Comcast broadband data caps coming to California

Come November 1, Comcast data caps are coming to California and more than a dozen other states that haven’t already had the pleasure.

The nation’s largest broadband provider, which began rolling out data caps last fall, says in an FAQ that it doesn’t expect its 1-terabyte monthly limit to ruin most of its customers’ lives: “More than 99 percent of our customers do not use a terabyte of data… so they can continue to stream, surf, and download without worry.”

A spokesman said the median monthly data usage of Comcast customers is 75 gigabytes. The company doesn’t break out figures by state.

The limit is being rolled out for the sake of fairness, according to the company. “Those who use more Internet data pay more,” Comcast says.

What can Comcast customers do with a terabyte? The company says they can stream 600 to 700 hours of HD video; stream more than 15,ooo hours of music; upload or download more than 60,000 high-resolution photos; and play online games for more than 12,000 hours.

While 1 terabyte may seem like a high limit now, it comes as technology brings us more bandwidth-hungry advances, such as video for 4K resolution televisions and software-as-a-service subscriptions.

If Comcast users need more than 1 terabyte, they can pay $10 per additional 50 GB a month, but Comcast says charges won’t exceed $200 a month. Also, they can get unlimited broadband for an extra $50 a month.

Comcast customers can check their broadband usage on the company’s website, and the company will send warnings as customers approach, reach and surpass the 1-terabyte limit.

Earlier this year, the nation’s second-largest broadband provider, AT&T, increased its usage limits — also up to 1 terabyte a month for the customers who subscribe to the fastest internet speeds it offers — and offered an unlimited option for an additional $30 a month.


Photo: The Comcast logo on one of the company’s vehicles in Pittsburgh. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)


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