Nov 21, 2014

How does Comcast’s new usage based data plan work out for customers?

Comcast is rolling out new usage based billing for customers in some areas, mostly in the southern US. They will apparently provide a discount to customers who use less data, and add additional charges to heavier users. On it’s face, this sounds fair, which is exactly what Comcast says....but frankly I don’t trust Comcast to do anything for the benefit of the consumer. Is this a fair pricing model, or is there something fishy going on?
It’s terrible for everyone but Comcast. I suspect the reason they are selecting those areas to roll this out in is because they generally have weak consumer protection. Comcast is offering a small discount to users that give up all but 5GB (!) of their monthly data, but charging excessively for users that exceed the data cap ($10 for each additional 50GB). It is very unbalanced, and will certainly result in increased revenue for Comcast. Redditor Dokibatt broke down the numbers in a recent discussion on this topic:

“...the egregious difference between increasing and decreasing your data cap.
Assuming $50/month and knocking $5 off for 295GB. Makes the pricing as follows.
Fixed cost: $44.92 Price per GB: $0.017
That means by their own implicit valuation of their product, their markup on 50GB for $10 is 1176% and on the 6th GB of the 5 GB plan is 5582%!!!!!!!
I would happily pay $45/month + 2¢ /GB but that's not what's on offer here.”
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