Good and Bad News About Comcast Data Plans

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The changes take effect on June 1 and apply to Xfinity Internet customers in all of Comcast's trial markets.

The good news is that Comcast is about to start increasing data caps — more than threefold.

The bad news is that it’s also about to raise prices of unlimited plans — to $50 a month.

The publicly traded company announced these upcoming changes this week.

Marcien Jenckes, executive vice president of consumer services for Comcast Cable in Internet, writes in the announcement:

We have learned that our customers want the peace of mind to stream, surf, game, download, or do whatever they want online. So, we have created a new data plan that is so high that most of our customers will never have to think about how much data they use.

The changes will take effect on June 1 and apply to Xfinity Internet customers in all of Comcast’s trial markets. For a listing of those markets, visit Comcast’s “Questions & Answers About Our Data Usage Plan Trials” web page.

Citing analyst Craig Moffett of MoffettNathanson, CNN Money reports that only about 12 percent of Comcast customers are currently subject to data caps.

Comcast has yet to introduce data caps beyond its trial markets. But the company said in its latest announcement that it is “currently evaluating our plans to roll this out in other markets.”

Monthly data caps for all data plans in trial markets will increase from 300 gigabytes to 1 terabyte — which is equivalent to 1,000 gigabytes — regardless of a data plan’s speed.

A terabyte is enough to stream about 700 hours of high-definition video, play 12,000 hours of online games, or download 60,000 high-resolution photos, according to Comcast.

More than 99 percent of customers “do not come close” to using a terabyte, according to Jenckes, and the “typical” customer uses about 60 gigabytes of data per month.

Customers in trial markets who want more than a terabyte of data per month come June 1 will have two options:

  • Sign up for an unlimited plan, which costs an additional $50 per month.
  • Purchase additional data in increments of 50 gigabytes, which cost $10 each.

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