A 1.2TB data cap is coming to Comcast’s Xfinity subscribers based in the northeast US, forcing them to pay an overage charge if they exceed the monthly limit.
The cap will go into effect in January, although overages won’t be charged until April. Subscribers in 14 states, including New York, and the District of Columbia, will be affected.
To no surprise, Comcast users are already expressing outrage after the company announced the change on the Xfinity website, deriding it as a cash grab. However, the company says the vast majority of affected subscribers, at 95 percent, never use more than 1.2TB of data, even as millions of Americans are stuck at home during the pandemic.
According to a Comcast spokesman, the median monthly data use for subscribers in the Northeast was at 308GB from January to June. As a result, the company says the 1.2TB cap is plenty. Nevertheless, a small group of users far exceed the data cap.
“Five percent of our residential customers make up more than 20 percent of our network usage,” the spokesman said. Now Comcast wants them to pay more.
In addition, the 1.2TB data cap has already been in place in the Western and Southern US for about two-thirds of the Xfinity customer base. “This is really just aligning (our policy) across all our markets,” the spokesman added.
For subscribers who exceed the data cap, Comcast will charge them an extra $10 per 50GB used but will not exceed $100 extra per month.
Although the policy goes into effect at the start of 2021, Comcast won’t charge subscribers for exceeding the data cap in January or February. Instead, the company plans to ease subscribers into the policy by placing any overage fee on their monthly bill, but offsetting the costs with complimentary credits.
Every year, subscribers will also be given a “courtesy month.” So in the event customers exceeds the data cap next March, Comcast won’t charge them any overage fees.
The change will apply to users based in the following states: Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, parts of North Carolina, New York, parts of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Vermont, and West Virginia. To get unlimited data on Xfinity, subscribers have to pay an extra $30 a month or additional $11 a month if they own an xFi Gateway.