By Francisco Villegas |Staff Writer|
The cable provider Comcast, also known as Xfinity, plans to expand its data usage cap into California, affecting its customers who pass over the 300 gigabytes use.
The median usage of Xfinity customers use 40 gigabytes a month according to the Huffington Post.As a result, customers may have to pay more for their service.
Most customers have filed complaints with the U.S. Federal Communication Commission (FCC) because their Comcast bill keeps rising, according to articles in the Huffington Post.
“Comcast continues to ignore customer backlash, and continues to dramatically expand the company’s broadband usage caps and overage fees,” according to dslreports.com.
“High usage caps affects residents from California and other states dramatically because some people use the Internet to work,” said student Juan Elizalde.
Comcast argues that the caps justify fairness to customers who use less data by having those who use more, pay more.
According to Comcast, the higher price will help the company with costs of streaming content.
“I believe Comcast’s claim that more broadband usage is costly was their attempt to justify their new pricing, which is in fact nothing but price gouging as the company leak has shown, and it should be investigated,” stated Professor Ece Algan.
Some customers are beginning to feel that Comcast’s price actions are not right but also feel helpless.
“I don’t think the FCC can do much to protect company fraud, such as overcharging people for a service such as the Internet,” continued Elizalde.
Comcast stated “The reasons for the caps, the documents say, are fairness and [the need to provide] a more flexible policy to our customers,” according to the Huffington Post.
Recent data also prove that congestion on the “last-mile” such as Internet congestion of cable broadband networks is a myth, stated the Huffington Post.
However, if the real issue isn’t high traffic and congestion, this means imposing data caps is unfair to customers.
“In fact, in areas where customers now face new usage caps, they’re being told they can now pay $30 to $35 more for the exact same service they enjoyed yesterday. Fairness doesn’t much enter into it,” according to journalist Karl Bode.
“The FCC has yet to investigate this problem thoroughly despite repeated calls to do so from consumer rights groups (including Free Press) and customers. As more and more companies roll out data caps, the agency should take a deeper look at the ways access providers justify their use,” according to Bode.
“I do not know if FCC can do much at this point because when FCC ruled this past February of 2015 to classify broadband internet as public utility, which was the necessary step to ensure net neutrality, they also announced their decision not to interfere with pricing,” stated Algan.
With the Internet becoming a necessity, it is crucial that Internet providers like Comcast understand how the price hikes effect their customers.
“We need to understand the negative impacts that caps have on the affordability and openness of high-speed networks,” stated journalist Timothy Karr.“The FCC should too. That only seems fair.”
“Today, as more and more people are cancelling their cable service and accessing media through streaming over the internet, the profits of these cable companies get impacted. Charging users for using more data toward streaming is how Comcast wants to handle the profit loss,” stated Algan.