One of the biggest appeals of cord cutting over traditional cable and satellite is paying for what you want and watching when you want, and where you want. Providers like Comcast seem to be wanting to pour cold water on that with data caps.
Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch recently commented on the emerging data caps in an interview with CordCutting.com, “I think one of the areas we’re quite focused on is what’s happening in Washington, DC around net neutrality. We see concerning things happening if you look at cable companies like Comcast now instituting data caps that just happen to be at a level at or below what someone would use if they’re watching TV on the Internet—and at the same time launching their own streaming service that they say doesn’t count against the data cap.
It’s something we’ve been warning Washington about for years, and it’s a risk to OTT (over-the-top Internet services) in general. We’re net neutrality proponents, and want to make sure that rules are implemented so that it really is a level playing field for new players like us.”
I think Lynch has valid concerns about the purpose of the caps. Since we bought our Roku in my house we have now went exclusively to streaming. While not with Comcast, my high speed internet provider does allow customers to see how much data they are using. A look at my usage over the last six months shows I would have exceeded Comcast’s data limits 5 out of the six months. So if I was a customer of theirs I would have to pay overages, and switching to their OTT service (which doesn’t count towards data) would become very tempting for many.
Comcast may think this is a great plan, but I think in the long run this adds more of the bad taste that the cable and satellite monopolies have left in the mouth of the now cord cutters. As more competitors for broadband enter their markets they are likely to drive them away just like they did with their television offerings.
What do you think about the Comcast data caps? Comment below.