Comcast VP Admits That Arbitrary Broadband Data Caps Are BS

Data caps are the bane of any active broadband Internet subscriber, and let's face it, the arbitrary limitation is mostly hogwash. You know it, we know it, and heck, even Comcast knows it. But if that's the case, then why does Comcast impose a 300GB per month data cap on its Internet service? That's a good question -- so good that it stumped one of Comcast's higher ups.

Jason Livingood is the Vice President of Internet Service for Comcast. He's also a Twitter user, and when asked on the microblogging service about the data caps, Livingood gave a refreshingly honest answer, one that strongly suggests it's a purely a business decision and has nothing to do with Comcast's technical capabilities.


Here's how the exchange went:

Cable Cares: Serious question, why are Comcat's caps set so low compared to the speeds they're being sold at? 100Mbps can hit 300GB in ~6 hours.

Jason Livingood: No idea -- I'm involved on the engineering side to manage the measurement systems but don't weigh in on the business policies.

Cable Cares: I appreciate your honest answer here, I really do.

Translation? Money. Granted, Livingood didn't come right out say it so bluntly, but at face value, he seems to be implying there's no reason for them to exist on the engineering side of things and that it's purely a business decision. At least for now -- we wouldn't be surprised if Comcast's PR team issues a statement or pressures Livingood to "clarify" his post.

Cable Cares is a parody account that mocks the sometimes laughable customer service of ISPs. But for many, data caps are no laughing matter, especially as broadband speeds get faster and online services increase in number.

Are the data caps truly arbitrary? It sure seems that way. At the very least, they're inconsistent. Comcast doesn't apply data restrictions to all areas it offers service, and not all plans have the same data cap. But they do exist, and as Cable Cares pointed out, they can amount to only 6 hours of service at the speeds customers pay for.