Xfinity Data Caps Return with a wrinkle

Discussion in 'Cable TV Discussion' started by grover517, Jul 1, 2020.

  1. Jul 1, 2020 #1 of 22
    grover517

    grover517 AllStar

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    I took a look this morning and sure enough, the data usage meter is again active on my Xfinity Blast internet account with one minor change.

    Appears they upped my cap to 1.2TB (1229GB). Not a huge amount but may be enough to allow us a bit more breathing room each month. Surprised there was no announcement.

    I am in Michigan so YMMV.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2020
  2. Jul 1, 2020 #2 of 22
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    xfinity12gb.png
    Announcement:
    Xfinity Data Usage Center

    It looks like I lost a courtesy month on the usage page ... this said two previously.
    "You have 1 courtesy month to exceed a 1229GB of usage without charge."

    Also on that page:
    "We’re currently updating the usage meter to include data usage over the past few months. Don’t worry, you won’t be charged for any overages that occurred from March 13 through June 30. Effective July 1, we made a few changes to our data plans, including a new data threshold of 1.2TB."
    I hope they do report the past few months ... it will give me an idea of how much I used. I continue to be a "work at home" person due to COVID restrictions where I work and probably will for the foreseeable future.
     
  3. Jul 2, 2020 #3 of 22
    grover517

    grover517 AllStar

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    Yeah, they reset the 2 months to 1 every 12 months from now on as well as raised the cap to 1.2TB. Everyone got their free overage months reset regardless of when or whether you had used your 2 overage months before.

    They also made changes to the unlimited where those renting a gateway will now pay 25.00 a month, now called Xfi Complete, up from 20.00 and those using their own modems will pay 30.00 a month, down from 50.00. These changes are now available on ALL tiers as well, not just Extreme and above like it was before. I have to admit, 50 a month for unlimited wasn't going to happen but 30.00 a month may just get me to bite, at least for a few months out of the year when we have been binge watching more than normal.

    As for the data usage stats, I have heard they are going to post those missing stats at some point. I am also interested in just how much I used when I wasn't thinking about the caps.
     
  4. Jul 2, 2020 #4 of 22
    WestDC

    WestDC Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    With everyone @ Home --we ran out of TP --But some how we never ran out of internet --Perhaps Proving DATA CAPS are just what they always were --REVENUE gouging
     
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  5. Jul 2, 2020 #5 of 22
    espaeth

    espaeth AllStar

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    I don't feel like this rate structure is terrible; maybe it's because I see our billing for enterprise bandwidth for a few thousand locations and home broadband seems insanely cheap by comparison. This seems like a pretty straight-forward proposal though: want to use more bandwidth than the average subscriber? Pay more than the average subscriber. Not an egregious amount, we're talking $25-30/mo.

    Look at pricing structures like AWS egress bandwidth pricing - current rates in most regions are $0.09/GB for consumption under 10TB/mo.

    So the base Comcast 1229GB "data plan" usage allotment would cost $110.52/mo at AWS. That's for bandwidth delivered using cheap commodity Ethernet transport hardware in a handful of data centers with massive pipes, in a marketplace where AWS has to compete with other massive cloud providers like Google and Microsoft.

    For an additional $25-$30/mo (xFi advantage vs normal unlimited add-on) you get an unmetered amount of bandwidth consumable at your house. That doesn't seem like such a bad deal to me.
     
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  6. Jul 3, 2020 #6 of 22
    grover517

    grover517 AllStar

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    I agree with the premise that for heavy users, they are fair game for a surcharge.

    With that said, the way they were marketing it previously made it clearly an intentionally designed surcharge to not only upsell speed tiers (it was only available on Extreme and higher) but a way to try and entice many to ditch their owned modems/gateways and rent theirs where one is always prone to rental rate increases. So in that sense, it was seen as more of a money grab than a true data usage surcharge.

