Yesterday we noted
that our forums were filled with rumors that Mediacom would be the latest ISP to start charging users usage overages, despite the ever-dropping cost of delivering fixed line bandwidth to consumers. Mediacom has since confirmed the plans
, a tech in our forums noting that the changes will begin August 1, after which point new users -- or users who move to one of Mediacom's new usage plans, will pay $10 for 50 GB of data if they cross their caps.
The new plans, as rumored by our users:
•Mediacom Launch 150GB (3 Mbps)
•Mediacom Prime 250GB (12-15 Mbps)
•Mediacom Prime Plus 350GB (20 Mbps)
•Mediacom Ultra 999GB (50 Mbps)
•Mediacom Ultra Plus 999GB (105 Mbps)
"We’ve implemented the usage allowances to ensure we can deliver on our promise of Always Faster Internet," insists the company, adding that "in reality, only 2% of our users exceed our usage allowances." "Our average Internet subscriber currently uses only 31 GB of data per month, so we don’t expect these allowances to have much impact on our customer base," says the company.
The justifications for these price hikes (and that is what they are) is that they're necessary either due to congestion from heavy users or financial necessity. Except that congestion on any well-designed fixed line network is relatively minimal, and the cost to provide fixed broadband services continues to drop
In reality (to borrow Mediacom's language), the caps are actually designed to protect future TV revenues from Internet video, and to give investors and executives a new and exciting way to jack up already high prices on broadband subscribers. Despite technological advancements, expect these caps to shrink and overage fees to soar.
Despite launching these new caps and overages on August 1, Mediacom hasn't yet seen fit to actually release a usage meter for these users. While existing customers aren't impacted yet, it seems likely they will be as existing contracts expire and customers call in to renew.