Comcast, who are in discussions to acquire Time Warner Cable, have redefined capped data. David Cohen, an executive with Comcast says he expects they’ll begin offering “usage-based billing”, which translates to “we’ll give you a data allotment and charge you if you go over it”.
In five years’ time, Cohen think we’ll see 500GB being a safe data cap for most consumers. The company already has capped offerings for some customers in the southern US, which allows for 300GB data to be used before any extra charges are incurred.
Cohen was speaking to investors when he touched on the capped data scheme. To his mind, we’ll likely never ever get to the point where we’ll see the end of our data plans:
I would also predict that the vast majority of our customers would never be caught in the buying the additional buckets of usage, that we will always want to say the basic level of usage at a sufficiently high level that the vast majority of our customers are not implicated by the usage-based billing plan. And that number may be 350—that may be 350 gig a month today, it might be 500 gig a month in five years.
Cohen also doesn’t see this affecting the Time Warner deal, calling it a “generic” industry issue. The FCC is known to force purchasers to offer the same level of service and plans to customers in affected areas, both before and for a time period after an acquisition, so an unlimited Time Warner deal may be a good bet for those who may end up being Comcast customers one day.
Via: Ars Technica