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Comcast Claims New 300GB Cap is Getting Neutral-Slightly Positive Reaction from Subscribers

Phillip Dampier October 30, 2013 Comcast/Xfinity, Internet Overcharging, Wireless Broadband No Comments
Comcast's Wireless Gateway is part of the company's plans to further monetize broadband.

Comcast’s Wireless Gateway is part of the company’s plans to further monetize broadband.

Comcast wants investors to believe customers slightly prefer losing access to unlimited broadband in return for a 300GB usage cap and $10 overlimit fees.

Neil Smit, president and CEO of Comcast Cable Communications this morning told Wall Street analysts Comcast plans to further monetize its broadband product after testing usage caps, consumption billing, and collecting increased in-home Wi-Fi fees collected from a growing number of customers with an XFINITY Wireless Gateway.

Phil Cusick from JPMorgan asked Smit about how broadband tiering trials now underway primarily in southern states were going for Comcast.

“We have a number of trials in place in markets,” Smit responded. “We’re testing different types of usage-based pricing offerings. Thus far the consumer response has been neutral to slightly positive. We’ll continue to monitor it.”

Customers in the affected areas tell Stop the Cap! they have never been asked what they think about Comcast’s usage caps and consumption billing, so they are unsure how Smit can draw conclusions about customer preference.

“I’m canceling Nov. 1 when the caps arrive in South Carolina,” says Dennis Johnson. “I’m heading to U-verse because AT&T isn’t enforcing any caps here. I plan to tell Comcast why they lost me, but it sounds like the company really isn’t interested in what customers think.”

Every research study done on broadband usage caps show customers loathe them and up to 50% are prepared to switch providers if they can find a competitor providing comparable service.

xfinitylogoComcast is also moving forward with plans to share your in-home Wi-Fi with other customers, configuring company-supplied gateways to offer a second, open access Wi-Fi channel. Comcast currently charges customers $7 a month for the XFINITY Wireless Gateway, combining a DOCSIS 3 cable modem, a telephone eMTA, and a wireless router.

Despite the fact Comcast customers regularly complain about the poor Wi-Fi range of the XFINITY Wireless Gateway and the monthly rental fee, Smit believes they are key to further monetizing broadband.

“We’ve rolled out about six million Gateway devices which increased the in-home Wi-Fi fees and we think there’s going to be more people hanging more devices off of their Wi-Fi,” said Smit.

The more devices, the higher the usage. The higher the usage, the closer customers get to exceeding their cap and charged overlimit fees.

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