This chart from the GAO report shows that the top 15% of cable Internet users will be surpassing current data caps by 2018, and using several times that amount of data by 2020.

Govt. Report Criticizes Cable Companies For Cashing In On Data Caps

A growing number of cable companies are implementing data caps (sorry — “data thresholds”), which put limits on how much data a subscriber could use before facing penalties ranging from warning messages to throttled speeds to overage fees. A new report from the federal Government Accountability Office says that lack of competition in the broadband market could result in these caps being implemented with no one benefiting other than cable companies’ bottom lines. [More]

(Mike Mozart)

AT&T, Where “Congestion” & Data Caps Only Apply To Existing Users

Ever since AT&T and Verizon got rid of unlimited wireless plans, both companies have used the questionable excuse of “congestion,” claiming that throttling data after remaining unlimited users pass an arbitrary threshold was necessary to keep data flowing. But in plans announced over the weekend, AT&T is effectively once again offering unlimited data (for a limited time) to new customers, which makes one wonder — what happened to all that congestion? [More]

AT&T and Verizon: Data Caps On Home Internet Service Are Great For Everyone (Especially Us)

AT&T and Verizon: Data Caps On Home Internet Service Are Great For Everyone (Especially Us)

Verizon and AT&T are big players (and getting bigger) in broadband landline service, but they seem to take a mobile phone mindset with them everywhere they go. Not only do they think that home broadband doesn’t need to be faster than your phone, but also now they’re saying that data caps on your home internet use are perfectly reasonable, too. [More]

5 Things We Learned From The GAO Report On Broadband Caps

5 Things We Learned From The GAO Report On Broadband Caps

Broadband data caps might not be affecting everyone just yet, but that could easily change as the current wave of ISP merger mania continues. A preliminary government report taking a look at data caps, both wired and wireless, was released this week. It finds that ISPs and subscribers are far from being on the same page when it comes to how much data consumers move. [More]

Latest Data Says TWC-Comcast Merger Bringing Broadband Caps To Nearly 80% Of Users

Latest Data Says TWC-Comcast Merger Bringing Broadband Caps To Nearly 80% Of Users

The future just keeps looking brighter for those who make money from data caps, and more limited for everyone else. The latest data out on home broadband caps now shows that if the Comcast and TWC merger goes through, 79% of internet subscribers — four in every five Americans with a broadband connection — will face a monthly data cap on their plans. [More]

Comcast VP Predicts Company Will Implement Broadband Data Caps Within Five Years

Comcast VP Predicts Company Will Implement Broadband Data Caps Within Five Years

Most of us like to dictate when and how often we use the internet, but one media company is now considering placing limitations on that use. Any guesses on just who that company is? Sure, that was an easy one: Comcast. [More]

Comcast-TWC Merger Could Bring Broadband Data Caps To Pretty Much Everyone

Comcast-TWC Merger Could Bring Broadband Data Caps To Pretty Much Everyone

Mobile data caps might be almost universal, but home broadband data caps are much less so. Some providers have them, but many don’t. At the moment, Time Warner Cable is in that “doesn’t” category — but Comcast keeps trying to expand theirs. If the FCC grants the corporate union of the two its blessing, a whopping 78% of Americans could find themselves living under the new normal of limited home broadband. [More]

Comcast: We Don’t Have Data Caps, We Have “Data Thresholds”

Comcast: We Don’t Have Data Caps, We Have “Data Thresholds”

In its ongoing effort to put lipstick on the pig that is its planned acquisition of Time Warner Cable, Comcast is once again attempting to hide behind double-speak. First, it claimed that it was the greatest supporter of net neutrality around, when it really meant that it was the biggest supporter of what Comcast believes net neutrality should be. Now, another Comcast executive is trying to downplay data caps with the more marketing-friendly term “data thresholds.” [More]

(Photo Nut 2011)

Customers Failing To Fling Themselves At Limited Broadband Usage Cap, TWC CEO Admits

Back in 2012, Time Warner Cable unveiled an optional metered broadband plan: the current iteration gives customers a $5 monthly discount, but caps their usage at 30 GB. It’s not really surprising that customers aren’t exactly throwing themselves at such limited broadband access. What might be a little more surprising is that even the TWC CEO admits it’s a total dud. [More]

See the whole chart at

Do you know if your Internet service provider caps your monthly data allotment? Are you sure? Not all ISPs are transparent about the caps they place on subscribers. Luckily, the folks at GigaOm have put together a chart comparing caps and overage fees (or lack thereof) at several of the largest ISPs, so you can have a better idea of how many Netflix movies you can watch without hitting the ceiling. [via GigaOm]

Dear Atlanta: Comcast Now Hates You Too

Dear Atlanta: Comcast Now Hates You Too

Comcast’s slow but determined expansion of its plan to enact data caps and collect overage fees from subscribers has hit its biggest city yet, as the company has decided that Atlanta subscribers should now be hemmed in by these restrictions. [More]

Michael Powell thinks customers should pay more per GB of data in order to get a better value. He also got his job at the FCC because his dad knew the president.

Former FCC Chair Urges Cable Companies To Hurry Up & Implement Data Caps And Usage-Based Pricing

Former FCC chair turned cable-industry frontman Michael Powell thinks that, in spite of the fact that delivering data to consumers continues to get less expensive, cable companies should be rushing to put caps on data usage and implement usage-based, metered broadband service. [More]

Comcast will show users the months in which they have gone over the 300GB data cap.

Comcast Tests Data Overage Fees In Additional Markets

In May 2012, Comcast announced it would eventually do away with its policy of throttling data speeds for home Internet users who routinely went over 250GB a month, and that it would instead start charging overage fees for customers who passed the 300GB threshold. The boys from Kabletown had been testing that model out in Nashville for quite some time, and now that test is expanding to at least three other markets. [More]


Why We’re Praying That ESPN Does Not Begin Subsidizing Wireless Plans

For the last couple years, some in the wireless industry have been pushing for providers of data-heavy content to subsidize users’ wireless plans in order to guarantee that subscribers don’t hit their monthly usage caps. Apparently, ESPN is mulling over whether it wants to go that route, but we really hope they don’t. [More]


Surprise, Surprise: Expert Says Many Broadband Meters Are Inaccurate

While Internet providers look more toward capping data usage and penalizing customers for overages (even though it’s becoming less expensive to provide this service), one expert says many devices used to determine a customer’s usage are not sufficiently accurate. [More]


Straight Talk’s Unlimited Data: Actually Sort Of Limited

A Straight Talk mobile plan with unlimited everything for $45 per month sounded pretty great to Thom, and he bought an unlocked Samsung Galaxy to use with the carrier. All has been well since September, when he subscribed to the plan, but now something terrible has come up. Limits. TracFone (Straight Talk is a joint venture between TracFone and Walmart) tells him that he’s running up against the plan’s unspoken 2 GB limit, and they reserve the right to cut him off. [More]


Cable Industry Admits That Data Caps Have Nothing To Do With Congestion

A month after one study called shenanigans on the cable industry’s repeated assertion that data caps and usage-based pricing are intended to relieve congestion, the president of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association has admitted as much. [More]

(From the New America Foundation report)

New Report Says “Cash Cow” Data Caps Are About Pleasing Investors, Not Relieving Congestion

Internet users have been complaining about data caps — and the costly penalties for going over said caps — for years, while both wireless and fixed broadband providers claimed these caps were an absolute necessity to curb runaway use. But a new report attempts to debunk many of the ISP industry’s claims. [More]