Comcast Raising Data Caps To One Terabyte On June 1

Comcast has — deservedly so — been the subject of thousands of customer complaints since expanding its test of data caps in 2015. In an effort to establish a more realistic data cap, Comcast is more than tripling the monthly data threshold in these markets from 300 GB to a full terabyte.

In a blog post, Comcast claims that its typical user only goes through about 60 GB of data a month, and that the new terabyte limit would suffice for more than 99% of its customers. The change will kick in for affected customers starting June 1. The new 1 TB limit applies to all plans in these markets, regardless of the customer’s data speeds.

For customers who can’t keep their data use under that 1 TB ceiling, Comcast will continue to offer its “Unlimited” add-on tier. But instead of the current level of $30-35/month, users who want to go beyond the terabyte mark would have to pay $50 for each month of unlimited access. Users who just need to go slightly over the terabyte limit will have the option of buying buckets of 50 GB of data for $10 each.

The need for higher data caps was inevitable as consumers not only increase their use of online video, but as that video increases in fidelity. A couple hours of HD video will eat up 4GB or so of data, but download an Ultra-HD 4K movie, or a new full-length video game, and you’re looking at several times that amount. Additionally, many households now contain multiple devices accessing the Internet simultaneously.

Comcast says the change is a result of customer feedback on the data cap trials, which have been going on for four years, but only began to expand in earnest after the April 2015 failure of Comcast’s merger with Time Warner Cable.

“We have learned that our customers want the peace of mind to stream, surf, game, download, or do whatever they want online,” writes Comcast Executive VP of Something or Other Marcien Jenckes. “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.”

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