Arbitrary Data Caps... Now in California

Arbitrary Data Caps... Now in California

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This question is still unresolved
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What the heck, Cox? I just moved a few miles down the road and switch from Spectrum (no caps) to Cox (caps). Your tag line is caps affect a very small number of users. If that's true, why have them at all? My first month, I just got a new Xbox One X and downloaded my library of games to my new Xbox... BAM... over the cap. Worse, the 85% of data and 100% used emails went out at the exact same time. When I logged in literally two minutes after receiving your emails, it said my usage was well over your cap at 1250GB. You're lucky the current administration doesn't care about end users, because I've filed a complaint with the FCC. I encourage others to do the same. Frankly, I may switch to AT&T, who waives caps for UVerse/DirecTV consumers. I'm already paying 15% more than I was under Spectrum for the exact same service, and now you expect me to pay an extra $50/mo to keep my unlimited data on a HOME connection? You're as shameful as Comcast!! We already have speed tiers -- that's how you manage a network. Data is an unlimited resource, band*width* is not. You want to manage your network, fine -- QoS me if I'm running higher than most other users. Increasing my data costs by more than 50% when I already have the Gold Package is pure greed, plain and simple. I will be contacting all my law makers in California, too. If we can't get this stopped nationally, I hope we can at least block you locally. I was so excited to move back to an area with Cox, as I'd had you in Phoenix many years ago, and you always had consistently great service. Now, I think you're just another greedy corporation out to screw your consumers. Thanks for ruining your perfectly positive image.

My letter to the FCC:

I'm exceedingly frustrated about my new cable provider's data cap policy. I lived in an area of San Diego with Spectrum (Formerly Time Warner) as my cable provider. I recently moved to an area with service provided by Cox Communications. I'd used AT&T UVerse for a while, too, and they also had data caps, but waived them if you also subscribed to TV service. I find it extremely disturbing that they charge different prices for speed tiers, but the datacap remains the same throughout the speed tiers. There's literally zero explanation for this other than corporate greed. At a time when data usage is on the increase, caps should be going away, not being added. I do understand that the increased demand for data will put pressure on networks, but companies can use QoS and network prioritization to better handle loads. A Verizon style soft cap, where once you exceed a threshold, your data is set to a lower priority on a QoS table, makes a lot more sense than an arbitary hard cap with imposed fees. As an IT professional and lifelong gamer, I feel our profession is being targetted by greedy corporations. 4K Netflix streaming eats up roughly 12GB/hour. A typical video game download for Xbox One, Playstation 4, or Nintendo Switch eats up 30-50GB. Heck, even patches and updates can exceed 10GB/ea. With arbitary data caps as low as 350GB on AT&T and 1000GB on Cox, my new service provider, I'm easily hitting my data cap. Want more data? $10/50GB, or roughly all of my games just got $10/ea more expensive. Want to watch a 4K movie on Netflix? A few of those will cost more than the entire monthly subscription for Netflix. This reduces competition from Netflix and Hulu and pads the pockets of profiteering cable companies for absolutely no legitimate reason. Alternatively, I can spend an extra $30/500GB... if I plan it and make the decision before I hit my cap, or an extra $50/unlimited. That would bring my internet service to a whopping $159+tax/month, and my overall cable bill to nearly $300/mo. This forces me into the uncomfortable decision of spending less on other things or having the unpredictability of a cable bill, all when from a technical perspective, there is absolutely no increase in cost to the ISP. A network is a bit like laying pipe for water, except the water (data in this example) is unlimited. There are significant upfront costs on building infrastructure, and a bit of maintenance cost on electricity and network equipment, but resource usage (data) does not increase maintenance cost. At times, a lot of demand for internet may congest "pipes," and for this and only this reason, network prioritization (QoS) makes sense. Speed tiers already prioritize customers, yet caps put artibrary limits on an unlimited resource (data). Ironically, as mobile providers are increasingly offering unlimited, landline operators are increasingly imposing artibrary data caps.

After decades of unlimited access and expotenential technical growth, data caps have the potential to stiffle the industry and cause real harm to consumers, particularly those who can least afford it. This is dramatically hurting the tech industry. I strongly suggest FCC impose limits on how data caps are utilized and considers weighing the needs of network prioritization/latency (the only legitimate ISP interest), streaming and cable carrier competition, and the dramatically increasing need for data when coming up with a policy that makes sense. I'm not alone. A quick search revealed there are MANY others in this same boat. There's a great article here about how this is already hurting the tech industry, as people are actively discouraged from buying new, advanced electronics: https://gigaom.com/2013/03/01/4k-broadband-caps/ and http://stopthecap.com/ . If the FCC is to encourage market competition and foster a world where America remains a technological leader, one of the first steps should be to remove data caps and prevent corporations from imposing them. Speed tiers already do this, and explanatory clauses about using QoS during peak hours of usage to throttle the heaviest users would reasonably ensure landline internet providers can continue to operate efficiently in peak demand periods.

All Replies
  • Posted by DannyS
    14 Nov 2017 7:23 PM

    Hello,

    It appears that the newly imposed cap may affect you and wanted to let you know that Cox offers a Data Usage Meter to help customers monitor their daily, monthly, and historical data usage. It is available in My Account and the Cox Connect mobile app. The usage meter is updated daily with usage from the prior day. The Data Usage Meter has been tested for accuracy by Cox and Netforecast, an independent third party. To learn tips and tools to help manage data usage, visit www.cox.com/datausage.

    Danny S.

    Cox Support Forums Moderator