Comcast today announced that it was ending its policy of capping data usage at 250 GB per month. The cap policy has been in place since October of 2008, and has caused many to question the wisdom of a business turning turning away customers for using its product. It was a policy to lighten load on the network in a time when streaming video (a major cause of high bandwidth usage) was relatively uncommon and roused suspicions of piracy. Now, people are much more regularly pulling large-file video content from services like Netflix and Hulu, and the caps make even less sense than they did 4 years ago. And Comcast-affiliated services like Xfinity TV and HBO Go that bump up customers’ usage certainly contributed to the issue and a need for resolution.
Comcast’s new plan includes a couple of trial approaches, as the company determines what will work best.
The first plan is a multi-tiered approach, which would give users of the Internet Essentials, Economy, and Performance plans 300 GB initial allotments, and give higher performance plans, such as Blast and Extreme, higher initial allotments. All plans would have the ability to purchase further blocks of data at prices such as $10 per 50 GB.
The second trial approach starts all plan levels at 300 GB and offers the same $10 per 50 GB for additional needs.
In markets where neither of these trials are in effect, the previous 250 GB cap will simply be lifted. Comcast did not have details on what markets will see which treatments.
Will you use your connection any differently now? Did you worry about having your service cut off due to watching too many movies on Netflix? Let us know in the comments.