Brace yourselves, Comcast customers: You could soon be charged more for Internet usage.
The Associated Press reports the cable giant is testing out charging its Internet customers based on how much data they use — similar to how wireless carriers charge their cellphone customers.
The AP explains:
The reason is simple. Comcast currently takes in more revenue from video customers than from Internet customers, but that’s not likely to be true forever. …
So finding a way to charge for heavier Internet use could bolster Comcast’s revenue as the ranks of its cable customers shrink.
In the third quarter of this year, for example, Comcast lost 48,000 cable customers — a relatively low number for the company over the past decade — and gained 320,000 Internet customers.
Craig Moffett, an analyst at research firm MoffettNathanson, tells the AP that he estimates about 12 percent of Comcast territory is currently subject to such “usage-based pricing.”
As of this month, the AP reports, Florida customers affected by Comcast data caps can pay an additional $30 a month for unlimited data. In Atlanta, the price is $35.
In other news this week, Bloomberg Business reports that Comcast also plans to test out a wireless service that would piggyback off Verizon’s network.
Comcast Corp. chief executive Brian Roberts says Comcast will run trials after a six-month waiting period required to activate its agreement with Verizon, Bloomberg reports. Neither Roberts nor Comcast specified when that waiting period ends.
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