In May of last year Comcast announced
that the cable operator would be eliminating their 250GB monthly cap for all users -- and would instead be testing a number of new cap and overage fee options. At the time, Comcast stated that users in some trial markets would see their monthly caps raised to 300 GB a month -- but users would also potentially be seeing overages ($10 for 50 GB was cited as an example).
We know the 300 GB has been in trial in Nashville for some time, but users in our forums
indicate that the company's trials are expanding. I've confirmed the expansion in conversations with Comcast, and the company's network management website
now indicates the trials are entering the Central Kentucky, Savannah, Georgia and Jackson, Mississippi markets.
"Starting September 1, 2013, Comcast will trial a new monthly data plan in this area, which will increase the amount of data included in your XFINITY Internet Service to 300 GB and provide more choice and flexibility," users are told.
"While we believe that 300 GB is more than enough to meet the Internet usage needs of most customers, Comcast will automatically add blocks of 50 GB to your account for an additional $10, should you exceed the 300 GB included in your plan in a month."
The expansion comes on the heels of news that Comcast is copying Time Warner Cable and testing a tier that offers users a $5 discount off their bill if they're willing to agree to a 5 GB monthly cap
. That $5 discount evaporates immediately should you choose to actually use the tier for more than checking the weather, with users charged $1 for each additional gigabyte consumed.
Comcast has had the technology in place for years
to implement metered billing; what they're conducting are marketing and psychology experiments to identify the best way to get consumers to sign off on the idea. US consumers have generally been smart enough to smell a rate hike when they see one, and their response to having metered billing foisted upon them has traditionally not been positive