Comcast's Data Caps Enrage Customers

By Steve Anderson December 16, 2015

The latest round of data cap information emerging from Comcast isn't sitting well with the customer base. Over 13,000 complaints have been filed with the FCC, showing major unrest in Comcast country.

Comcast recently announced plans to charge customers for over-consuming data, and naturally, Comcast customers weren't happy. This was especially true given that the standard method of registering dissatisfaction with a company—taking one's business elsewhere—generally isn't available to many Comcast customers. Making the matter worse was Comcast's vice president of Internet services, Jason Livingood, who said in August that the data caps weren't being done to prevent overcrowding on a carefully measured network, but rather were a business decision.

That brought consumers to the FCC seeking help, and a Freedom of Information Act request from Cut Cable Today discovered that there were over 13,000 complaints filed with the FCC on the matter so far. Just under 2,000 of these were available for viewing. While some of the complaints just found the matter hard to live with—especially as the consumer had no input about this, and was under contract at the time to not have such a cap in place—some expressed a serious problem with Comcast's means of measuring consumed bandwidth. One customer noted that there was no detailed statement of use. Without a lot of information about used bandwidth, there’s not much of a way to dispute what Comcast says.

One user with a FreeBSD router that tracks data uploaded and downloaded made a noteworthy point. They revealed that the numbers generated were wildly different from Comcast's. That user's router revealed 147.054 gigabytes had been used at the time, but Comcast reported that 271 gigabytes of use. That’s a major discrepancy. Throw in the growth of video advertising used on basic websites and the number of cloud-based applications—one user lamented that just one Steam game could be 40 gigabytes of download—and a problem emerges. A problem that comes in the form of hefty new charges of the kind that could beggar low income families, many of which need such access for job searches or even actual job performance.

We know that businesses like Comcast are in business to make money, and make decisions designed to benefit the bottom line. But there’s a difference between short-term and long-term benefit, and dissatisfied customers ready to switch the second anything else is available isn't a recipe for long-term benefit. This latest move from Comcast all but assures more customer rancor and potentially an increased move toward municipal fiber as more towns seek to throw off the Comcast shackles.

One FCC complaint sums it up: “PLEASE do something. We have no one to protect us!”




Edited by Kyle Piscioniere

Contributing Writer

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Mist Applies AI to Improve Wi-Fi

By: Paula Bernier    11/9/2017

Mist has created an AI-driven wireless platform that puts the user and his or mobile device at the heart of the wireless network. Combining machine le…

Read More

International Tech Innovation Growing, Says Consumer Technology Association

By: Doug Mohney    11/8/2017

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) is best known for the world's largest trade event, but the organization's reach is growing far beyond the CE…

Read More

Broadcom Makes Unsolicited $130B Bid for Qualcomm

By: Paula Bernier    11/6/2017

In what could result in the biggest tech deal in history, semiconductor company Broadcom has made an offer to buy Qualcomm for a whopping $130 billion…

Read More

How Google's 'Moonshot' Could Benefit Industrial Markets

By: Kayla Matthews    10/30/2017

The term "moonshot" encapsulates the spirit of technological achievement: an accomplishment so ambitious, so improbable, that it's equivalent to sendi…

Read More

After Cisco/Broadsoft, Who's Next for M&A?

By: Doug Mohney    10/27/2017

Cisco's trail of acquisition tears over the decades includes the Flip video camera, Cerent, Scientific Atlantic, Linksys, and a couple of others. The …

Read More