We don’t usually associate Comcast with the word fair, but that’s exactly the term the telecommunications company is using to describe its new plan to expand its restrictive data caps to additional markets across the United States. According to a new report, which has been confirmed by Comcast, customers in nine additional cities will now be subject to 300GB monthly data caps.
For these customers, the all-you-can eat data buffet is effectively going away — that is unless you’re willing to pay Comcast even more money. Comcast says that its new 300GB plans will go into effect starting December 1st, and it boldly states in an email to customers, “While we believe that 300 GB is more than enough to meet your Internet usage needs, if for any reason you exceed the 300 GB included in your plan in a month, we will automatically add blocks of 50 GB to your account for an additional fee of $10 each.”
Comcast goes on to say that its will provide customers a three-month courtesy program, in which they won’t be billed for overages during that period. However, once that three-month period is over, be prepared to start paying the additional $10 for each 50GB used past your monthly data plan.
But of course, Comcast sees an opportunity to fleece customers even more, providing the option to sign up for an unlimited plan, which we discussed earlier this week, for an additional $35 per month. Customers will pay the additional $35 per month as long as they are signed up for unlimited data, even if they don’t surpass 300GB of usage in a month.
"Our data plan trials are part of our ongoing effort to create a fair, technologically-sound policy in which customers who use more data pay more, and customers who use less pay less," said a Comcast spokeswoman in early September.
The new cities affected by the expanding data caps include Little Rock, Arkansas; Houma, LaPlace and Shreveport, Louisiana; Chattanooga, Greenville, Johnson City/Gray, Tennessee; and Galax, Virginia. Interestingly enough, Comcast made a big stink about municipal Internet in Chattanooga, and fought hard to bury the service. Comcast ended up losing out in the end in a court challenge, and decided to compete on its own merits by offering 2Gbps Gigabit Pro service in the area.
However, given that Chattanooga Electric Power Board (EPB) offers unlimited 100Mbps and 1Gbps Internet service for $57.99 and $69.99 per month respectively, we have the feeling that Comcast customer that haven’t already switched over to the EPB’s service will be making a switch very soon.