the IT city, the I.T. Baby


Comcast still charges for data overages? Yes

Comcast data overageIt’s April 2016, I’ve been reading left and right in various forums and posts that Comcast no longer charges data overages at $10 bucks for every 50 gigs.

I didn’t really have any reason to test this theory or disbelieve the mass of people who kept claiming it didn’t, which did seem weird. But Comcast still does.

I installed a camera with P2P abilities and streamed it to a computer on the same network thinking “oh wow, that was an easy setup” not thinking “oh wow this is all going out to the internet to some random person and then bouncing back to my computer that’s located 11 feet from the camera”.

I got the notice on March 6th that I was nearly over my limit for the month. Without device-level reporting from Comcast, and getting updates on bandwidth usage that were sometimes a day between updates, all I could do was watch my router and see if any device was actively using Internet.

I finally noticed that the data usage on the router by the camera, and the data usage from my computer were about the same as those two put together were what the bandwidth going to the internet was.

Cam bandwidth + Computer bandwidth = internet bandwidth. Had it been set right (my fault,) there should have been no internet traffic involved.

But back to that charge by byte thing. I’ve read many places that Comcast has dropped the overage charges in order to not be that guy. It seems to be a mantra when someone says that Comcast has or will have data caps that they don’t charge for them and they were unimplemented.

I called Comcast today. The second prompt I was greeted with was asking if I wanted to talk to someone about my data usage. Yes. There’s a department to handle overage complaints. No, they will not give you a credit. The only possibility of getting a credit involves going to the next level up and their security team determining that you did not actually use the data.

This may involve you having to send pictures of you and the cable modem on vacation in Hawaii with a newspaper with a date they’re claiming you were using the data during. People have had to have their modems disconnected in the past to prove that it was Comcast’s fault.

This was my fourth data overage, most coming about two years back (when X1 platform first hit Nashville.) The first was the first month that I got on the limited plan (I was on business, I wanted to try the X1 platform) and we discovered that one little Android phone that had been devoted to being a baby monitor and music player was re-downloading the same song over and over again 10-15 times a minute which racked up a huge overage.

(I’d chosen to copy a small playlist to the phone instead of streaming it from Google Play Music. This should have saved me bandwidth, not blown it due to one song not writing over and over again.)

My second overage involved Carbonite backing up nearly 30 years of my work and digital life. Sorry, my wedding videos, uncompressed photos, source code to the BBS I wrote and a lot of random Visual (whatever language I was working on at the time,) projects, and all of that jazz are 298 gigabytes. That one was on me.

The third involved a lot of things, I hit 301 gigabytes. I got listed as over.

So anyway, point of this is, if someone tells you Comcast has a data cap and they charge overages, they do. There are reasons people are doing the happy dance to get away from them. I’m paying an additional $50 because I let an application set up my camera as opposed to doing it myself.

Screenshot is from my bill I got this morning.

Paul King

Paul King lives in Nashville Tennessee with his wife, two daughters and cats. He writes for Pocketables, theITBaby, and is an IT consultant along with doing tech support for a film production company.