Cox Expands Data Caps, Now Charges Overage Fees In 8 States

Image courtesy of Mike Mozart

There’s been an air of inevitability around it for some time, but Cox customers around the country are finally getting the bad news for real: This week, the cable company has started telling millions more subscribers that they will be facing overage fees in the near future.

Cox set its data cap to 1 TB for nearly all customers last October. The exception is for customers paying for higher-speed gigabit service; subscribers to that tier (still limited and in a small footprint) have a 2 TB data cap.

At the time, only customers in Cleveland were subject to overage fees. But two weeks later, Cox started charging customers in Florida and Georgia overage fees for hitting or exceeding their data caps.

That list has since expanded, and now includes customers in all of Arkansas, Connecticut, and Kansas, and well as certain markets in Nebraska (Omaha) and Idaho (Sun Valley). Customers in some states — including Arizona, California, Iowa, Louisiana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and Virginia — remain without enforced data caps… for now.

The company also makes a point of reminding customers that using its services — TV, on-demand TV, TV through its Countour app while on your home WiFi, phone (VoIP) use, and so on — doesn’t count against that cap.

The creeping march of data caps and overage fees across the country should sound familiar by now: Comcast has been doing exactly the same thing in recent months. At the tail end of 2016, the company expanded overage fees to 23 markets in one fell swoop, leaving only the northeast region (as Comcast defines it) untouched.

Cable executives and lobbying groups have long speculated (or hoped) that data caps for all home broadband customers are inevitable. Charter customers are exempt until 2023 because of the terms of that company’s merger with Time Warner Cable and Bright House, but everyone else — especially Comcast and Cox customers who are still uncapped — is probably browsing on borrowed time.

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