Comcast delays 12-state data cap expansion to July

The company had announced the expansion in November.

Andrei Stanescu via Getty Images

Comcast customers in a dozen Northeastern states won’t have to worry about broadband data overages just yet. In November, the company announced it would implement a 1.2TB data cap at the start of 2021 on broadband users in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

After two months of waived overage fees, those customers would have had to start tracking their data usage in March. A once per year courtesy credit from Comcast would have gotten those people through that month, but after that, they would have been on the hook for any overage fees. Comcast has had a similar data cap in many other parts of its 39 state footprint since 2016.

However, thanks to an agreement with Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, the telecom won’t enforce the new limit until July, meaning if you’re a Comcast customer in one of the affected markets, you won’t see any overage charges on your monthly bill until August. It has also agreed to waive any early termination fees through December 31st, 2021 for customers who signed a contract before November 2020.

For customers who went over their data allotment, the telecom had planned to charge them $10 for every additional 50GB they went over their limit, up to a maximum of $100. To avoid any overages, those customers would have had to subscribe to the company’s $30 per month unlimited plan or $25 monthly xFi complete package. Throughout the saga, Comcast has maintained that 95 percent of its customers use far less than 1.2TB every month. With so many dependent on the internet at the moment for everything from work to school, the planned timing of the increase struck people the wrong way.

“As Pennsylvanians continue to navigate this pandemic, we know millions are relying on the internet for school and work more than ever,” Shapiro said. “This is not the time to change the rules when it comes to Internet data usage and increase costs.”

The announcement comes one day after Comcast said it was doubling the speed of its Internet Essentials package for low-income families. As of March 1st, the service will support download speeds of up to 50 Mbps. Comcast raised those speeds on the urging of Shapiro, as well.