According to Cox’s website, “data usage is the total amount of data transferred between your device and the Internet”. All of Cox’s high-speed Internet packages now offer at least a terabyte of data usage per month, Truxillo said, and only about two percent of customers manage to consume more than that amount. If customers go over the limit, they’ll have to pay $10 for every 50 GB they go over.
Cox said the plan provides enough data is enough to watch 140 two-hour high-definition movies, 300 30-minute standard-definition TV shows, 1,500 three-minute videos, surf the Web for 3,000 hours and listen to 30,000 songs that are four minutes long in one month. The typical household uses about a quarter of a terabyte per month, said Sharon S. Truxillo, a Cox spokesperson.
The change begins in July for Arizona Cox customers. Customers should get an email alert once their usage reaches 85 percent of a terabyte.
Cox hasn’t announced pricing on its coming unlimited plan.
The data cap was first rolled out in Ohio, Florida and Georgia last year, then six other cities or states early this year.
As cable cutting continues to become more widespread, internet service providers (ISPs) have begun clamping down on data usage and net neutrality in efforts to regulate new consumer behaviors.
In a statement, Cox says in part, “By the year 2020, Americans are expected to have an average of 50 devices connected to the internet”.
Consumer Reports noted that most internet service companies, including AT&T, CenturyLink and Comcast are capping data usage and making customers who exceed set amounts pay more.
As for why the data cap is taking effect, Truxillo said “trends”, rather than cost-of-service, are driving the decision to charge for excessive data usage. Now, Cox subscribers in Arizona, Louisiana, Las Vegas, and Oklahoma will be faced with the same fee for heavy data usage.
Cox spokesman Steve Sawyer said customers are being notified now, but the changes will be implemented in September and reflected on October bills.
While 1TB might sound like plenty of data, many users have work or personal needs which can easily use up over a terabyte each month. On the bright side, Cox Communications said it will not throttle download speeds, so at least its customers do not have to worry about that.