Comcast has said for a long time that a minority of its customers are approaching the limits of their 1TB data limits on their home Internet plans, but that number is growing. In a recent call with investors (through Ars Technica ), Comcast says its median of users is using 200GB of its 1TB data limit per month, thanks to video streaming.
Over the past couple of years, Comcast implemented data limits for customers; first limited users to 300GB per month in 2015, and increased that limit to 1TB per month in 2016. In the past, Comcast said that "more than 99 percent of our customers do not come close to using a terabyte", the Most of them use around "six percent" each month and, if they do, they have to pay an additional fee: $ 10 for every 50 GB that is used.
But that was exactly two years ago: the demand for video streaming has increased considerably since then. Customers have more options to stream high-definition video, while companies such as Google and Microsoft have announced streaming game services. According to Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, "the demand for speed and data usage of our customers continues to increase," and that "the average usage for our business [residential] is more than 200 gigabytes, and this increases by a 34% year-over-year in the quarter. "
That growth is making Comcast a huge amount of money, and Executive Vice President and CFO Michael Cavanagh highlighted in his earnings statement that broadband internet was "the growth engine for our cable business" and pointed out that "residential high-speed internet revenues were once again the largest contributor to Cable's overall growth, with an increase of 10%. % to $ 4.6 billion. "
200 GB per month are still a good distance away from that 1 TB limit, but it's a considerable jump of only 60 GB a month a couple of years ago, and that's probably It means that even more customers are meeting or exceeding that data limit, although Comcast did not disclose that number in their call. Ars Technica noted that earlier this year, it found that 4.1 percent of households reached their limit, an increase of 2.1 percent from last year.
That number is likely to increase, given that Comcast plans to launch its own broadcast service. Roberts noted that despite competition between companies like Amazon, Disney and Netflix, video streaming "is friendlier than enemy, and we would like each bit to be our bit, but if people consume more bits, and the video clearly he does that and the 4K video does. " even more than that, it is at the optimum point where this company is going to grow. "
Disclosure: Comcast is an investor in Vox Media, The parent company of The Verge .