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Cable giant thinks 1TB a month ought to be enough for anyone

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Comcast has decided that rather than slap a 300GB-a-month download cap on some of its broadband customers, it will instead give them a 1TB limit.

The US cable kingpin says it has begun tests in trial markets in 12 US states that gives users an allowance of 1,000GB monthly. That's up from the 300GB cap it slapped on subscribers in a handful of trial cities across the US.

The trial cities are, in full: Huntsville, Mobile and Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Tucson, Arizona; Little Rock, Arkansas; Fort Lauderdale, the Keys and Miami, Florida; Atlanta, Augusta and Savannah, Georgia; Central Kentucky; Houma, LaPlace and Shreveport, Louisiana; Maine; Jackson and Tupelo, Mississippi; Chattanooga, Greeneville, Johnson City/Gray, Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee; Charleston, South Carolina; and Galax, Virginia.

Home users capped at 300GB were charged $10 for every 50GB they went over their limit. Comcast said that by expanding the cap from 300GB to 1TB, it should be able to accommodate 99 per cent of its customers without having to resort to overage charges.

"We have learned that our customers want the peace of mind to stream, surf, game, download, or do whatever they want online," wrote Comcast executive VP of consumer services Marcien Jenckes.

"So, we have created a new data plan that is so high that most of our customers will never have to think about how much data they use.

For customers in its other markets, Comcast does not currently cap data consumption. There once was a 250GB monthly cap, but that was eliminated in 2012.

Comcast did not explain how it's able to suddenly accommodate the higher caps.

The expansion should come as welcome news to cord-cutters who have dumped their cable TV service in favor of streaming over-the-top options that tend to rack up high data rates. Comcast estimates that those with a 1TB cap will be able to stream roughly 700 hours of HD video from the internet without encountering any overage charges. ®


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