Over the last three years, Comcast hasn’t worked up the gumption to reinstate bandwidth caps for home Internet users nationwide. Nevertheless, the company is still experimenting with various capped plans in nine states. The latest addition to the trial is a change for customers in select regions of Florida where subscribers can now pay an extra fee for unlimited data usage.
The change allows Comcast home Internet subscribers in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and the Florida Keys to pay an extra $30 per month for unlimited data, as Ars Technica noted. The new charge is an alternative to the extra fee of $10 for every extra 50 gigabytes of data after blowing through Comcast’s monthly allotment of 300GB.
Comcast is testing various other bandwidth caps, but the one the company favors is a straight 300GB per customer with the overage charges mentioned above.
Unlimited data sounds like a good option, but an extra $30 tacked onto each monthly plan only makes sense if you average more than 450GB in a single billing month. Otherwise, paying for overages in 50GB allotments makes more sense.
To put those numbers in perspective, 450GB is the equivalent of downloading around 300 two-hour movies in HD from iTunes, or 15 to 20 modern PC games from Steam.
Bandwidth caps affect only standard Comcast home Internet subscribers and do no affect fiber subscribers with the faster Extreme 505 and Gigabit Pro plans.
The story behind the story: Comcast’s latest Florida trial is just one part of the company’s quest to bring back bandwidth caps nationwide. The company gave up on its first bandwidth caps in 2012 and vowed to search for alternatives. Since then, Comcast has been testing bandwidth caps in various areas around the country. However, the company’s preferred 300GB plan with $10 overage charges has been in existence since 2012. When Comcast data caps might resume is unclear, but in May 2014 a Comcast executive said to expect data caps to return within five years.