Over the last several years, cord cutting has been a major thorn in the side of the cable television industry. Operators have simply been at a loss for stopping the problem.
Now, there may be a solution: broadband data caps.
In 2015, some cable operators—like Comcast, for instance—began enforcing residential broadband data caps to profit off consumers using large amounts of bandwidth. Broadband customers in regions which are restricted by data caps must pay hefty overage charges of around $10 per every 50 gigabytes of extra data they use each month.
Comcast currently has a 250-gigabyte monthly limit, and is currently experimenting with 300-gigabyte thresholds.
Here’s the kicker:
According to the Wall Street Journal, customers are finding it very difficult to stay within their monthly data limits. As a result, some customers are now going as far as canceling over-the-top video services like Netflix.
“I love Netflix…but it makes no sense for me to pay for Netflix when I’m going to get charged by Comcast two or three times that as a result,” 31-year-old Comcast customer Scott Jones told the Wall Street Journal.
Other customers, like 51-year-old Rodger Rice, are taking a less extreme approach and are using pay TV as a complimentary service to streaming video. As Rice explained, as soon as he gets a message informing him that he is approaching the data limit, he switches to cable television.
Moving forward, it will be interesting to see how more consumers respond to monthly data caps. Could data caps be the saving grace the cable industry has been looking for in stopping cord cutting? Only time will tell.