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Comcast Introduces 600 GB Caps in Tucson
As Carrier Prepares to Offer Higher Caps With Faster Speeds
by Karl Bode 11:17AM Tuesday Sep 18 2012
Comcast has introduced caps as high as 600 GB in Tucson as the company moves forward with the idea of offering higher caps for faster services. As we exclusively reported last week, Comcast has decided to offer users on faster tiers higher caps, with the company's basic tier seeing a 300 GB cap, and the service caps increasingly from there incrementally. You can now see an example of what Comcast has planned in Tucson, where the local Comcast website illustrates that users there are now seeing caps as high as 600 GB a month. The tiers and associated caps being introduced:

Click for full size
  • Economy 300 GB
  • Economy Plus 300 GB
  • Internet Essentials 300 GB
  • Performance Starter 300 GB
  • Performance 300 GB
  • Blast 350 GB
  • Extreme 50 450 GB
  • Extreme 105 600 GB

As it stands, Comcast doesn't yet offer their new 305 Mbps service in Tucson, so it remains unclear of the cable giant is considering offering that speed without a cap. Caps generally exist to differentiate Comcast's business and residential services, while protecting future TV revenues from the inevitable tidal wave of Internet video. As per the Comcast FAQ, users will pay $10 per 50GB of additional usage, with somewhat of a "grace period" for cap violators:
When you exceed your allotted GB of data usage, you will receive an email, an in-browser notice (see below) and automatically be allocated an additional block of 50GB for $10. In order for customers to get accustomed to the new data usage management plan, we will provide 3 courtesy passes. That means you will not be billed for the first three times you exceed your monthly GB allowance during a 12-month period. Should you exceed the monthly allowance after the courtesy passes are used, you will automatically be provisioned for additional data in incremental blocks of 50GB for $10 each as you need them.
As our reliable source noted last week, these higher caps are expected to be everywhere eventually, but the timeline on the changes remains unclear. One refreshing shift from other ISPs: Comcast's lower tier caps are generous, and the website's FAQ doesn't try to hard sell users or insult their intelligence with inane prattle like insisting the new usage limitations somehow "improve the user experience."

51 comments .. click to read

Recommended comments


Binghamton, NY

2 recommendations

reply to PapaMidnight

Re: Don't go cheap on me now

You seriously expect a connection with a 1 to 1 contention ratio at residential pricing? Good luck with that. As I said, dedicated connections that provide the type of bandwidth you desire still cost thousands of dollars.

Bellyache all you want, you're squarely in the minority, and nobody outside of that minority takes you seriously. A 250GB cap is a non-issue for the overwhelming majority of internet users, 600GB even less so, so I'm not seeing the problem. Next you'll whine about supposed regulatory capture, but good luck convincing the FCC or anybody else about the unfairness of a policy that impacts a miniscule slice of the internet population.

Usage totals/95th percentile from my last three DSL billing periods:

7/15: 22.93GB down/5.84GB up, 0.22mbit/s
8/15: 26.79GB down/9.54GB up, 0.32mbit/s
9/15: 18.92GB down/3.32GB up, 0.28mbit/s

Yeah, it's totally fair to expect me to pay the same as you, when you intend to use hundreds of gigabytes, while regularly imposing a megabit load measured in the double digits. 8-)


4 recommendations

reply to jjeffeory
Private enterprise wanting a return on their investment? Say it isn't so!

You can combine my usage totals for the last six months and they don't add up to 300GB, let alone 600GB, so I'm hard pressed to feel any sympathy at all for the people who will be impacted by these caps.

600GB / 30 days = 20GB/day = 1.8mbit/s, sustained, 24/7

In actuality, someone who wants to use 600GB/mo will burden the network even more, the 95th percentile for such a user would likely be in the double digits of mbit/s.

A connection capable of supporting that would have cost thousands of dollars a decade ago (a dedicated connection STILL commands that kind of money) and here we have people bellyaching about connections that cost a fraction of that.