Cox Expands 1-Terabyte Data Usage Limit to Most Speed Tiers

MSO still testing usage-based pricing policy in Cleveland
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Cox Communications has expanded a monthly 1-Terabyte data limit to most of its high-speed Internet tiers, with the exception of the MSO’s 1-Gbps “Gigablast” offering, which remains at 2 TB.

The revised policy, spotted by DSL Reports and updated on October 13 on the Cox web site, applies a 1 TB monthly data plan to the following Internet offerings: Starter (5 Mbps down/1 Mbps up); Essential (15 Mbps/2Mbps); Preferred (50 Mbps/5 Mbps); Premiere (100 Mbps/10 Mbps or 150 Mbps/20 Mbps, depending on area); and Ultimate (200 Mbps/20 Mbps, or 300 Mbps/30 Mbps, depending on market).

Cox notes that about 99% of its customers are on data plans that “more than adequately meets their monthly household needs.”  In a previous version of Cox’s data policy FAQ, it estimated that about 95% of its high-speed Internet subs were on plans that adequately suited their monthly needs.

While Cox’s current data policy is focused on excessive use, the MSO is also testing a usage-based pricing trial in Cleveland http://www.multichannel.com/news/broadband/cox-testing-usage-based-prici... under which the MSO charges $10 for an additional bucket of 50 gigabytes when customers exceed their monthly data limits. Cox has not announced when or if it intends to apply similar policies in its other markets.

Cox, which provides a meter to help subs track their data usage, sends alerts via browsers, email or an automated outbound call when customers use 85% and 100% of their monthly data plan, and send additional alerts if usage hits 170% of their plan.

Of recent note, Comcast, following a trial period, has begun the commercial rollout of a usage-based data policy in the bulk of its markets that limits monthly usage to 1-TB before overage charges are applied. Comcast also offers an unlimited data option.

AT&T, meanwhile, has bumped Internet subs on tiers with speeds up to 300 Mbps to 1 TB before overage fees are applied ($10 for an additional bucket of 50 gigabytes of data).  AT&T subs who bundle U-verse Internet with TV service (via the IPTV service or DirecTV) and pay for services on a single bill  get unlimited home Internet data for no additional charge, while other U-verse data subs still have the option to buy an unlimited plan for an additional $30 per month.  Customers on AT&T Fiber service with speeds up to 1 Gbps have been moved to an unlimited data plan.

The FCC is looking into data cap and zero-rating policies, has not set a timetable on when the Commission would complete its review.

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