If you've been hit with massive data overage fees, Comcast has your back—kinda.
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Starting June 1, the company will cap data overage charges at $200 a month. That same day, Comcast will boost its residential data cap from 300GB per month to 1TB, providing more wiggle room for those who have a habit of downloading big files or streaming 4K videos for hours on end.
Those who exceed the company's 1TB limit are charged $10 for an extra 50GB automatically. But if you happen to be downloading like crazy, Comcast will not charge you any more than $200 extra in any one-month period, even if you top 2TB of data. Users can keep tabs on how much they're using at xfinity.com/usagemeter.
Right now, Comcast only has data caps in select areas where it's running trials: 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.
As Multichannel News reports, Comcast is alerting customers via letter about the 1TB boost and $200 cap. Unlimited data costs $50 per month; those currently paying less than that (the letter recipient pays $35 per month) will maintain that rate until the end of the year.
The issue of data use and overages is one that has vexed many customers and companies over the years. While it wasn't always an issue, the increasing popularity of smartphones and tablets made data caps standard fare on wireless networks. Increasing usage on already-clogged broadband netwoks has prompted companies like Comcast to create their own limits.
Comcast first introduced data caps for residential customers in October 2008, following accusations that the company was cutting off bandwidth hogs without warning, kicking off the net neutrality debate that continues today. Comcast ditched the 250GB limit in 2012 and replaced it with 300GB limits for certain tiers and regions.