    The new policy where they raised their caps a bit (should have been a bit more in my opinion), making the price for Xfinity Complete/Unlimited Data nearly the same cost for everyone regardless of whether they used their own modems or not and making it available on all tiers instead of just Extreme and above, now makes it more what it should of been in the beginning, which was an unlimited data surcharge fee and not a way to upsell speed tiers when it's not needed just to get unlimited data or discourage private modem use.
     
  7. Jul 3, 2020 #7 of 22
    NR4P

    NR4P Dad

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    AWS is a completely different business model. They don't have a customer service call center like Xfinity, stores like Xfinity, and if your service is out completely, will send a truck to your house. Most times for no charge.

    Not a fan of Xfinity but I agree some announcements could have been made. And a positive twist, is that everyone got a 20% bump for no-charge. They missed a chance to control the message so its coming off as a negative by some.
     
  8. Jul 3, 2020 #8 of 22
    krel

    krel New Member

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    data caps are nothing more than greed. and now they might want you to rent there modem for unlimited talk about gouging..
     
  9. Jul 8, 2020 #9 of 22
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Xfinity updated my data usage for the past three months ...

    January
    01/01/2020 - 01/31/2020 258 GB
    February
    02/01/2020 - 02/29/2020 268 GB
    March
    03/01/2020 - 03/31/2020 116 GB <<< This only refects half of the month
    April
    04/01/2020 - 04/30/2020 337 GB
    May
    05/01/2020 - 05/31/2020 459 GB
    June
    06/01/2020 - 06/30/2020 599 GB

    June was the heaviest month and the time my wife spent the most time at home. My usage since March has been about the same each week.
     
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  10. 1948GG

    1948GG Icon

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    As we should all know, the cablecos internet will be getting a national competitor a year or so from now (Starlink). The price/speed has been somewhat announced as 100Mb/s @ $80/month.

    Interestingly, before the covid pause, I was on the residential 'blast' tier (100/5) @ ~$120/month with leased docsis3.1 modem, which was $70 ($55+$15) + $50/unlimited. After covid they dropped the base price to $55 plus $25 for 'xfi' level which bundled the modem with unlimited. So the monthly price is now (roll the drums) $80.

    If anyone doesn't see the correlation there, they're blind. The only difference is the upstream speed, where Starlink is hitting 35Mb/s in very early beta, whereas comcast/xfinity is at 5Mb/s. Who wants to take the bet that in some 6 months or so they will crank that up to something like 20+Mb/s?

    Now I'm way out in the sticks in southern Washington State, a primary focus of Starlink initial rollout; the fact I have Comcast is why I chose to live here after retirement five years ago, and their local footprint barely reaches about 1 mile in any direction, with their fiber to coax terminal some 350ft from my home. (We have 1Gbit/35M service available for those who want to pay for it).

    Will I jump ship when Starlink becomes available, or will Comcast drop their prices again to compete? We shall see.
     
  11. dtv757

    dtv757 Icon

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    Wish more areas had FTTH so no one has to suffer with awful cable broadband

    At least with tv most have an option for DirecTV or dish.

    Also I feel there should not be limits on residential wired broadband, but excessive users (like 80TB monthly ) should be on SMB/enterprise pricing .



    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
     
  12. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset DBSTalk Club

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    Starlink is all about the future and theoretical performance and not much on deliverables. There remains much to be seen about how well it performs under load and whether the company can resist the temptation to overload it.

    I haven't seen any mention of how much this self-pointing satellite antenna setup is going to cost but that may also come into play value-wise.
     
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  13. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    The nice thing about LEO is all you have to do is point up. Starlink is not the precision aiming of ka or the less precision aiming of DBS. It is more like the aiming of SiriusXM.
     
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  14. 1948GG

    1948GG Icon

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    The 'over subscribe' comment is pretty moot, as Musk came at the base problem with LEO constellations from the right angle, unlike previous and other current attempts: get the launch vehicle costs and reusability solved (and have it running as a stand-alone profit making piece) before starting to toss the sats up. With launches hitting every couple weeks (and the sats themselves rolling out off the assembly line at 120/month and probably much more pretty easily), the 40k+ that is the current goal, just how many sats will be overhead for just about any point on habitable earth. And just how much throughput per satellite there is with the current ver1 and what might be achievable with follow-on versions. In looking at the four (there is a fifth I need to get to but its 250+ miles away) uplink earth stations that are multiple antennas fed by some of the highest capacity fiber that runs through my state. I think we will see just how much the minimal array will take when it gets into public beta, maybe a good idea even with closed beta. There's a lot of folks out there who can hammer the thing.

