increase Data Caps to 300GB on Home Broadband Service
May 21, 2012 9:01 AM
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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
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."
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Bad news for everyone
5/21/2012 7:22:51 PM
Pipes are going to continue to get fatter and speeds will increase, whose to say 300GB is a lot of data in a few years? I'm sure 300MB seemed like a reasonable cap during the dial days. But as technology improves, it renders previous benchmarks obsolete. Comcast is issuing a blanket cap no matter the speed service you have? I don't expect this cap to change very often either. This is really bad news for consumers and business as well.
For example, let's say the pipes are fast enough in the future for Netflix to steam 1080p 3D videos to most people, would they decide against it that because while they can stream it, it would use up a customer's data cap too quickly?
There are many sites and services we take for granted now which could not exist back in the 1990s/dial up days as speeds just weren't fast enough. What sort of new sites and services which will be possible with fatter pipes in the future will get shelved or scaled back because they use too much data of the 300GB cap some company in 2012 decided was the maximum amount of data a household should use?
"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer
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