Product Promotion Network

Internet provider Cox has expanded its home broadband data caps and overage fees

Internet service provider Cox Communications has rolled out its 1TB home internet data cap to five new locations around the US, the company confirmed to The Verge. While a trial began last year in Cleveland, Ohio[1] before moving on to Florida and Georgia, the data cap policy has expanded to all customers in Connecticut, Arkansas, and Kansas, as well select regions in and around Sun Valley, Idaho and Omaha, Nebraska. A Connecticut customer, who told The Verge he just began receiving data usage alerts from Cox, provided a link to the company’s support page[2], which was updated just yesterday with the new regions.

Cox has expanded its home internet data caps to eight states

As part of the data cap, customers of any Cox internet plan will be charged £10 for an additional chunk of 50GB of data after exceeding the standardized 1TB limit on all plans except its gigabit option. “This won’t impact 99 percent of our customers,” said company spokesperson Todd Smith in an email. “We have no additional locations to announce today.

As decisions are made about any subsequent locations, we will announce these plans to our customers well in advance.” Cox internet plans have, prior to the first data cap trail period in Cleveland, outlined monthly data allowances. Yet the company didn’t charge overage fees for exceeding those caps until it began expanding this 1TB cap beyond Cleveland.

Of course, Cox isn’t the only ISP to start imposing home internet data caps. Comcast has been a notorious proponent of the policy, originally instituting a 300GB data cap on home broadband users before being pressured to raise the cap to 1TB[3] last year.

While Cox has started relatively small with only five states and select regions in three additional states, Comcast has been more aggressive about expanding its data cap policy. In October, Comcast began rolling out its data caps[4] to a majority of customers in the US. Both Cox and Comcast have decided upon a £10 per 50GB overage fee, and fortunately that looks as if it will not be changing soon.

While Comcast has earned most of the flak here, AT&T raised its data cap for U-verse home internet customers to 1TB back in July[5].

AT&T does at least offer unlimited usage to customers of its gigabit service. Comcast, on other hand, charges customers £50 extra a month to enjoy unlimited home internet use. Cox does not appear to have an unlimited option, although it does have a more generous 2TB cap for gigabit users in Arizona, the only state in which that speed tier is available.

Data caps are a contentious issue between ISPs and the Federal Communication Communications.

The FCC remained quite on the issue even as Comcast began implementing its data caps in select markets last year. However, the FCC spoke up in April 2016[6] during the government’s deliberations on the Charter-Time Warner Cable merger. As part of the approval, the FCC had a ban put in place on home internet data caps for the combined cable and internet provider for seven years.

Still the issue remains as more ISPs like Cox and others continue to institute restrictions on how internet is used in the home.

In September, Netflix sent a letter to the FCC[7] urging the commission to investigate data cap implementation and whether it should be banned for home internet use and whether unreasonably low caps should be allowed on mobile plans.

Netflix has its interests — the company has been transparent in its hatred of any ISP policy that would restrict streaming consumption.

However, with President Trump in office and his new FCC Chairman and net neutrality opponent Ajit Pai in place[8], it’s unclear how deeply involved the commission will get in regulating the behavior of ISPs.

– Source: Cox Communications[9]

References

  1. ^ trial began last year in Cleveland, Ohio (consumerist.com)
  2. ^ link to the company’s support page (www.cox.com)
  3. ^ before being pressured to raise the cap to 1TB (www.theverge.com)
  4. ^ Comcast began rolling out its data caps (www.theverge.com)
  5. ^ back in July (www.theverge.com)
  6. ^ FCC spoke up in April 2016 (www.theverge.com)
  7. ^ sent a letter to the FCC (www.theverge.com)
  8. ^ new FCC Chairman and net neutrality opponent Ajit Pai in place (www.theverge.com)
  9. ^ Cox Communications (www.cox.com)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *