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Internet providers hitting customers with new data overage charges


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Many people are still learning and working from home. There’s no doubt we’re using more data. Now certain providers are capping how much you can use and charging a pretty penny for anything more.

Have you ever heard of a data cap? It’s a limit on the amount of data you can use monthly without being hit with additional charges. 

As of 2021, Comcast customers could see data overage charges on their bills if they exceed the 1.2 terabytes allotted. 

We talked with Professor Emeritus of Entrepreneurship and Strategy in the School of Business at Quinnipiac University David Cadden about the issue.

Cadden tells News 8, “Well first and foremost, it’s going to mean larger bills.” 

Just how much could this affect you?

Cadden says, “Last year [Comcast] had a pledge with the FCC to not have a cap so people home would be able to utilize the internet and streaming services. Now, they’re reneging on that.” 

Because it was a pledge, the FCC won’t be able to go after them for any specific violation. 

Comcast did release a statement on their website breaking down the overage charges. According to the website, customers will receive a total of 1.2 terabytes regardless of how many people are living in the home. Any 50 GB over will result in a $10 charge. 

1.2 terabytes is a massive amount of data that enables consumers to video conference for 3,500 hours, watch 1,200 hours of distance learning videos, stream 500 hours of high-definition video content a month, or play more than 34,000 hours of online games.

Our data plan is structured in a way that the very small percentage of our customers who use more than 1.2 terabytes of monthly data and generate the greatest demand for network development and capacity pay more for their increased usage. For those superusers, we have unlimited data options available.

To put it in perspective, most Zoom calls are about 1.5 GB so if your household has multiple students remote learning and multiple people working from home, all that data usage will add up quickly. 

Cadden tells News 8, “Your cable bill is your largest utility bill, whereas if you had large electric or water bill you could try to conserve. There’s not much you can do to conserve on your cable bill.” 

His advice, “My advice would be contact congress people, state representatives to get regulation on the price for cable services.” 

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