Comcast expands internet data caps to customers in 18 states

Posted at 9:53 AM, Oct 07, 2016

If you have Comcast internet service, you may have to change your computer habits. 

Beginning Nov. 1, Comcast will be limiting customers' internet usage in 18 states to one terabyte per month. If you aren't sure how much data that is, Comcast says that's about 600-700 hours of HD video (think Netflix).

To see a full list of states and cities affected by the new data caps, click here and scroll to the section that reads, "Effective Nov. 1, 2016."

The change won't affect most internet users — less than one percent of Comcast customers use a terabyte in a month, the company said. But it signals a change in everyday internet usage. 

People are used to having data limits on cell phone plans — usually somewhere between 3 to 15 gigabytes per month. The idea of a limit on your internet at home is a new concept. 

Netflix is a major opponent of data caps. It's pushing the U.S. government to make such rules illegal. In a letter sent to the FCC in September, Netflix said:

"Watching television shows and movies on the Internet is no longer a novelty. Consumers increasingly expect more from their broadband connection, and they expect that broadband Internet will deliver a television experience that is the same or better than what they receive from their cable service, satellite provider, or local broadcaster. 


Data caps on fixedline networks do not appear to serve a legitimate purpose: they are an ineffective network management tool," 

Of course, Netflix has a pretty big incentive for data caps to not exist: If a customer has a limit to how much data they consume, they can't watch as much Netflix.

Technically, the new Comcast change isn't a hard cap. If you go over the one terabyte, you'll be charged $10 for each additional 50 gigabytes you need.

If you're unsure how much data you typically use, you should've received an email with that information from Comcast, or just check your account online.

If you're in the one percent of users who do use more than one terabyte per month, don't worry: Comcast has an answer for you.

For an additional $50 per month, you can get unlimited data at your house — just like you used to have before the change.