How many lobbyists did it take to message out data caps to data thresholds? Damn, if we add just one more syllable, maybe no one will realize what we are doing. Sorry Comcast, data cap, threshold, glass ceiling, or whatever phrase you want to use affects more than just a few consumers. Want to binge watch House of Cards? Hello data cap. Are you an online gamer? Yeah, data cap.
The 300GB is already in select markets, including Alabama. I guess the south is special, or I’m a bandwidth hog. Probably both. David Cohen, Comcast’s executive Vice President, spoke recently at the MoffettNathanson Media & Communications Summit – can we cap the length of these conference names?
Speaking to the attendees, he said that he expects Comcast to roll out its usage cap to its entire customer footprint within five years. He was quick to downplay the number of customers affected, saying very few go over the cap. If that’s the case, why cap at all? Could it be a corporation being loose with the facts?
And Comcast hates the word data cap. They prefer threshold, which is like saying does is mean is? Nice try, but you’re not politicians. If Comcast manages to get the TWC merger approved, then one-third of all broadband customers will be subjected to the caps. Cohen has been the chief lobbyist to see the deal gets the rubber stamp of the FTC.
Cohen did hint that the caps would be larger than they are today. The 300GB would move to 500GB, and users would be charged $10 per 50GB after they exceed the cap.
The practice is highly controversial, with a variety of tech groups pushing back. Other providers, included TWC, do not impose usage caps.
An edited transcript of the conference removes the remarks, but ArsTechnica has Cohen reportedly saying, “I would predict that in five years, Comcast at least would have a usage-based billing model rolled out across its footprint.”
The message is clear. Cord cutters, we are coming for you. Same for gamers that play bandwidth intense multiplayer games. So , bandwidth caps, no net neutrality and lackluster customer service. If Comcast is gunning for most disliked company, mission accomplished.