Cord Cutters Are Finding Ways to Cope With Comcast’s Data Caps
A 1TB data cap may seem like a lot, but not if you're streaming HD video all day, every day.
Image: Mike Mozart/Flickr
Comcast's rolling out of 1TB data caps starting November 1 has left a lot of data-hungry people in a big bind. In an age where more people are turning to streaming services such as Hulu and PlayStation Vue for their fix, and with 4K becoming more commonplace, a data cap with only 1TB of data leaves many Comcast users looking to see what they can do to deal with the situation.
"This is going to hit tech-hungry families pretty hard, and it's going to hit us all hard within 2-3 years when 4K streaming, smart homes, and the internet of things are all in full swing," reddit user wubalubasubdub puts in perspective.
As a result of the new data cap, people are looking for ways to cut back on data usage—lest they pay $10 per extra 50GB block of data (or switch to unlimited for $50 more per month). Strategies abound, with some customers lowering their YouTube stream to a measly 480p. Others are also taking advantage of the ability to lower the quality of services like Netflix and Hulu offer options to decrease their data consumption. But who wants to see Stranger Things or Narcos in anything less than 720p at a bare minimum?
Other customers are taking more drastic measures, such as switching to a Comcast Business account, which solves the data cap problem but isn't exactly cheap: a 100mbps connection costs $200 per month. In comparison, it's only $60per month with Comcast's residential Xfinity service.
Of course, those being affected would be more than willing to switch to a different broadband provider—if only that were an option for more people.
"The best speed I can get from THE one other provider in my area is 1.24 [mbps] from a phone company, that won't work for me. I'm stuck with Comcast so all I can do is complain to the FCC," reddit user KlepocracyII mentions.
"The only other option in my area is 3 mbps DSL. Not happening," Kalapuya added in the same thread.
It will be tough for those who have embraced cord cutting to find a solution to the data cap problem, especially if other options are scarce. But as one other customer noted wryly: You can always turn off the TV.