Comcast Data Cap: What You Really Need to Know

It’s completely normal to hear how people are trying to find ways to have their mobile data usage under control since the last thing they want to do is go over their limit. If you do go over, you know what that means: you’ll have to pay more. This obsession over how to stay within our limits is something we are all used to dealing with when it comes to our mobile data but something we don’t deal with when using our home broadband.

If you have unlimited data with your home Internet, enjoy it while you can at the current price you pay. There will come a time when you will be obsessing over not going over your data limit on your home broadband as well. That is exactly what Comcast has done, and what is even worse is that other companies such as Century Link have already jumped on the data cap bandwagon. Stewart Ewing, CenturyLink chief financial officer, has said that the company plans to start trials later this year.

As of now, the limit is 300GB, and if you were to go over that limit, you would be forced to pay $10 for every 50GB you go over. If you don’t use your computer for much, maybe just to check your favorite online newspaper or read the latest Make Tech Easier articles, you will have no problem staying within the limit. Comcast themselves said that 98% of their customers don’t go over the 300GB limit, but there are exceptions. (Yes Netflix, you’re that exception.)

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So how much would you be able to use Netflix and not go over the 300GB? Here is what you can watch:

  • all ten episodes of Master of None
  • Every Lego cartoon
  • all twenty-one female stand-up comedy specials
  • just over half of the West Wing Series
  • three episodes short of the American version of The Office

You can also watch every movie starring George Clooney, Matt Damon, Denzel Washington, Leo DeCaprio, Will Smith, Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt, Bradley Cooper and Christian Bale on Netflix. The list keeps going on. In short, you can still watch a lot of shows with the data limit.

But, how would you feel if I told you that because of this data cap, we are at risk of being able to enjoy services such as 4K streaming or any other services that need a lot of data? Unless you want to run out of data in the first three days of the month, you will need to make some tough decisions.

You may not care too much about this because you’re not a Comcast or CenturyLink Customer, but you should. Why? Because when Comcast does something, other companies tend to follow. What is Comcast’s goal? To increase their profits, like any other company, and that is why it’s not a matter of IF your current Internet provider will add data caps, but a matter of WHEN.

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You could say that Comcast was forced to do this because of the cable cord cutting trend. Users saved money by getting rid of their monthly cable bill and just satisfied their entertainment needs by using more of their unlimited data streaming their favorite shows from services such as Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube. But, Comcast and other companies that follow will indeed prevent future streaming services from ever being as successful as Netflix if they keep this data cap.

This data cap is also something that the gamers of the world are really going to hate because of all the updates and games they will be downloading on their consoles. If you easily go over 300GB every month due to gaming and streaming, it looks like you might not have any other choice but to pay that extra cash Comcast wants you to pay and get unlimited data. Remember, you can track your bandwidth by using your ISP’s tool that shows you how much bandwidth you have used. Hopefully the tool will be frequently updated, so you know how much you have used.

The best way to find out if you will be affected by Comcast’s data cap is by calling the company and letting them know about your particular case since some users are saying that they don’t have the data cap yet while others are already “enjoying it.” Perhaps it depends on the area you live in.

It’s clear that if we want unlimited bandwidth, we are going to have to pay more than what we are currently paying. I’m just wondering how much we will have to pay in the next few years for something that was once at a reasonable price. Have you been affected by the data cap? Let us know in the comments.

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