UPDATE: Smart move today by Comcast. Comcast announced they were bumping the previous 300GB monthly data caps to 1000GB/month. The change takes effect June 1.
OK, they won me back by making this move. 1000GB is clearly enough to do everything but the heaviest streaming and 24/7 gaming. In my household 1000GB is plenty.
According to Comcast, “the new limit would allow a household to download 60,000 high-resolution photos, stream 700 hours of high-definition video, and play 12,000 hours of online games in one month.”
I have to say I’m delightfully surprised by this news. Comcast, you just retained me as an Internet customer.
[My original story on this, published 12/30/15, is below]
You gotta hand it to Comcast. About every six months to a year they come up with some hair brained idea to buck a few more dollars out of customers, particularly those like me who are only paying for streaming services. What they miss is this – you’re lucky that I’m even paying you for the streaming services. The time is coming when we will have better, faster, cheaper options. You should try to retain me right now, not alienate me in this changing world.
And alienate is what they did when this notice came across my screen notifying me of the new 300GB data limits they are imposing on customers.
So I did a little research:
The data caps are initially only in these cities: Huntsville, Mobile and Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Tucson, Arizona; Little Rock, Arkansas; Fort Lauderdale, the Keys and Miami, Florida; Atlanta, Augusta and Savannah, Georgia; Central Kentucky; Houma, LaPlace and Shreveport, Louisiana; Maine; Jackson and Tupelo, Mississippi; Chattanooga, Greeneville, Johnson City/Gray, Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee; Charleston, South Carolina; and Galax, Virginia.
So if you don’t live in any of these areas, you should be fine for the short term. (hopefully the backlash they are already experiencing will prohibit the expansion of this plan)
If you are like me and you do live in one of these cities and you are getting hit with the data limit notices (as most of my friends and neighbors are already), you should know this:
- There is a 3 month grace period on exceeding the data cap. You will only have to pay more on the fourth month of exceeding the limit.
- If you exceed it on the fourth month, and every month after that, you will be forced to buy data in 50GB chunks for an extra $10 a month. (Read more on the Comcast site)
- You can control the frequency of the alerts sent to you about your data usage from your Comcast control panel, if you happen to know the log in for that.
- You can of course upgrade to the Performance Pro and Blast plans and receive even more data for your extra dollar. According to Comcast, “customers subscribed to the Performance Pro and Blast! Internet tiers receive a data usage plan of 350 GB, Blast! Pro customers receive 450 GB and Extreme customers receive 600 GB.”
- You can also go for the Unlimited Data Option in some states: “The Unlimited Data Option currently costs an additional fee of $30-$35 per calendar month, depending on the area.”
- Unused data in any given month does not roll over. That almost goes without saying.
Is it just me, or is this starting to sound like choosing a cell phone plan seven years ago?
There’s a petition on Change.org to remove the cap if you care to sign it. And we’ll just have to watch and see where this goes from here…but I exceeded my data plan 20 days into the month of Dec already. I have a feeling this is going to be an issue. especially for people who work with a lot of media, or work from home…