Comcast Thinking About Overage Fees And Tiered Usage
from the please-don't-use-our-broadband dept
Following Time Warner’s recent plans to test broadband caps and overage fees, Broadband Reports has the scoop that Comcast is very strongly considering the same thing. Unlike Time Warner Cable’s plans to test super low caps, Comcast is looking at 250GB/month — which it claims will only impact 0.1% of users. Overage fees will be pretty high, however: $15 charge for each 10 GB over the cap. Comcast will also give users one free “slip up” month per year, for those who go over just for that one month.
There are some good and bad things to this news. On the good side, it would represent a big step up for Comcast in terms of actually being transparent. The company has always had caps, but they’ve been totally secret “fuzzy caps.” Users would have no idea if they had gone over until Comcast sent them a nasty letter telling them to cut down on usage — or they would lose their account. That said, the problem with tiered broadband is that it can serve to hold back innovation. It puts a limit on what people can do online, just as ISPs should be encouraging more innovative uses. As higher bandwidth applications are coming, limiting the value of an internet connection doesn’t seem particularly wise. Providers who embrace innovation and supply the bandwidth to support it will be rewarded with happy customers.