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Comcast drops 250 gigabyte limit, tests new options

New limit will start at 300 gigabytes

Comcast officials said on Thursday they’re ending the current 250 gigabyte data limit on residential customers, replacing it with two new options that eliminate penalties for heavy data consumption.

The company announcement in a morning conference call said the country’s largest cable provider is testing two new high-data options. The tests will be evaluated “to maintain and insure the highest quality service” for its 20 million U.S. data customers, said Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen.

It’s not clear when the two new options will be tested in Washington state.

The first option will involve a paid tiered system, with customers starting with no limits for using 300 gigabytes of data. Customers choosing to use more can set paid plans at $10 for each additional 50 gigabytes per month.

Option two will start with 300 gigabytes of free use per month, and then offer “on demand” additional blocks of 50 gigs as needed. Prices could be identical to those in option one.

Cohen said the tests will continue until the company decides which of the two offers the most flexibility to maintain network quality.

Cohen also said “the vast majority” of Comcast’s data customers do not come anywhere close to the 250 gigabyte limit. Since being implemented in 2008, Comcast has on occasion shut down residential customers who exceed the 250 gigabyte limit.

Cohen said the decision is a recognition and a “philosophical adjustment” to our highest volume customers, and that it reflects the view by Comcast that “we don’t want to discourage you from using Comcast and having an essentially unlimited data service.”

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