Update: David Cohen wrote up a blog post to clarify his comments on data caps, among other things (namely the FCC's proposed new open internet rules).
Chiefly, Cohen stressed that Comcast has no plans to impose a new data usage policy. Trials of "a few flexible data consumption plans" are taking place, including one where customers can pay more for more data as well as one for "those who use less data" and want the option to save more money.
"We decided to implement these trials to learn what our customers' reaction is to what we think are reasonable data consumption plans," he wrote. "We certainly have no interest in adopting any plans that our customers find unreasonable or disruptive to their Internet experience."
He stressed Comcast is in "trial mode only," but as the internet and the way people use it continue to evolve, look for changes coming down Comcast's pipes.
Original article below...
A Comcast executive has revealed that the despised cable company hopes to impose fixed data caps on all its customers within five years.
"People who use more should pay more and people who use less should pay less," Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen said at May 14's MoffettNathanson Media & Communications Summit in New York, reports Ars Technica.
Yes, it seems the company that won Consumerist's 2014 prize for the most hated company in America (and that wasn't its first win) really does feed off the suffering of its customers.
Wasn't there a South Park episode about this?
'How … how much would it bum them out?'
Comcast did away with static monthly data caps back in 2012, but Cohen said their return is in the interest of fairness.
Either Comcast imposes data caps and forces users to pay more to use more data, or prices rise for everyone and subscribers who use less data wind up essentially subsidizing power users, he argued.
Comcast has reportedly already rolled out new capped trial plans to some regions in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, and South Carolina, but it hopes to cover the entirety of "its footprint" within five years, said Cohen.
Comcast said in 2013 that 98% of its users don't reach 300GB per month, and the new caps could be as high as 500GB in five years' time.
But if usage is really that low for the vast majority of subscribers, then why does Comcast need to raise its rates at all?
Cohen said they "don't want to chase [their] customers away," but he must have forgotten that in most places cable and internet customers don't have a choice what company they use.
Google can't roll out Google Fiber service quickly enough.