It’s not quite the start of a new year and we’ve already gotten word of some price hikes and data caps coming in 2021. Starting in January of next year the second largest internet and TV provider in the United States, Comcast Xfinity is planning on reinstating their data caps that they had temporarily suspended as part of the Federal Communication Commission’s Keep America Connected Pledge. Home internet customers that go over their 1.2TB data in a single billing cycle will soon start seeing extra charges tacked onto their bill.
The reinstatement of Comcast Xfinity internet data caps will affect customers located in Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia.
How Much Is 1.2 TB Of Data?
Comcast Xfinity has publicly stated that 1.2 TB of data a month is a massive amount of data. While they’re not wrong, we are still in the midst of a pandemic and something like possibly incurring extra fees onto an already expensive internet bill is something no one wants to hear.
To put their data cap in perspective, Comcast states that 95% of their customers won’t be impacted by the reinstatement of data plans. Despite a major spike in internet usage, most people do not come close to using that much data in any given month. 1.2 TB is the equivalent of 500 hours of HD video a month or 3500 hours of video chatting whether it’s Zoom, Facetime, Skype, etc. Internet use of that magnitude would have to be around the clock usage by multiple members of the same household.
As a courtesy, Comcast will credit their customers who go over their data limits and are not currently on an unlimited internet plan for January and February only. After that, those customers can expect to have to pay an additional $10 for every 50 GB they go over their data cap within a billing cycle. However, there is a maximum on this fee stopping at $100.
Monitoring Your Data Usage
Comcast has also stated that their customers will be notified before they meet their monthly data limit, but they have not stated at which point customers will receive the notification. We recommend that Comcast Xfinity customers get used to logging into their account online or via the Comcast Xfinity app now to start monitoring their data usage now before the extra fees come into effect.
When in the Xfinity My Account app, current customers can see their data usage for their current billing cycle and previous billing cycles by signing in, tapping on “Internet” on the account overview screen and scrolling all the way down to the bottom. Unfortunately data usage is not shown in real time and can be delayed up to 24 hours.
This isn’t helpful when you come close to going over your limit. As inconvenient as that is, you’re not without options though. Many modern routers have the capability to show traffic statistics in their app in real time. If you have a decent router you’ve purchased within the past couple years, download their app and see if your router already tracks your data usage. If it does, that’s great! You’re all set and get used to using the app before you can insure any extra fees. If not, tracking online with your Comcast account will be the only way to monitor your data usage until you upgrade your router.