Are data caps coming for area Comcast subscribers? It is unfortunately no longer a question of “If,” but rather of “When?” Earlier this year Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen announced that within the next five years the ISP would be moving all customers to usage-based billing and implement data caps. The move, which has already begun in seven states, currently has data capped at 300GB per month for most markets. Users do have the ability to purchase additional buckets of data for approximately $10/50GB. Cohen said Comcast has additional plans to increase this amount over the next few years, throwing out numbers around the 500GB mark by 2020.
But will this be enough?
As more and more consumers “cut the cord” and move to streaming entertainment services such as Netflix, average data consumption is on the rise. A report by Sandvine in May of this year estimated average monthly data use for “cord cutters” at 213GB – that’s about 100 hours of entertainment each month. As services improve and offerings increase, the monthly averages for these types of users will also increase. Though 500GB of data each month seems generous at this point, it surely won’t be long before this gap closes.
Additionally, it’s worth pointing out that Comcast has also announced plans to enter the gaming arena. In a Rueters exclusive, it was revealed that Comcast was close to working out a deal with Electronic Arts (EA) to offer cloud-based games through their X1 cable box system. This means, if viable, households with binge watchers streaming NetFlix’s ultra HD 4K resolution offerings AND heavy X1 gamers could easily gobble up 500GB of data on a rainy weekend.
You can read more about the Comcast/EA partnership HERE.