Comcast Puts Its Foot Down Against Excess Home Data Usage

Meet Jake: Jake loves to stream Netflix from his home television, while chatting with his friends on his tablet and checking email on his smartphone.

How is Jake able to do all of this? It’s because he doesn’t have a capped data plan for home Web usage like he has with his mobile provider. As a result, he’s free to use as much bandwidth as he pleases, without having to pay any surcharges. 

Customers like Jake are both a blessing and a curse for broadband service providers. On one hand, broadband service providers want customers to use boatloads of data on a daily basis. In doing so, customers become fully reliant on the company to satisfy their data needs.

On the other hand, data-hungry customers place a tremendous tax on broadband infrastructure by eating up loads of bandwidth. And service providers have no way of churning a profit from it.

In a sense, this is like fattening up a pig, but not eating it. It’s like giving customers free data.

Enter Comcast, with its recent groundbreaking announcement to cap home data usage. Moving forward, customers that use more than 300 GB of data per month will be forced to pay data overages at the rate of $10 per each 50 GB of data. Customers will also have the option to pay $30 extra dollars to keep their current service, reports.

As explains, Comcast’s offering is actually generous when considering that most customers will be able to continue without having worry about paying for data overages. But as the article points out, it’s easy to see this plan becoming more aggressive in the future—particularly as more high-bandwidth applications, and streaming HD video are released.

We can also speculate that the looming explosion of Internet of Things (IoT) devices set to hit the market over the next few years will add to the significance of Comcast’s announcement. As consumer home living spaces are flooded with copious amounts of data, data consumption is going to skyrocket. Service providers will need to closely monitor—and monetize— consumer data usage in order to remain competitive during this time.

After all, as we move forward into the zettabyte-era of data, and IoT domination, networks will be increasingly tested to perform at higher levels.

With these points in mind, Comcast’s decision should be lauded by broadband providers as a bold step in the name of monetization. Other broadband providers should embrace Comcast’s model and implement their own monetization plans in order to maximize their chances of generating revenue.

How is your company addressing  home data usage? Do you have plans to better monetize bandwidth consumption? We want to hear from you!