Comcast to test unlimited Internet data plan in Florida first
NEW YORK – Attention video-streaming super users. Comcast is trying out an unlimited data plan for $30 more per month.
Comcast, through its Xfinity’s Internet, began testing usage-based billing in a handful of cities in 2012. Beginning October 1, customers in three of those areas — Fort Lauderdale, the Keys and Miami — will be able to opt for a flat-rate plan instead of facing overage charges.
A company executive said last May that it will likely implement a usage-based billing model nationwide in the next few years.
Comcast is the largest Internet provider in the country, and its broadband costs between $34.99 and $54.99 depending on speed.
The Florida customers that will soon get the unlimited data option are currently charged if they exceed 300GB in one month — $10 for every 50GB.
Comcast said a survey showed 60 percent of the Florida customers were interested in paying a bigger flat rate for unlimited data, though only about 8 percent use more than 300GB.
A laptop could stream 20 hours of video in high-definition every day for a month with 300GB, a Comcast spokesperson said.
For a large family hooking up multiple devices to a home’s Wi-Fi, and with streaming services like Netflix draining GB’s — it’s not impossible.
Comcast has three other data plan trials in different U.S. cities. The company began testing different pricing structures in 2012 after it stopped enforcing a data cap, which cut customers off from the Internet after they used 250GB.
Xfinity users can check their monthly usage online.