Mediacom is moving its existing Internet residential customers to new broadband allowance plans beginning next month.
The monthly data allowances by service tier will be grouped in to five levels. The allowances already have been rolled out to new customers and existing customers who opted in.
Existing customers that are not in an allowance plan are now subject to a 250 gigabyte per month cap on their broadband service. With the new plan, Mediacom will eliminate caps, said Thomas Larsen, group vice president of legal and public affairs for Mediacom in Middletown, N.Y.
Larsen said three percent of Mediacom’s 950,000 Internet customers nationwide will be affected by the changes. Mediacom, Iowa’s largest cable provider, has 450,000 customers in Iowa.
Mediacom’s Always Faster Internet customers’ median monthly data usage is under 14 GB per month, according to the company.
The charges are intended to pay for the cost of network upgrades to individuals who are the highest users, Larsen said.
“The change will be a non-event for the vast majority of our Internet customers,” Larsen said.
For the first month, customers will not be charged if they exceed their allowance.
“Once a customer reaches their monthly allowance, they’re able to purchase additional capacity — for $10 they can purchase an additional 50 GB a month of capacity,” he said. “Each time that they reach that next level, they’ll be able to purchase another allotment.”
Customers will receive email notifications as they are approaching their allotment, he said. Customers also will be able to access their usage online through a meter.
“We’re never going to stop you from using data, we’re just going to charge you more if you exceed your monthly allowance,” Larsen said. “Before, we could cap you, there was no mechanism for them to purchase more.”