Comcast Plans To Raise Subscriber Bandwidth Caps, Add Additional Data Options

Brad Chacos

Comcast has fallen under fire recently for the way it handles its Xfinity app on the Xbox 360 console; basically, the company doesn't count the bandwidth against subscribers' monthly data cap. It sounds great for Comcast customers, but critics -- including Netflix's Reed Hastings -- say the practice is a violation of Net Neutrality. Perhaps to silence the screams for blood, Comcast announced today that it plans on increasing its data cap and trying out some new data management approaches.

The current Comcast policy entails a hard 250GB bandwidth cap. Top it too many times and Comcast could cut you off. That looks like it's changing in the future.

Comcast VP Cathy Avgiris described the possible "flexible data usage management approaches" on the company's blog today. One approach involves the data cap being raised to 300GB, with additional bandwidth available at the example rate of $10 for 50GB. (That's obviously subject to change.) The second trial approach is basically the same, but customers with more expensive Internet packages receive even higher bandwidth caps.

If you're not in a trial market, Comcast will "suspend enforcement of our current usage cap as we transition to a new data usage management approach, although we will continue to contact the very small number of excessive users about their usage."

Unfortunately, there's no word on when the trials and changes are actually going to take place.

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