Comcast Says No to Usage-Based Billing
Don't expect Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) to follow AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and CableOne and launch a usage-based billing (UBB) model for broadband services anytime soon. (See Will Cable Follow AT&T's Lead on Usage Fees?)
Speaking at a Barclays Capital conference this morning, Comcast CFO Mike Angelakis was adamant that UBB models just aren't in the cards at the moment, and that the MSO is content with its current Internet usage policy, which keeps "excessive use" in check via a monthly 250-gigabyte cap. (See Comcast Draws the Line at 250GB.)
"First of all, [to] be clear, we're not adopting it," Angelakis said of UBB.
But never say never. "We've deployed the instrumentation that people need to ... gauge how much they're using, and if we ever wanted to go to usage-based billing or consumption-based billing, we could possibly do that," he added.
The topic came up because AT&T has just started to enforce a new policy that charges DSL and U-verse customers extra if they go above their limits. CableOne is looking to do the same for its new Docsis 3.0 service. And, as Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) and AT&T showed earlier, setting or testing UBB policies can create a heap of PR trouble that Comcast would just as soon avoid. (See CableOne Tries Out Overage Fees and TWC Mothballs New Metering Trials .)
"I don't know why we would disrupt a pretty good run we're having right now," Angelakis said. Comcast added 418,000 high-speed Internet subs in the first quarter, giving it a total of 17.4 million.
Some other tidbits from Angelakis's talk:
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable