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Xfinity Data Caps Are Back!
Xfinity is bringing back their data caps for some internet plans, and yours may be one of them.
In the age of COVID-19, Xfinity's unlimited data is done, and your internet bill may go way up because of that.
Xfinity has implemented a bunch of COVID-19 relief initiatives over the last few months like:
- Paused disconnects and late fees for customers who missed payments
- Added a speed boost to their internet essentials plan and offered that plan free to new customers for 60 days.
- Lifted their data caps for internet customers as part of FCC's Keep America Connected Pledge. (While their competitor, AT&T, has decided to extend their data cap relief through September 30th, Xfinity let theirs expire at the end of June.)
- If this is old news, why are we talking about it? Because if the policy changed, but your internet consumption didn't, you might be in for a bit of a rude awakening when your next internet bill comes due.
What to know about Xfinity data caps
Xfinity claims that 95% of its customers don't hit their data caps, which seemed true a year ago, but in the age of work from home, remote learning, and live streaming, I have my doubts. But let’s run with their hard numbers. If they had 29.5 million internet customers at the end of March—which they did—that means that 1,475,000 people will hit their data caps.
But let's take a real world example. My boss is an Xfinity customer. At the beginning of the year his family of four started out pretty much as you would expect. They barely creeped over the 1000-gigabyte data cap in March after COVID-19 was announced in the US, but three months after the outbreak, the numbers skyrocketed.
(Xfinity is not going back to the one-terabyte cap that we've seen in the past. In the future, it will bump its data cap up to 1.2 terabytes)
With two working parents and two bored kids, my boss’s household hit 1.4 terabytes of data usage in April. May was a whopping two terabytes, and June came back down to 1.4 terabytes. That's a lot of data.
What’s the consequence for them? (It's an extra $10 per 50 gigabytes you go over your cap—up to a max of $100 per month.) So, my boss would pay $50 each in April and June for that overage and then $100 in May for that overage. Yikes.
If you're in this boat, go to your Xfinity account online or on their mobile app and see what your data usage looks like. If you're still way under the new 1.2-terabyte data cap, then maybe you don't need to worry about this right now. But if you're constantly streaming and have hours of video conferencing every day because you're working from home, you might want to re-evaluate.
Xfinity plan upgrades
You can upgrade any Xfinity plan with unlimited data. There are two routes to go down. First, if you use Xfinity's xFi Gateway router, then you can sign up for xFi Complete, which includes the router rental and unlimited data for $25 a month on top of your existing plan. If you use your own modem and router, then adding unlimited data will cost you an extra $30 a month.
Do I wish that Xfinity was extending their unlimited data through September like AT&T? Yes, I do. Do I wish that internet providers would get rid of data caps entirely? Of course.
There are also other options like seeing if there's another provider in your area worth considering. We can help you do that.
Tell us about your data experience!
I'd love to hear about your own data habits and whether they've changed during COVID-19. Let me know in the comments below!
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