Comcast reluctantly drops data-cap enforcement in 12 states for remainder of 2021

The back of a Comcast van driving along a street in Sunnyvale, California.

Enlarge / A Comcast van in Sunnyvale, California, in November 2018. (credit score: Getty Photos | Andrei Stanescu)

Comcast is delaying a plan to implement its 1.2TB information cap and overage charges within the Northeast US till 2022 after stress from prospects and lawmakers in a number of states.

“[W]e are delaying implementation of our new information plan in our Northeast markets till 2022,” Comcast stated in an announcement yesterday. “We acknowledge that our information plan was new for our prospects within the Northeast, and whereas solely a really small proportion of consumers want extra information, we’re offering them with extra time to change into acquainted with the brand new plan.”

Comcast has enforced the info cap in 27 of the 39 states wherein it operates since 2016, however not within the Northeast states the place Comcast faces competitors from Verizon’s un-capped FiOS fiber-to-the-home service. In November 2020, Comcast introduced it will convey the cap to the opposite 12 states and the District of Columbia beginning in January 2021. However with yesterday’s announcement, nobody in these 12 states and DC shall be charged overage charges by Comcast in all of 2021.

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Broadband energy customers explode, making information caps extra worthwhile for ISPs

An illustration of $100 bills being sucked into an Internet connection.

Knowledge cap money. (credit score: Aurich Lawson | Getty Photographs)

The variety of broadband “energy customers”—individuals who use 1TB or extra per thirty days—has doubled over the previous yr, making certain that ISPs might be in a position to make more cash from information caps.

In Q3 2020, 8.Eight p.c of broadband subscribers used at the very least 1TB per thirty days, up from 4.2 p.c in Q3 2019, in keeping with a examine launched yesterday by OpenVault. OpenVault is a vendor that sells a data-usage monitoring platform to cable, fiber, and wi-fi ISPs and has 150 operators as clients worldwide. The 8.8- and 4.2-percent figures discuss with US clients solely, an OpenVault spokesperson instructed Ars.

Extra clients exceeding their information caps will end in extra overage prices paid to ISPs that impose month-to-month information caps. Greater utilization may also increase ISP income as a result of folks utilizing extra information are inclined to subscribe to higher-speed packages.

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The tech antitrust downside nobody is speaking about

After years of constructing political strain for antitrust scrutiny of main tech firms, this month Congress and the US authorities delivered. The Home Antitrust Subcommittee launched a report accusing Apple, Amazon, Google, and Fb of monopolistic conduct. The Division of Justice filed a criticism towards Google alleging the corporate prevents shoppers from sampling different search engines like google.

The brand new fervor for tech antitrust has to date ignored an equally apparent goal: US broadband suppliers. “If you wish to speak about a historical past of utilizing gatekeeper energy to hurt rivals, there are few higher examples,” says Gigi Sohn, a fellow on the Georgetown Regulation Institute for Know-how Regulation & Coverage.

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