A few years ago Cox Communications clarified
that the company imposes what they call "soft" usage caps, which may or may not be enforced depending on the market. Each market is broken down here
, with the caps varying depending on where you live and what the local network can handle. This Georgia resident in our forums
for example had his account temporarily suspended for using more than 200 GB, while users in other markets who consume more never receive even a warning.
Cox has recently been expanding this usage meter into additional markets, and there's more going on here than the typical ISP desire to "educate" users on their usage. Stop the Cap
notes that one Cox user was told that Cox will now be telling users they must upgrade to a more expensive tier if they cross their monthly cap more than three times -- across the lifetime of their account. From an online customer support chat with a Cox representative:
Adam: Is there a hard cap coming? Is that why we’re getting these messages?
Claudia: That is correct.
Claudia: At the fourth message your services will be blocked, on the previous one they will suggest you to upgrade your plan.
Adam: Fourth monthly, or fourth cumulative?
Claudia: Your Data Usage is reset each month, so it will be your fourth monthly message if exceeding the allowance.
Adam: So four months of going over. Does that counter ever reset?
Adam: Like if I’m bad three months, then good for three. Is it reset?
Claudia: Unfortunately, it is not reset.
We'd assume as with Cox's booting of P2P users
there's more bark than bite here, as the company certainly doesn't want to lose customers. We've dropped a line to Cox to confirm whether this is an official territory-wide shift, if this is just a specific market effort, or if this particular support rep is confused. So far there's no mention of imposing overage fees. Once ISPs impose meters (assuming they can get them working
) it's not a very wide leap to costly per-byte overages.