Comcast Eliminates 250GB Cap, Plans to Trial Multi Tiered Data Allowances

| May 17, 2012

I read a blog post on Comcast’s Voices today that I found interesting, especially in light of all the news and complaints surrounding the various services they’ve launched recently. More specifically, their Xbox On Demand service.

I think you’ll find the post interesting too, especially if you’re a current Comcast customer. But here’s the idea they have in mind.

So what Comcast plans on doing is eliminating their 250 GB per month data cap that they’ve had in place since 2008, and replacing it with a tiered plan. Their goal is to provide customers with more flexibility and options when it comes to how much data they consume each month, instead of capping the usage and canceling the few accounts that regularly hit these caps month after month like Comcast has been doing.

The idea is to try at least 2 different approaches over the next couple of months.

Comcast’s first approach will start all plans off at a minimum of 300 GB per month. Successive (higher) tiers, such as the Blast and Extreme, will have increased allowances, which of course they’ll need to pay for.

The second approach will take all tiers, including the higher Blast and Extreme tiers, to 300 GB of usage per month.

For all approaches you’ll be able to buy (or pay when you exceed your allowance) additional data at the rate of $10 per 50 GB.

It’s not mentioned in their blog post where or exactly when the trials will begin. In the cities that are not apart of the trial process, all usage caps will be suspended. However, Comcast will still contact users consuming excessive amounts of data.

Comcast mentions that this has been something they’ve reviewed and analyzed over the last few years. And given the recent news, posts and complaints regarding their new services and how it may or may not be breaking any net neutrality rules and merger agreements, this is as good a time as any to get the new plan rolling.

Over the last several years, we have periodically reviewed this policy, and for the last six months we have been analyzing the market and our process and think that now is the time to begin to move to a new plan. This conclusion was only reinforced when, in recent weeks, some of the conversation around our new product introductions focused on our data usage threshold, rather than on the exciting opportunities we are offering our customers.

CNET has reported that Netflix has released statements saying that the data cap is a step in the right direction, however, Comcast must still not be allowed to to favor it’s own services over their competitors offer alternatives over the internet.

“Increasing the data cap is a small step in the right direction,” the company said in a statement. “But unfortunately Comcast continues to treat its own Internet delivered video different under the cap than other Internet delivered video. We continue to stand by the principle that Internet service providers should treat all providers of video services equally.”

[Comcast Voice & CNET]