If you're like me, this headline probably came as a shock. I have Comcast high speed Internet and had no idea that the company imposed data caps at all. When I did a little more investigation, I discovered that only certain Comcast customers have data caps. However, that is likely to change soon as the company is already looking to expand its trial data cap plan to more and more markets. The good news is that Comcast just announced that it is raising its monthly data cap from 300 GB to 1 TB, a limit that is more than adequate for 99% of users.
The Difference 1 TB Makes
The 300 GB data cap that Comcast currently has on select plans can easily be exceeded by those who are heavy users of Netflix or other streaming video platforms. That has set Comcast up for allegations that it is unfairly interfering with the growth of such online video businesses. This new higher monthly limit of 1 terabyte eliminates any impact a Comcast data limit would have on such companies
A terabyte is 1000 Gigabytes, so this increase is more than 3 times the current data limit Comcast has. The average Comcast user only uses approximately 60 GB per month, and 99% of customers are far from 1 TB of usage. To help you get an idea of what you can do with the new limit, we have provided you some examples.
*An hour of Netflix streaming in high definition uses 3 GB and in standard definition uses 1 GB. That means that even with a Comcast data cap, you can still stream hundreds of hours of video each month. *1 TB of data lets you play online games for 12,000 hours. *You can download 60,000 high resolutions photos with 1 TB.
Some But Not All Comcast Customers Have Caps
Comcast has not imposed data caps on all its customers yet. It is still running trials on service with data caps in select major markets, but is looking to expand those limits to other markets. Those customers with the limited plans currently have 300 GB of data per month, but that will be raised to 1 TB by June 1st. The option for additional data beyond that is also available at $10 for each additional 50 GB or an upgrade to an unlimited plan can be purchased for $50 more monthly.
FCC Takes a Stand Against Data Caps
One of the biggest frustrations that consumers have when it comes to Internet service is data caps, and because of that, it is often the deciding factor when it comes to choosing an Internet provider. The FCC recognizes that frustration and has taken the first step in protecting consumers against those caps. As a part of the Charter acquisition of Time Warner Cable, the FCC has put stringent guidelines in place, one of which is that the new mega company is not allowed to impose data caps for 7 years. This guideline is a strong signal to Internet providers that the federal government is not thrilled with them capping access to high speed Internet.