Comcast Introduces Data Caps, New Fees for Internet Usage

But you can pay $30 for unlimited usage.

(Gil C / Shutterstock)

(Gil C / Shutterstock)

Flat home internet fees from Comcast could soon be a thing of the past — and people who use a lot of data should consider themselves on notice. Do you watch Netflix all day? Do you play video games for hours? Stream TV? Then listen up.

Comcast is rolling out a trial program to add new fees for Internet subscribers who exceed 300 GB of data per month. The fee will be $10 for every 50 GB in data that’s over the threshold. Or they can pay $30 per month to get unlimited Internet service with no data caps.

It’s likely Comcast’s response to the slew of new products hitting the market that take up big-time bandwidth. (Heck, a new Apple TV was launched yesterday.) Comcast Vice President David Cohen hinted at the move in a 2014 earnings call when he said he expects “usage-based billing” to reach all Comcast customers within five years.

While the trial doesn’t impact the Philadelphia region, the following locations are affected: Huntsville and Mobile, Ala.; Tucson, Ariz.; Fort Lauderdale, the Keys and Miami, Fla.; Atlanta, Augusta and Savannah, Ga.; Central Kentucky; Maine; Jackson and Tupelo, Miss.; Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville, Tenn.; and Charleston, S.C.

Comcast won’t charge you for the first three times you exceed 300 GB, and will send you a courtesy ‘in-browser’ notice and an email letting you know when you reach 90 percent, 100 percent, 110 percent and 125 percent of your monthly data usage plan amount. Isn’t that nice. You can also elect to receive notifications at 50 percent, 60 percent, 70 percent and 80 percent of your monthly plan.

Interestingly, the $30 “Unlimited Data Option” is only available in Fort Lauderdale, the Keys and Miami, Fla., according to the Comcast website.

“The Unlimited Data Option provides additional choice and flexibility for our customers who may make heavier use of the Internet. Enrollment is optional. The Unlimited Data Option costs the current additional fee of $30 per calendar month, regardless of actual data usage. The 300 GB plan will not apply to customers who enroll in the Unlimited Data Option,” the website reads.

The data usage plans don’t apply to fiber-based Extreme 505, Gigabit Pro, Business Internet or Bulk Internet customers.