Comcast has been testing data caps in some Southern states, where the competition for Internet service providers is even smaller than it is in the Northern states.
These tests include a 300GB data cap with customers being charged every time they surpass another 50GB per month. This comes alongside a 5GB data cap, with $5 off if the customer does not go over, but a $1 price increase for every gigabyte over.
In an open letter, Comcast once again denied they are testing data caps, calling them data thresholds. They claim the positives of thresholds mean careful and low users can save money on their monthly bill.
Time Warner Cable is also doing these small caps for customers, trying to edge out what they can afford to get away with. Comcast has said these are only tests, but if a merger were to go through, it could spell a big change in how much data we’re allowed to use.
The main reasoning for Comcast moving towards data caps is to make more money on those who overspend or do not budget. It is easy to spend hundreds of hours on the Internet when its unlimited, but when caps are involved, people get billed.
Often times, it is nothing more than $10-50 per month, but sometimes we hear about these terror stories of people getting charged hundreds or even thousands for their monthly bill, simply because they went over the caps.
In a time where the TV and telephone market is dwindling, Comcast needs to make sure the Internet is ripe with access for more money. Testing out these data caps, while unethical to the idea of net neutrality and consumer satisfaction, might bring them more revenue.
Still, they are just in the early stages and the FCC may investigate if Comcast tries to bring this nationwide. With Time Warner Cable on their side, it would make it even harder for customers to move away from data caps.