PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Since the beginning of the pandemic our homes have become more than places to live, eat and sleep. For many of us they’ve become our office and classroom as well.
Felicia Snyder works from home as a marketing director for a downtown law firm while her daughter Elena takes remote high school classes nearby. To her, internet connectivity is as important as utilities like electricity and water.
“So this is a make or break thing for us,” she said.
She says news that her provider Comcast Xfinity is raising data rates is concerning.
“It’s absolutely mind-boggling that they could consider doing something like this right now,” she says.
In the coming months, Comcast will be charging additional fees on customers without unlimited data who exceed a certain threshold of usage. They’ll be charged $10 dollars for every extra 50 gigabytes — and capping those overage charges at $100 a month.
Comcast has set a 1.2 terabyte cap on home internet usage. So what exactly is that? In a news release to KDKA, Comcast company says it is a very high threshold met by less than 5% of users.
To illustrate, the company said that level of usage can accommodate 21,000 hours of non-stop music, 500 hours of streaming HD TV, 34,000 hours of online gaming and 3,500 hours of video chat.
Comcast tells KDKA’s Andy Sheehan it will institute the threshold in January but will not charge customers for data overages in the first two months. Customers will get an alert they’ve exceeded the limits and will have the option of adjusting their plan before the rates take effect in March.
But customers will also get a one-month courtesy, so the earliest they could incur charges would be April. Snyder isn’t clear how much data she’s using but believes the timing is bad.
“It’s wrong. It’s morally wrong. I think it’s taking advantage of a situation,” she said.