12% of Comcast users affected
For many Americans, Comcast is the sole choice of internet provider. Others can pick between Comcast and AT&T, which is a bit like picking between a Ford Taurus and a Ford Pinto.
Comcast started limiting monthly data to 250GB in some markets in 2008, pitching it as some greater-good communism. It stopped “excessive use” from customers who were using a lot of data, even though they were well in their rights to do so, with the promise of delivering “high-quality service” to all, which is some bullshit. Poor lil Comcast struggling to pay rent while investing $200 million in Vox media (hello, Polygon) or, hell, just buying DreamWorks for almost $4 billion.
The company bumped the cap up to 300GB in 2012. Unfortunately, in a world of streaming video and regular 60GB video game releases, that extra 50GB doesn’t cut it (though Comcast claims, “Our typical customer uses only about 60 gigabytes of data in a month.”) Some people have been falsely billed for going over their cap, the Federal Communications Commission has received over 13,000 complaints about Comcast, all while the company tries to rebrand the cap in wireless parlance as a “data plan,” the same way your cell phone provider tried to boot you off your unlimited data plan. And while Comcast insisted it must charge fees to users who surpass 300GB/month, it’s decidedly mum on rebates for, say, users who only use 20GB/month. Why am I paying for 300GB/month if I’m only using 20GB? Or the “typical” 60GB?
Side-stepping all that, Comcast announced this week, “All of the data plans in our trial markets will move from a [300GB] data plan to [1TB] by June 1, regardless of the speed,” which is better than a 300GB cap, but not better than no internet cap whatsoever.
A Terabyte Internet Experience [Comcast]