Comcast Expands Usage Caps, Again

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Despite massive public backlash Comcast continues to expand the company’s broadband usage caps and overage fees. The latest market to be capped is Chicacgo, where Comcast customers this week received a notice informing them that the Comcast “Terabyte Internet Experience” is coming (as if that’s a good thing).

According to the memo, the usage caps will take effect starting August 1 — after which users will face a 1 terabyte cap, with users either forced to pay $10 per each 50 GB should they go over the fee — or pay an additional $50 every month if they want to enjoy the unlimited broadband connections they used to have.

“If you do exceed a terabyte of usage, we’re offering you two courtesy months, so you will not be billed the first two times you exceed a terabyte while you are getting comfortable with the new data usage plan,” states the notice. “If you have any questions about the new data usage plan, please see our FAQs.”

Said FAQ indicates that the caps are arriving not only in Chicago, but Central Illinois, Quincy and Rockford, Illinois and portions of Northern Indiana.

Back in April, Comcast announced that the company would be raising its usage caps from 300 GB to 1 terabyte. While Comcast insists this was in response to consumer concerns, the company was in reality responding to signals from the FCC that the agency may begin treating usage caps as exactly what they are: a price hike on uncompetitive markets, and a potential tool for anti-competitive abuse of said lack of competition.

“We have learned that our customers want the peace of mind to stream, surf, game, download, or do whatever they want online. So, we have created a new data plan that is so high that most of our customers will never have to think about how much data they use,” Comcast said of the new, higher limits.

Yet as we’ve noted repeatedly, Comcast’s own leaked documents and engineers have confirmed that caps are neither technically nor financially necessary. They’re simply Comcast’s way of protecting its legacy TV revenue from streaming video competition, disguised as a “trial” where consumer opinion actually matters.


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