Comcast Data Caps

I received this email from Comcast yesterday:

Dear XFINITY Internet Customer:

At Comcast, we recognize that our customers use the Internet for different reasons and have unique data needs. Starting December 1, 2013, Comcast will trial a new monthly data plan in this area, which will increase the amount of data included in your XFINITY Internet Service to 300 GB and provide more choice and flexibility.

What this means for You

The vast majority of XFINITY customers use far less than 300 GB of data in a month. If you are not sure about your monthly data usage, please refer to the Track and Manage Your Usage section below.

We want our customers to use the Internet for everything they want and your service will not be limited to 300 GB. While we believe that 300 GB is more than enough to meet the Internet usage needs of most customers, Comcast will automatically add blocks of 50 GB to your account for an additional $10, should you exceed the 300 GB included in your plan in a month.

In order for our customers to get accustomed to this new data plan, we are implementing a three-month courtesy program. That means you will not be billed for the first three times you exceed 300 GB included in the data plan during a 12 month period. Should your usage exceed 300 GB a fourth time during any 12-month period, an additional 50 GB will automatically be allocated to your account and you will be billed $10 for that data and each additional 50 GB of data in excess of 300 GB during that month and any subsequent months your usage exceeds 300 GB.

Please note that this is a consumer trial. Comcast may modify or discontinue this trial at any time. However, we will notify you in advance of any such change.

For more information on all our data usage plans, please visit www.xfinity.com/datausageplan/expansion

Track and Manage Your Usage

Comcast provides you with several tools to easily track and manage your data plan:

  • Usage meter – Use the usage meter to see how much data you have used – available at www.xfinity.com/usagemeter
  • Data Usage Calculator – Estimate your data usage with this tool available at www.xfinity.com/datacalculator. Simply enter information on how often and how much you typically use the Internet, and the calculator will estimate your monthly data usage.
  • In-Browser Notices and Emails – We will send you a courtesy “in-browser” notice and an email letting you know how much of the data included in your monthly plan you are using.

If you have any additional questions about the new data usage plan, please visit www.xfinity.com/datausageplan/expansion

Thank you for being an XFINITY Internet Customer.

Sincerely,

Comcast

I don’t really have much to say about this other than I don’t believe that internet should be sold with a speed cap and a data cap; it should be one or the other. It looks like I might be lowering my plan from 105Mbps to 50Mbps to make up for the cost difference. To show just how much this is going to affect me, the following is the output of vnstat for last month, however I believe I installed this on the 4th of October so it’s slightly off:

                       rx      /      tx      /     total    /   estimated
 eth0:
       Oct '13    463.28 GiB  /   10.73 GiB  /  474.01 GiB
       Nov '13    143.59 GiB  /    4.37 GiB  /  147.97 GiB  /  626.46 GiB
     yesterday     23.14 GiB  /  769.36 MiB  /   23.89 GiB
         today      1.36 GiB  /   14.92 MiB  /    1.37 GiB  /   31.32 GiB

So this is going to affect me quite a bit. Note that none of this is torrenting or anything like that, this is just normal usage for a family of four that uses Netflix instead of cable television.

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