Comcast will roll out its 1TB internet data usage limits to a large part of the U.S., including Washington, Oregon and California Nov. 1.
Comcast said the 1TB cap means 99 percent of users won’t hit their limit. The “typical” customer, Comcast has said, uses just 75GB per month, but tests of the data limits led to more than 13,000 FCC complaints as of last December.
The usage limits are not a hard cap, so those who go over the threshold will not see their service interrupted. For those who do exceed the 1TB limit, Comcast will charge $10 for extra 50GB data blocks, with a cap on monthly overage charges at $200.
High usage customers can purchase an unlimited data option for $50 a month on top of their existing bill. Comcast will offer two “courtesy months,” where users won’t be charged overages if they use more than 1TB of data. Customers can check their usage to see if it is a good idea to spring for the unlimited package. Limits do not apply to several types of Comcast plans, such as business customers and the Gigabit Pro tier of service.
Comcast has been testing broadband data limits for years. Last year, Comcast boosted the limit from 300GB per month in test markets to 1TB. When the rollout is complete, Comcast will have data limits in all or part of 27 states.
On an FAQ page about the data usage limit, Comcast says 1TB — or 1024GB — has capacity for 600 to 700 hours of HD video, or 12,000 hours of online gaming, or more than 15,000 hours of music streaming or the ability to upload and download 60,000 high resolution photos.
Previously, Comcast had used congestion as a reason to try out data limits. But the company changed its tactics last year and began focusing on the concept of fairness.
“Our data plans are based on a principle of fairness,” Comcast said in its FAQ. “Those who use more Internet data, pay more. And those who use less Internet data, pay less.”