Comcast won't enforce Northeast data caps until 2023 at the earliest

The plan might be on indefinite hold.

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Jon Fingas
December 17th, 2021
Truck with signage and logo for Comcast Xfinity internet and television service, in the Silicon Valley town of Santa Clara, California, August 17, 2017. (Photo via Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images).
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Comcast subscribers in the US Northeast just got another reprieve from data caps, and this one might stick. According to Light Reading and The Verge, a Comcast spokesperson said the cable giant now had "no plans" to enforce internet data caps in the region throughout 2022. State Rep. Andy Vargas even claimed the strategy might be on indefinite hold — he understood Comcast had "no plans to reintroduce" the ceiling at any point.

The telecom first said in November 2020 that it would expand its 1.2TB cap enforcement to the Northeast in 2021, but delayed the move by a year in February 2021. The extra time was ostensibly meant to help customers "become familiar" with caps, but many have attributed the decision to pushback from politicians angry Comcast was trying to curb (or charge extra for) internet usage during a pandemic when many have no choice but to work from home.

This won't help subscribers that still have to live with caps in other states. It will help Northeastern residents breathe easier, though, and could keep their costs down if they don't want to pay for overages or unlimited data. The additional delay also casts doubt on the need for caps in the first place. If Comcast can go without enforcing caps in numerous states for two years, and rivals like AT&T can make even broader gestures, why do the caps exist? Comcast's move doesn't preclude enforcement in 2023 or later, but the company might have a tough time justifying the revival after such a long wait.

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