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Archive: May, 2012

POSTED: Thursday, May 17, 2012, 2:23 PM

Critics have long complained that data caps imposed by Comcast and other Internet service providers are an end run around network-neutrality rules. As I wrote here last week, Netflix has complained that Comcast's caps put it at a disadvantage in competing against Comcast's new video-streaming service, Streampix, and Sony blamed data caps when it dropped plans for a new service offering "virtual cable" to Internet subscribers.

As explained in a March column, Comcast didn't impose overage charges for those few customers who exceeded the 250-gigabyte cap. Instead, it suspended service for a year to repeat offenders such as the outspoken Seattle gaming consultant, Andre Vrignaud.

Today, after growing criticism over its practices favoring Streampix, Comcast did an about-face: In a blog post today, it says it will drop the caps in favor of "improved data usage management approaches" and - importantly - tiered charges for overages:

About this blog

Jeff Gelles, who writes the Inquirer's weekly Consumer 14.0 and Tech Life columns, takes a broad look at the marketplace of goods, services, and ideas.

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Jeff Gelles Inquirer Business Columnist
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