As a Comcast high-speed Internet (HSI) customer, I read yesterday’s announcement of a 250GB cap with mixed feelings. I consume data in a variety of ways using my laptop: Via surfing, uploading photos, downloading video (legally, mind you), etc. However, I also have a TiVo and PS3 which receive over the air firmware updates and provide a means of downloading video and (for the PS3), games.
Do I know how much data I consume each month? Nope, no idea. Do I think it’s within the 250GB cap… probably. Hopefully. As far as reliable, high-speed Internet goes, Comcast is really the only game in town in my neighborhood and I have no interest in attempting to surpass their 250GB cap.
As anyone who reads DSLreports.com is aware, Comcast has had a data cap for a long time; they’ve just not communicated it previously to their general customer base. Post after post on dslreports.com describe frustration with Comcast notifying high use customers of exceeding their reasonable use policy, but not communicating just *what* the cap was.
So, this week, Comcast took a significant step forward, embraced transparency, and told its customers:
1) We do, indeed, have a data cap on our HSI accounts
2) That cap is 250GB
And for that I say: Kudos, Comcast!
Why? Well, clearly the cap isn’t anything new. What is new: Comcast management has changed its stance on transparency, and is responding to customers’ desire to understand their account limits. Consumers benefit when companies embrace transparency.
What should Comcast do next? Clearly, most Comcast customers use less than the capped amount of data. However, we want to be sure – for that, we need Comcast to share our individual usage metrics with us, so we can monitor our usage. I’d love to see a Comcast online tool I could log into to see how many gigs of data I’ve used so far each month. AT&T does this for my wireless account – I can check on my voice minute usage as well as data usage. Why couldn’t Comcast do this?
So, as much as I applaud Comcast’s announcement and the transparency it displays, I challenge Comcast to go all the way… Empower us, your customers, by helping us understand our usage via online easy-to-use self-service tools.