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Comcast: We have no data caps but you are "allotted 300GB's"
Of all the reasons why Comcast should not be allowed to merge with Time Warner Cable, this one sits on top of my list.
Several weeks ago, we are told…
“We don’t have data caps — and haven’t for about two years,” Sena Fitzmaurice, Comcast’s VP of government communications, wrote in an e-mail to the International Business Times in response to the WGA filing. “We have tested data thresholds” – Consumerist
Now? We are told…
“Speaking at the Moffett Nathanson Media & Communications Summit today in New York City, David Cohen, executive vice president of Comcast, noted that the current model, in which customers are allotted 300 GB of data per month and then charged an additional $10 for every 50 GB of data they use over the 300 GB, seems to be the most popular model.” – FierceCable
So, Comcast basically wants people to see them as a huge proponent of net neutrality yet they turn around and slam customers with completely arbitrary data caps that serve absolutely no purpose other than give Comcast another revenue stream in overage
“Back in May 2012, Comcast did stop enforcing its standard 250GB/month data cap, but only so it could begin testing 300GB caps — sorry, “thresholds” — that the allows heavy users to buy additional buckets of data at $10 per 50GB. This initial test has since expanded to more markets.”
If Comcast were truly only instituting these thresholds to rein in a small percentage of data-hogging customers, they would not be interfering with the number of people who are legally downloading all of their movies, music, and especially video games, as files for big-name titles for the new Xbox One and PS4 consoles can be several times the size of an HD movie.
For years the cable industry has insisted that they must impose usage caps because network congestion makes it necessary. Time Warner Cable insisted that if they weren’t allowed to impose caps and overages the Internet would face “brown outs.” Meanwhile, data has repeatedly showed that well-run fixed line networks don’t have serious capacity issues, and that looming video growth can be easily handled by even modest network investment.
Of course, when called out about such a lack of substantial investment, the argument is turned to “fairness”:
“Asked by MMTC president David Honig to weigh in on data caps, Powell said that while a lot of people had tried to label the cable industry’s interest in the issue as about congestion management. “That’s wrong,” he said. “Our principal purpose is how to fairly monetize a high fixed cost.””
Except the argument that usage-based pricing is about fairness has been just as repeatedly debunked:
“If usage caps were about “fairness,” carriers would offer the nation’s grandmothers a $5-$15 a month tier that accurately reflected her twice weekly, several megabyte browsing of the Weather Channel website. Instead, what we most often see are low caps and high overages layered on top of already high existing flat rate pricing, raising rates for all users. Does raising rates on a product that already sees 90% profit margins sound like “fairness” to you?”
Let us not forget when they tell us that flat rate internet pricing model simply isn’t sustainable. Just don’t look at the record-breaking quarterly earnings from any of the major broadband players.