Like most life-changing events, the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has a way of revealing truths that were able to remain better hidden during “normal” times. For example, the pandemic clearly demonstrates that Comcast, which is offering unlimited broadband during the crisis, could kill data caps forever without negatively affecting its network.
Several weeks ago, Comcast customers had to deal with something called a “data cap.” Cable users who consumed more than a terabyte of Comcast-branded Internet data in a single month had to pay an extra $10 for each additional, precious block of 50GB, or $50 more each month for unlimited data. Now, with a pandemic sweeping the United States and more people spending each day at home than ever, consumer-broadband usage is way up. But instead of raking in as many overage fees as it can, Comcast decided to upgrade everyone to unlimited data for no extra charge, for two months beginning March 13 — and its network has no problem handling it.
Comcast on Monday said it has measured a 32 percent increase in peak traffic since March 1 and an increase of 60 percent in some parts of the US. VoIP and video conferencing is up 212 percent, VPN traffic is up 40 percent, gaming downloads are up 50 percent, and streaming video is up 38 percent.
MacDailyNews Take: Gee, we wonder why Comcast charged some customers more for unlimited broadband, even though their network could obviously handle it? It’s a conundrum alright.