Comcast's Cohen: Company will roll out usage-based pricing when trials are complete

A Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) executive said that he is confident the company will roll out usage-based data pricing nationwide once it completes a series of "robust" trials it is currently conducting in several markets. Speaking at the MoffettNathanson Media & Communications Summit today in New York City, David Cohen, executive vice president of Comcast, said that the company is moving slowly with its usage-based data trials to avoid alienating consumers. "We don't want to blow up our high-speed data business," he said.

comcast David Cohen


The company has been testing metered billing in several markets including Savannah, Ga.; Jackson, Miss.; Charleston, S.C.; Huntsville and Mobile, Ala.; and central Kentucky. Last December, Comcast added the Atlanta market. Cohen noted that Comcast has tested a few different models for its usage-based data pricing--but he said that the current model, in which customers are allotted 300 GB of data per month and then charged an additional $10 for every 50 GB of data they use over the 300 GB, seems to be the most popular model.

Comcast is also offering a monthly discount of $5 to light Internet users. Comcast subscribers who select the "Economy Plus" tier will receive monthly credits of $5 on their bills if they consume less than 5 GB of data each month. Subscribers who download more than 5 GB of data will be charged $1 per gigabyte. Cohen said that this low-usage option has been "reasonably popular" with customers, noting that the choice "is attractive to them."

However, when asked if he envisioned a scenario in the future where all high-speed broadband customers would have metered data plans, Cohen said he did not think that would happen. Instead, he said that while he believes that Comcast will have usage-based billing across its footprint, he thinks the "vast majority of customers will not be caught in usage buckets." Instead, he envisions that most customers will use a certain amount of data--whether it's 350 GB or 500 GB per month--that will fall within their data allotment.

For more:
- see this webcast

Related articles:
Comcast expands usage-based billing to Maine
Report: Comcast will start charging overage fees in Atlanta Dec. 1
Comcast expanding usage-based broadband billing to systems in Kentucky, Georgia, Mississippi
Comcast to test new data cap plan in Tucson
Comcast to charge $10 for 50 GB to subscribers who bust data cap
Comcast suspends 250 GB data cap; will create tiered plans

Suggested Articles

Blockgraph has partnered with TVSquared to provide omni-channel TV measurement and audience activation.

The CEOs of AT&T, Charter and Comcast this week presented varying visions for the future of pay TV at their respective companies.

Varnish is leveraging its roots in edge storage and caching and combining that expertise for a 5G-ready CDN.