If you get your high speed Internet service via Comcast (aka Xfinity), your wonderful unlimited monthly bandwidth allotment will be coming to an end.
How soon Comcast will begin capping your monthly data usage depends on where you live, and that time-frame ranges all the way from “soon” to “any time within the next five years“.
My guess is they plan to roll it out slowly in order to find out just how many users revolt and switch Internet providers. If it looks like the move will cost them too many customers, they can always either drop the cap plan completely or develop more favorable terms before they extend it to everyone. This is just speculation on my part however.
Comcast’s stated reasoning behind the bandwidth cap is “fairness”. They say it’s unfair that people who use tons of bandwidth pay the same amount each month as the folks who use just a little, so the folks using more should rightly have to pay more. A lot more according to most third-party forecasts.
While that reasoning does make sense, my question is why raise the prices for the heaviest users when they could simply drop the prices a bit for everyone else? This would make more sense to me from a business perspective because it would keep everyone happy.
So what does all of this mean to you?
Well, if you primarily use the Internet to visit a few websites and send grandma an occasional email, your monthly Comcast bill will likely stay about the same. But if you stream lots of movies and music or engage in other high bandwidth pursuits, you can expect your wallet to get considerably lighter each month.
The good news is there is more competition on the horizon for the high speed Internet market. Having a choice in broadband providers will hopefully keep prices within a reasonable range, but only time will tell.