Comcast usage soars 34% to 200GB a month, pushing users closer to data cap

Cable companies can save money now that DOCSIS 3.1 upgrade is mostly done

Enlarge / A Comcast van in Sunnyvale, California, in November 2018. (credit: Getty Images | Andrei Stanescu)

Cable-company spending on network equipment is dropping as major providers like Comcast and Charter finish up their nationwide DOCSIS 3.1 rollouts.

Equipment vendors that sell to cable companies such as Arris/CommScope and Casa Systems are reporting drops in cable-related revenue. Light Reading detailed the situation this week:

Total cable access network-related revenues plummeted 38 percent in Q1 2019, to $275 million, versus the year-ago period, driven by a “strong slowdown” on capacity purchases by MSOs and an ongoing delay in deployments of new distributed access architectures, according to new data from Dell’Oro.

Cable access network spending is known to be lumpy, “but not to this extreme,” said Jeff Heynen, Dell’Oro’s research director, broadband access and home networking. He said he doesn’t recall seeing revenues in this segment of the market reach drop

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Charter squeezes more money out of Internet users with new cancellation policy

Charter squeezes more money out of Internet users with new cancellation policy

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Sean Gladwell)

Charter is making it more expensive to cancel its Spectrum Internet service, as it will begin charging customers for the full month after they cancel instead of providing a prorated final bill.

Charter broke the news to customers in the fine print of their latest billing statements. Stop the Cap reported the change yesterday, and we were able to confirm it on the May billing statement received by an Ars staffer in Texas who subscribes to a triple-play package with Spectrum TV, phone, and Internet service.

“Effective on or after June 23, 2019 and consistent with the Terms and Conditions of Service, Spectrum will no longer provide a pro rata credit for services sold on a monthly basis that are cancelled prior to the end of the current billing month,” the notice to customers says.

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Charter data use “rising rapidly” as cord cutters average 400GB a month

Charter data use “rising rapidly” as cord cutters average 400GB a month

Enlarge / A Charter Spectrum vehicle. (credit: Charter)

Charter cable Internet customers who don’t subscribe to Charter’s TV service are using an average of more than 400GB of data a month, the company said yesterday.

While Charter doesn’t impose data caps on its Spectrum Internet service, the newly released stat helps illustrate how ditching cable TV and relying on streaming services can push customers closer to incurring data overage fees. Comcast and other ISPs impose monthly caps of 1TB.

“The demand for both speed and throughput on our network continues to increase,” Charter CEO Tom Rutledge told investors in an earnings call yesterday. “Monthly data usage by our residential Internet customers is rising rapidly and monthly median data usage is over 200GB per customer. When you look at average monthly usage for customers that don’t subscribe to our traditional video product, usage climbs to over 400GB per month, which

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