Comcast upping its test data caps to a terabyte

By Jim O'Neill on Apr 28 2016 at 12:45 PM
Comcast upping its test data caps to a terabyte

Comcast this week said it would more than triple the current 300 gigabyte data caps it’s testing in select U.S. markets, giving customers the ability to use up to a terabyte of data, something the operator says isn’t an issue for more than 99% of its customers.

“As the world changes and the Internet evolves, so do we,” wrote Marcien Jenckes, EVP, Consumer Services, Comcast Cable, in a blog post. “That’s why we are making a major change to our Internet data trials and moving to a terabyte data plan in all of our trial markets.”

A “typical” Comcast customer uses about 60 gigabytes of data in a month, wrote Jenckes.

Comcast has been trialing a number of data plans and options for the past four years. And, said the company, it’s listened to customer feedback.

“We have learned that our customers want the peace of mind to stream, surf, game, download, or do whatever they want online,” Jenckes wrote. “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.”

Comcast is trying to keep tiers to a minimum, so it’s planning to move all of the data plans in its trial markets from a 300 gigabyte data plan to a terabyte by June 1, regardless of the speed. 

The service provider said customers who use more than a terabyte of data a month – less than 1% of its subscribers – have the option of purchasing additional data in blocks of 50 gigabytes for $50, or of choosing to go with an unlimited plan for an additional $50 a month.

Comcast provides customers access to their data usage via an online data meter that they can access.

Although Comcast hasn’t yet decided if it will roll out data caps in other markets, it said it was “currently evaluating” plans for further deployment.

Charter Communications, which soon will become the second-largest cable operator in the U.S. behind Comcast, once its acquisitions of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks is approved, has no data caps on any residential plans. That’s something they’ve agreed to maintain for three years once the merger closes, probably by mid-May.

Time Warner Cable has dabbled in data caps and gotten its hand slapped by angry consumers in the process.

Along with Charter, Cablevision, Bright House and Verizon also don’t enforce data caps… yet.

Most other operators do have caps – most have a low bar of 150 gigabytes – and even then, not all enforce them rigorously.

A terabyte of cap would allow users to stream about 700 hours of HD video.

Stay tuned.

Follow me on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn

Posted in: 

READ THESE NEXT

PPV UFC 214 comes to Sling TV. Will it drive subscriptions?
Live sports, Operators, OTT, Cloud TV
PPV UFC 214 comes to Sling TV. Will it drive subscriptions?
Jul 26 2017 9:30 AM

Sling TV is planning to offer its first-ever pay-per-view (PPV) event, the much anticipated UFC grudge match that features a pair of light heavyweights. UFC 214: Cormier v. Jones 2 features current champ Daniel Cormier against ex-champ Jon Jones who last met in 2015 at UFC 182.

SVOD, Operators, Netflix
Should European operators worry about cord cutting as Amazon, Netflix push deeper into their market? Absolutely
May 25 2017 8:15 AM

When the Big Two come to play in your backyard, it’s time to up your game.

Netflix and Amazon have launched a push into Europe that will likely result in some bad nights of sleep for operators, pay-TV channels and broadcasters looking themselves to do more business over the top.

Cable operators in EU see revenue gains, subscriber losses
EMEA, Broadband, Operators
Cable operators in EU see revenue gains, subscriber losses
Dec 19 2016 12:15 PM

Despite increasing competition from over-the-top players and from satellite providers, and declining subscriber numbers, the cable industry in the European Union has continued to grow with gross cable revenues topping €22.4 billion ($23.34 billion) in 2015, a 5.7% increase year-over-year.

More than half of cable revenues in 2015 (53%) came from Internet and phone services, according to a report from IHS Markit, with Internet revenues up nearly 10% to €7.2 billion.

Operators, Cord Cutting
In the U.S., service providers face triple cord-cutting threat
Dec 15 2016 11:30 AM

U.S. operators – especially telcos – are facing a triple cord-cutting threat as subscribers are dropping their landlines, traditional pay-TV subscriptions and, increasingly, broadband plans, as consumers look to mobile as their one-source supplier.

Researcher Ovum’s World Broadband Information Service says the trend is “looming” over U.S. operators, but adds that other regions also are potentially facing disruption on all three fronts.