Business

Comcast to lift controversial data cap to 1 terabyte

ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

Comcast announced Wednesday that all of its customers in data trial markets, including South Florida, will move from a 300 gigabytes data cap per month to a terabyte beginning June 1, regardless of the speed of their internet plan. This comes on the heels of thousands of customer complaints nationwide as Comcast has been testing the caps.

At the current 300 GB limit, customers who heavily stream from Netflix, Amazon or other services could exceed the cap, as well as families with multiple users. In the data trials, which have been conducted around the country including the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metro area, “we have learned that our customers want the peace of mind to stream, surf, game, download, or do whatever they want online,” Comcast said in a blog post.

A terabyte of data is “far more than most of our customers will ever use in a month,” Comcast wrote. “Today, more than 99 percent of our customers do not come close to using a terabyte.” Comcast said its typical customer uses about 60 gigabytes a month. With a terabyte, Comcast said, one could stream about 700 hours of HD video, play 12,000 hours of online games, and download 60,000 high-resolution photos a month.

Customers needing more than a terabyte can sign up for an unlimited plan for an additional $50 a month, or they can buy additional buckets of 50 gigabytes of data for $10 each, the company said.

The Wall Street Journal found that consumer complaints to the Federal Communications Commission skyrocketed in 2015. Comcast’s announcement also comes just days after the FCC indicated that it had serious concerns about data caps.

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