Comcast Envisions Switching Broadband Model To Usage Based Billing In Five Years

If you thought Comcast wouldn't try to defend its "Worst Company in America" designation as voted by Consumerists' readers last month, think again. The broadband company holding the Golden Poo award has gone on record saying it wants to move to a usage-based billing model similar to how the wireless industry works within the next five years.

"People who use more should pay more and people who use less should pay less," Comcast executive vice president David Cohen said at an investor event in New York City this week.

Comcast has already been testing this in some areas. The way it's currently constructed is that subscribers are allotted 300GB of data per month. Those who go over are charged $10 for each additional 50GB. Last November, Cohen told ArsTechnica that "98 percent of our customers nationally don't use 300GB/month." He also said that Comcast would raise the data cap over time to ensure that the majority of its customers don't go over it.

That's fine if you trust Comcast to play fair, but a potential problem is the rapidly growing reliance on online and streaming media. Everything is stored in the cloud these days, and in five years, streaming 4K media will likely be the norm, not the exception. For a family of four that uses Netflix, Hulu, and other services, things could get tricky.

On top of that, if you ask Netflix, the streaming service will tell you that Comcast is already "double dipping" by charging its customers for Internet access, and then charging Netflix for a clean connection into their homes.
Via:  Comcast
RyanWilliamSteinmetz 7 months ago

This is getting out of control. Especially since a large number of people only have a choice between AT&T or time warner cable who if I remember correctly was just bought by com cast.

rapid1 7 months ago

WOW; I do not understand how no one see's Comcast as a monopoly. They own or are buying Time Warner who is I think there largest singular competitor, They own NBC Universal, They partners now with Verizon I would not be surprised if they bought them out really. One thing that gets me about there only other real competition AT&T is that AT&T has been losing that battle since they decided not to start fibering all there existing land line coverage areas. They think they're going to win with a wireless platform which may be a part of the picture but if you don't have the backbone to serve the ground completely how will you ever cover the air sufficiently. Comcast with Verizon is there worst nightmare, then throw in Google who is fibering entire metro areas and AT&T has a very large problem that they cannot seem to see. The biggest as well as the funniest part of it all is that AT&T was busted up as a monopoly but the US government just lets Comcast keep on rolling. I use Comcast for cable and internet because there is no other choice, I tried UVERSE whose TV package I actually like but whose internet is a joke compared and I supposedly should be able to have their penultimate internet but as soon as my neighbor got it my bandwidth split in half literally within minutes of it being activated fully and I dropped it like a hot potato. Comcast may say they're going to do this and that but they're a bigger Monopoly that the BELL/AT&T monster ever was now!

stevenando 7 months ago

i love how many of you fools sit on the outside and think you know a thing about how the industry works. You complain about a monopoly and then state that you have other options, is that not the opposite of a monoply? as far as netflix goes, they dont have to pay comcast. they can pay a third party or even try to allocate there bandwidth them selves, which would be a portion of the speed they get with a direct connection, and they would still raise there price. the only thing that would make people happy is to have free or government ran internet service. if its free then the infrastructure collapses, and think obama care if you want something ran by the government. the real problem is every one thinks there entitled to there piece of the pie at no cost. Grow up and start your own buisness if you dont like the way things are ran.

ChristopherT. 7 months ago

Comcast is the only CABLE operator in most locations because the local government made them so. AT&T or your local telco is the only DSL operator in most places because the local government made them so.


Infrastructure costs. All that wiring. This is why Dish is cheaper.

This gives (most) places three options for TV, two options (let us not speak of dial-up) in most places for Internet access. This is a duopoly, more or less. Comcast is regulated differently from the telcos (information provider vs. communications provider).

We either need a new class of provider, or new state and local laws allowing more than one class of provider in an area. I am not sure how many companies would want to take the chance to go into an area if they weren't the only game in town.

But I'd love to find out. Google has really been disruptive in the areas it services. Amazingly, when Austin, TX was slated for Google Fiber, prices dropped and new services (AT&T's Uverse) suddenly got moving. (I say amazingly because while AT&T said it was going ahead with plans to wire fiber in Austin, it surprised the local regulatory agency chief-she hadn't heard word one from AT&T before the press release....

Most of the laws and regs for this sort of thing are based on the century old model of the telcos.

CurtisCorse 7 months ago

Goodbye Comcast. Their speed isn't consistent enough to charge the prices they do currently. We need net neutrality laws and we need them now.

ChrisCarter 7 months ago

they can keep it then

AlhaidarDkd 7 months ago


AlhaidarDkd 7 months ago

CurtisCorse 7 months ago

Netflix says Comcast is already double dipping by charging customers and charging Netflix for a clean connection. Since when has there been a clean connection through Comcast to Netflix? The shows Netflix offers in HD are rarely displayed that way because of a lack of available bandwidth from Comcast. I'll do a speed test when I notice shows not displaying in HD and often times it says I'm getting 25mbps but it takes about 10 minutes for the test to start so that Comcast can divert bandwidth away from other users in order to get a good speed rating.

realneil 7 months ago

[quote user="CurtisCorse"]Since when has there been a clean connection through Comcast to Netflix?[/quote]

My Netflix service always worked well (in HD) until Comcast began to screw with it.

As soon as Netflix started paying Comcast, all of my streaming issues were gone. Everything I watch is in HD and it's perfect.][/URL]:600:0]

JayHoff 7 months ago

yea...charge big websites more for good connections and limit how much we can access those websites. worst company in america isnt just for show.

JPayne 7 months ago

The cable industry is a racket, regulations are needed.

TravisJohnChristensen 7 months ago

At least I have 5 years to get ready and move out of the US.

TravisJohnChristensen 7 months ago

I have 5 years to get ready and move out of the US.

NickRefriKing 7 months ago

Terrible idea.

MichaelAllred 7 months ago

no surprise there. it was only a matter of time with comcast. I think they have meetings where they try to figure out ways to alienate and screw over their customers in the worst ways they can.

AgathaMantanes 7 months ago

sometimes regulation works and this is one tome it is needed before the only internet left fot the ones that cant afordie will be the local library

ChrisHunter 7 months ago

who are these idiots who still give this company money..I'd take slow internet on principle alone.

ChristopherT. 7 months ago

If Comcast started offering gigabyte fiber for $65 a month without forcing me to buy cable TV, then we can talk about capping data.

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