More people than ever have shifted to the digital economy as remote working becomes standard across corporate America. Internet service providers (ISP) have reported record internet traffic this year due to the online shift, with some warning that computer networks have been stressed due to the rapid increase in data usage among households.
Demand for online video and chat tools, such as Slack, Zoom, and GoToMeeting, have been off the chart this year. Many of these online tools make work-at-home possible for millions of folks. Many of these tools are incredibly data-intensive, which is likely why Comcast has introduced data caps for customers.
According to The Verge, Comcast will charge Xfinity customers in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Vermont, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia, as well as parts of North Carolina and Ohio a fee of $10 per 50GB of data if they exceed 1.2TB in a given month. Customers will be eased into the data cap program in early 2021.
Data Cap Area
The good news for customers fretting about a data cap and additional charges if the 1.2TB is breached is that 95% of the customer base has yet to exceed the level over the last six months. Median monthly data usage for customers this year has been around 300GB. Still, as the second wave of the virus pandemic continues to ravage many parts of the country and remote working continues to become a dominant working situation for many, Comcast expects data usage to surge during the COVID winter.
“Comcast has quietly updated its online customer support website to reflect the forthcoming introduction of data caps to the last remaining major regions of the country where it has avoided imposing them for years,” wrote Stop The Cap, an advocacy group against the ISP data cap.
Stop The Cap said Comcast’s data cap in the northeast and mid-Atlantic states could push customers to competitor Verizon FiOS.