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Comcast leak shows that data caps aren't about congestion

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Many internet providers with data caps (especially in mobile) will tell you that those limits exist to prevent network congestion -- that's not necessarily true, but it's the official line. However, Comcast isn't even trying to make that claim. Leaked support documents show that the cable giant's customer service reps will deny that the expanding internet caps are about congestion in any form. Instead, the ceilings are about "fairness" and offering a "more flexible policy" to subscribers. Also, Comcast is telling agents to avoid describing cap-free areas as having unlimited usage. Instead, staffers are supposed to tell you that unfettered areas are still subject to Comcast's longstanding 250GB soft cap -- the company just isn't "currently enforcing" the limit. In other words... it's unlimited.

Comcast tells us that the documents are real, and that they line up with what the company has said in the past -- you can read the full statement below. It's safe to say that the arguments don't pass the sniff test, though. You already had fairness and flexibility, since Comcast would only occasionally clamp down on people running over its caps. If you currently use over 300GB per month and live in one of the newly capped areas, you're going to be paying more to maintain the level of service you have. This may be more about keeping profits up, especially at a time when customers are ditching cable TV in favor of internet-only viewing.

"Those documents are consistent with what we've been saying both internally and externally about these trials. We've also said many times that as the Internet, and our customers' use of it, evolves, so will we and our policies. Our aim is to bring the best products and services to the marketplace."

[Image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]

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