Xfinity to test unlimited Internet data plan
NEW YORK — Attention video-streaming super users. Comcast is trying out an unlimited data plan for $30 more per month.
Comcast, through its Xfinity’s Internet, began testing usage-based billing in a handful of cities in 2012. But beginning October 1, customers in three of those areas — Fort Lauderdale, the Keys and Miami — will be able to opt for a flat-rate plan instead of facing overage charges.
A company executive said last May that it will likely implement a usage-based billing model nationwide in the next few years.
Comcast is the largest Internet provider in the country, and its broadband costs between $34.99 and $54.99 depending on speed.
The Florida customers that will soon get the unlimited data option are currently charged if they exceed 300GB in one month — $10 for every 50GB.
Comcast said a survey showed 60% of the Florida customers were interested in paying a bigger flat rate for unlimited data, though only about 8% use more than 300GB.
A laptop could stream 20 hours of video in high definition every day for a month with 300GB, a Comcast spokesperson said.
However, for a large family hooking up multiple devices to a home’s Wi-Fi, and with streaming services like Netflix draining GB’s — it’s not impossible.
Comcast has three other data plan trials in different U.S. cities. The company began testing different pricing structures in 2012 after it stopped enforcing a data cap, which cut customers off from the Internet after they used 250GB.
Xfinity users can check their monthly usage online, and list of accounts eligible for the unlimited data trial can be found here.