Nov 09, 2015

Will Comcast’s new 300Gb data caps really reduce network congestion?

Comcast claims that it is introducing data caps in an ever growing number of markets. It claims these are to improve fairness for its customers (whatever that means) and reduce network congestion. Is there anything to back up these claims, or is Comcast just coming up with yet another way to charge us more money for the same mediocre service we have come to expect from the company?
Don't just look at the data caps if you want to understand what Comcast is doing.

The company introduced a streaming video service in Chicago (where data caps have not yet been implemented) for INTERNET ONLY customers. It will not count against the data cap because Comcast calls it a cable TV service over internet. So, Comcast institutes data caps that will mainly impact "cord cutters" that only watch videos over streaming services, then offers it's own steaming service that is exempt from the data cap...this is a play to either make customers pay Comcast more to get streaming video through them, or pay Comcast extra in the form of "excessive" data use so they get additional revenue anyway.

It's such an obvious ploy that I am insulted Comcast thinks that we are too stupid to realize what they are doing. On the other hand, perhaps they just don't care. As long as they have politicians fighting at the local, state and federal level to protect their anti-consumer practices against competition and regulation, they really don't have any motivation to make customers happy.
This will not impact network congestion because, one, it's not really a serious problem, and two, that's not why Comcast is instituting the data caps. An important fact that you left out of your question is that Comcast will still allow customers to use more than 300Gb, it will just charge them additional money for the "privilege."

This move isn't about network congestion, it is about revenue. Don't forget, Comcast is also a huge cable TV provider. As more and more people become "cord cutters" and move from cable TV to streaming video services, one of Comcast's main sources of revenue is being impacted. So, if you are a company that cares about profits above all else, what do you do? You generate revenue using the very thing that is causing you to lose customers - streaming video. The way you do this is make it so that those former cable customers who use additional bandwidth by streaming their entertainment have to pay you anyway.

Make no mistake, Comcast isn't do this to cut down on network congestion and improve its broadband customer experience. It is doing this to make more profits.

There is an article in CIO that talks more about this, if you are interested.

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