Comcast tests $30 fee that gets rid of internet data cap – The Verge

Comcast’s data caps make it an outlier among US home broadband companies. While Verizon, Charter, and other wired ISPs usually have a breaking point with their unlimited service plans, it’s nothing as formal as Comcast’s series of “data usage plan trials,” which set a (generally) 300GB limit in certain areas of the country. Now, though, Florida subscribers can get truly unlimited data — but it costs an extra $30 a month.

As first noticed by DSL Reports, Comcast is introducing a new option in its Florida markets of Fort Lauderdale, the Keys, and Miami. Normally, customers who exceed 300GB a month would pay an extra $10 per 50GB of data, with a three-month grace period before the charges kick in. But by enrolling in a plan that costs $30 more per month (regardless of whether users exceed the cap), they can theoretically use as much bandwidth as they want.

If you choose to enroll in the Unlimited Data Option, you will pay a flat fee of $30 per month regardless of how much data you actually use. That way, you can have the certainty of knowing exactly what your bill will be each month. However, like all other Xfinity internet customers, your use of the Xfinity internet service must be consistent with our Acceptable Use Policies and network management system.

Comcast’s limits are more liberal now than they were three years ago, when the company lifted a flat 250GB cap for home subscribers. Since then, it’s been testing different tiered pricing models, which could ultimately be incorporated into a nationwide plan. Most places are cap-free, but Comcast is currently running trials in parts of nine states: Florida, Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Tennessee, and South Carolina.

The options vary. In Tucson, Arizona, data limits are scaled up for faster internet packages, and a separate “flexible” option offers a $5 discount to people who shrink their monthly usage to 5GB or less. Business customers, as well as people who sign up for Comcast’s 505Mbps and Gigabit Pro internet tiers, are exempt from caps. (Comcast has previously argued that none of the limits are “caps,” calling them “thresholds” or “flexible data consumption plans” because users can choose to pay for more data.) The company said in 2014 that it was interested in testing unlimited plans.

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