Comcast is to roll out a 1.2TB data cap across its Xfinity subscribers in the north east US, saying that 95% of its customers never use more than 1.2TB in a month.
The cap is due to come into effect on 1 January 2021, and from that date customers will have to pay an excess charge if they exceed the monthly data limit. Each customer will get one ‘courtesy month’ within a 12-month period, when they can exceed the limit without incurring extra costs.
The cap was initially introduced in 2016 in 27 of the 39 states Comcast covers. It will now add Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to the data cap plan, as well as parts of Virginia and Ohio where it wasn't already implemented.
In an update on its website, Comcast said: “We have worked hard to keep all our customers connected during the coronavirus pandemic and will continue to do so by offering extended payment options and adjusting services and packages to meet customers’ budgets.
“We are keeping our 1.5 million public Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots open for free to anyone who needs to use them, including non-customers, through the end of 2020. We are also continuing to provide 60 days of free Internet service to new, eligible Internet Essentials customers, also through the end of 2020.”
It added: “A very small percentage of our customers drive a disproportionately large volume of traffic on our network. In fact, 5% of our residential customers make up more than 20% of our network usage. For that small set of customers who use more than 1.2TB of data in a month, we have a number of unlimited options for less money.
“At Comcast, we double the capacity of our network every 18-24 months and have invested more than $12B since 2017 to support the rapid increase in usage particularly by our super user customers. We will continue to make significant investments in our network so that all our customers have all the speed and capacity they need – whether they use 500GB or subscribe to unlimited.
“As our customers’ use of the Internet grows, we will continue to evaluate the pricing and packaging of our services to ensure we are meeting their needs.”