In November, we reported that Comcast posted a notice for customers in northeast states, alerting them that their internet plans would be getting a data cap at the beginning of this year. After pushback from customers, state representatives, and now the Pennsylvania Attorney General, Comcast has agreed not to put data caps into effect until July.
While Comcast claims that only about 5% of customers use more than 1.2 TB of data in a month, those opposing the data cap point out that with many employees still working from home along with students taking classes from home, it has been much easier for households to reach that limit.
“As Pennsylvanians continue to navigate this pandemic, we know millions are relying on the internet for school and work more than ever. This is not the time to change the rules when it comes to internet data usage and increase costs,” said PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “My office negotiated with Comcast to delay the implementation of these overage charges and waive any early termination fees for customers who opt out through December 2021. We also limited the impact of these changes on low-income households.”
After discussions with the AG, Comcast reportedly agreed to:
- Forgo the data threshold on low-income users who are enrolled in the Internet Essentials program or IEPP programs for the duration of 2021;
- Disclose data threshold information more prominently in the contract execution process;
- Delay implementation of the overage charges until July, to be seen in the August bill; and
- Waive any early termination fee normally charged only for cancelling all Xfinity services early, through December 31, 2021, for any customer who entered into a term contract prior to November 2020.
According to a statement from Comcast, the update will apply to all of the Northeast markets that originally received the notice about data caps which included Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Vermont, and West Virginia.