& cplSiteName &

Comcast Turns On Usage-Based Broadband

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
7/30/2012
50%
50%

Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) has picked Nashville, Tenn., as the first city to try out a new broadband usage policy that will charge customers $10 for each bucket of 50 gigabytes that they consume above a monthly 300GB threshold.

The new policy takes effect there on Wednesday, Aug. 1. According to a Q&A about the new policy, Comcast won't bill customers the first three times they exceed the monthly 300GB allowance during a 12-month period. Following that "courtesy period," customers will get charged if they bust through the cap.

They will then be allocated another bucket of 50GB and will be alerted to the fact by email and an in-browser notice. Comcast will do the same when users approach both 90 percent and 100 percent of their monthly data allowance.

The debut of the policy comes more than two months after Comcast announced it would raise its monthly broadband usage cap from 250GB to at least 300GB for all its cable modem tiers and would start to try out a usage-based, metered model that would charge fees when customers exceeded the limit.

At the time, Comcast had also discussed plans to introduce a different kind of test that would start with a 300GB cap for its lower-level service tiers and then raise that data consumption ceiling for its higher-end tiers (its fastest service now maxes out at 305Mbit/s down by 65Mbit/s upstream). As it's gotten ready for these tests, Comcast has chucked its old 250GB "excessive use" policy, which took effect in the fall of 2008 and did not charge extra when users exceeded the cap. (See Comcast Draws the Line at 250GB and Comcast Revs Up Pricey 305-Meg Tier.)

Comcast didn't say when or where it will next test its usage-based broadband policies, but company EVP and GM of Communications and Data Services Cathy Avgiris noted in mid-May that the plan is to "pilot at least two approaches" in different markets over the next few months.

Why this matters
The Nashville launch marks Comcast's first policy to combine a broadband cap with overage fees, and follows similar policies being tested or deployed by other U.S. broadband ISPs, including Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), Suddenlink Communications and AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T). With Comcast now moving ahead, it's likely that other major U.S. cable operators may begin to introduce similar policies that aim to keep bandwidth hogs in check.

Usage-based broadband policies are allowed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 's network neutrality rules, though they have become the subject of complaints from over-the-top video services that believe broadband meters and caps put them at a disadvantage. Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX), meanwhile, has whined that Comcast's Xfinity TV app for the Xbox 360 game console does not count against a user's cap.

For more



— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:25:36 PM
re: Comcast Turns On Usage-Based Broadband


Although other US cable operators may join the usage-based broadband party now that Comcast is moving forward, I don't expect Verizon to  change its policies for FiOS, if it's smart, that is.  Comcast and FiOS are matching up on speed with their fastest tiers and it's probably a matter of time when they will do so on price too. But if I'm VZ, I'm keeping FiOS cap-free, since it offers the kind of differentiator that customers, particularly heavy users, can understand. Google was also smart to keep meters and caps off the table as it gets its fiber products rolling in the Kansas Cities. JB

Flook
50%
50%
Flook,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:25:31 PM
re: Comcast Turns On Usage-Based Broadband


Maybe it's time for an OISP movement...as in Occupy ISPs. Any idea if other advanced economies (S. Korea, Japan, W. Europe) also have caps or are considering them?

Cooper10
50%
50%
Cooper10,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:25:20 PM
re: Comcast Turns On Usage-Based Broadband


By this logic, Sprint should be materially outpacing ATT and VZ on wireless net adds with their unlimited wireless data plans.  Hasn't happened.  And the heaviest users are  the least profitable customers to have if you assume that revenue is the same for a heavy user vs. "typical" user - so ISPs may be glad to let their competition attract the least profitable customers with unlimited data plans. 

From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Interviews
Heavy Reading: The Web-Scale View

1|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Rome, Heavy Reading's former chief analyst Patrick Donegan shared insight from the recent web-scale operators report, which featured research on how web-scale operators view the market, the best web-scale companies to ...
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Cloud Scale Networking: Automation, Virtualization & Simplification

1|18|17   |     |   (1) comment


Cisco's Sanjeev Mervana outlines the latest innovations in networking technology at CES 2017 in Las Vegas.
LRTV Custom TV
ADVA Talks Innovation & the Future of Networking

1|17|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ray Le Maistre and Christoph Glingener, CTO of ADVA Optical Networking, discuss the current state of the industry, cooperation and collaboration, open innovation and the future of networking.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Infinite Video Platform

1|17|17   |     |   (0) comments


Cisco's Infinite Video Platform allows service providers to deliver broadcast-quality video over IP networks. Infinite video supports many devices, from 4K TVs to tablets to game consoles. Join Cisco's Rajeev Raman for a brief tour and live demo.
LRTV Interviews
Masergy: Ability to Adapt Key for NFV

1|16|17   |   6:40   |   (0) comments


Speaking at Light Reading's 2020 Vision in Rome, Masergy's VP, Global Technology, Ray Watson, said agility is key to providing the mix and match NFV-based services that are driving business for the managed service provider today.
LRTV Interviews
Equinix: The Data Explosion

1|13|17   |   4:16   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision in Rome, Eric Schwartz, president of EMEA, Equinix, talked about how Equinix is helping its customers manage the influx of data today, and how it's preparing for a future filled with millions of connected IoT devices.
LRTV Interviews
Heavy Reading: The Changing Data Center Landscape

1|12|17   |   6:05   |   (1) comment


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision event in Rome, Heavy Reading's Senior Analyst Roz Roseboro talks about how virtualization is impacting data center evolution and how that evolution is affecting the relationship between service providers, data center operators and public cloud providers.
LRTV Interviews
Boingo: Prepping for Millions of Devices

1|12|17   |   5:07   |   (1) comment


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision in Rome, Boingo's CTO Derek Peterson discusses how wireless operators will address the needs of low-bandwidth and high-bandwidth apps at the same time, the need for more MHz, the impact of IoT and more.
LRTV Interviews
Comcast Shows Off Gig Gateway at CES

1|11|17   |     |   (1) comment


With its largest presence at CES in years, Comcast took the wraps off its long-awaited gigabit gateway and a new platform for managing the home WiFi network. Light Reading Senior Editor Mari Silbey sat down with EVP Chris Satchell to discuss the latest Comcast advance, and met with VP of Product Strategy and Development Andrea Peiro to walk through a demo of the ...
LRTV Interviews
Colt: End-to-End Key for 2017

1|10|17   |   6:21   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Rome, Nico Fischbach of Colt said having a multi-carrier, end-to-end service proposition is going to be key for 2017 -- and SD-WAN is instrumental in making it happen.
From the Founder
Cisco's Clemson on Mobile Cloud Video

1|9|17   |     |   (1) comment


Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators. "If you think about where we're going… whether it's a mobile application, or a video ...
LRTV Custom TV
VMware Telco NFV Solutions – Preparing for 5G & IOT

1|9|17   |     |   (0) comments


Shekar Ayyar, EVP & Corporate Strategy/General Manager of Telco for VMware, discusses VMware's Telco NFV solutions role and foundation for the Imminent Arrival of 5G & IOT.
Upcoming Live Events
March 21-22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
A Women in Comms Glossary
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 1/18/2017
Is Cable One Beefing Up for Slaughter?
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 1/20/2017
Google Security Lessons for IT
Curtis Franklin, Security Editor, 1/18/2017
TV's Paradox: No HDR Without 4K
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 1/17/2017
Nokia CTO: 2017 Is the Year 5G Gets in the Field
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 1/19/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders chats with Sportlogiq CEO Craig Buntin about sports data analysis.
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.