Comcast expanding data caps to new markets

NEW YORK (AP) — Comcast is expanding its Internet data caps to new markets in 5 Southern states.

The cable company is rolling out more caps as the Internet becomes an increasingly popular way to watch TV. Streaming video eats up more data than surfing the Internet and reading email.

Public-interest groups criticize the caps, saying they hurt innovation and make it more difficult for people to go online.

The Philadelphia company has had data caps in a small chunk of its market since 2012. In most markets, customers were charged $10 for every 50 gigabytes they went over a 300-GB limit.

Now Comcast is limiting data in a few new markets in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee and Virginia, while rolling out a $35 "unlimited" option to most of the areas that have caps.

To recap all of that, the new plan will work similarly to a cell phone data plan. Users will have a 300-GB limit, and for ever 50 gigabytes they go over that limit, there will be $10 charge. To avoid a cap all together, or go 'unlimited', there will be a $35 surcharge.