Comcast president Neil Smit said today that the cable giant doesn’t have plans to start charging its broadband subscribers by how much bandwidth they use per month.
Not yet, at least.
But come on, of COURSE Comcast isn’t going to make the massive announcement at an investor conference, and spook its customers.
However, you can bet that if Comcast isn’t the first major U.S. broadband company to get rid of all-you-can-eat Internet access, it will eventually.
Charging for broadband based on consumption is the holy grail for Internet providers — it would almost certainly increase the amount that customers spend, on average — and Comcast would never let its competitors get a financial leg up.
Especially because that’s how Comcast is going to stop Netflix! Charging for Internet access based on consumption would deter people from watching more high-bandwidth Internet video on iTunes or Netflix, which represents the biggest threat to Comcast’s legacy cable TV business.
Perhaps the real reason it isn’t going to start charging based on consumption yet is that the average Comcast customer isn’t consuming much bandwidth in the first place.
Smit said the average Comcast user consumes 2 to 4 GB of bandwidth per month — which is barely 2 or 3 iTunes-sized movies per month.
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