    Pretty easy to ramp up capacity even if they eventually need more than the 40k, although it's going to take a while to get there. Terminal cost? How much are cable modems? Current price of an Arris docsis3.1 on Amazon is $300, if the 'ufo on a stick' is $1k, and the service cost is $80/month, folks in the rural areas of this country will cause a stampeed to get it. Starlink sees this with its FCC request for 5M units, up from the 1M original batch, and this will be for the 'public' beta testing.

    I remember the initial roll-out of DirecTV receivers in 1994; I was lucky enough to be running teams of installers rehabbing central offices (analog to digital switch transitions) in indiana at the time when RCA was just starting to sell units in 3 or so cities, one if them being Indianapolis. I jumped in my truck and I had to drive to 3 different stores (out of stock at the first two) before I got a reciever/dish set. Dropped off at ups to send home, couple weeks later had it set up and was close to the first unit in Texas to be turned up.

    When the system goes live for regular folks, maybe mid-2021, don't be standing in the doorway of a best buy, especially in the more rural or near-total areas, if they limit terminal sales to minimal areas just like rca did with directv way back when.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
  15. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset DBSTalk Club

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    Up to the point that all of the factors that can impact reception and how much they impact reception are known, the basic model of interleaving satellites may not take everything into account. How Starlink performs under load surely has of dependencies that reason hasn't had to address yet. Business plans only take so much physics, geography and meteorology into account. There's always some numb-nut that has a 3 degree view of the sky (probably through a skylight) that is going to be whining about the fact that the satellites aren't substantially blocking out the Sun.

    Statistically, there's always going to be a much larger percentage of the satellites over surfaces of the Earth that aren't inhabitable than over areas where the service is desired.

    Think about how much an in-motion satellite dish for TV reception costs if you're looking for a starting point on installation costs. No, we're not talking about self-configuring dishes here like the Tailgater or Carry-Out. These dishes either need to be mechanically or electronically (beam forming?) aimed to live track the available satellites. If they didn't have to beam a signal back at the satellite (or a different satellite that is just coming into view), it would be much easier, but that's not how Starlink is supposed to work. Economies of scale should bring it way down but I reason that could still easily be in the hundreds of dollars.
     
  16. 1948GG

    1948GG Icon

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    The subscriber dish is mostly electronically beam steerable, the mechanicable portion is there because in the early stages of rollout the number of observable sats is somewhat minimal, and a good portion if the time they are much closer to the horizon, but that will improve as launches increase. If I can get my brain working in the next few days I'll get a good idea in how many sats it will take to achieve x number overhead; of course, initially they are putting them into orbits that serve the northern US and southern Canada (there is a press release that specifies something like 45deg to 53deg latitude approx) so it's a pretty thin slice of the planet, and with only a bit over 1k sats (coming up quickly). There are some good reviews up on youtube where folks with a bit more info who have crunched the numbers that may be close to reality. But it will be interesting even at the minimal sats to see as the constellation increases what happens to the throughput even as the beta users increase.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
  17. krel

    krel New Member

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    id'e be curious to see what the dish and modem is going to run for price wise as i woudl take that into consideration as well.
     
  18. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset DBSTalk Club

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    I suspect this is a false statement.

    Because Starlink is a two-way service, it pretty much has to be targeting a satellite with a relatively narrow beam to transmit. You can't just wide choke a microwave uplink beam and hope to cover most of the sky such that the signal could be picked up 273 miles away. Such a scheme would subject all satellites in a particular "sky" to the signals of all users under that "sky". I expect that the beaming will have to be relatively precise; especially as the density goes up.
     
  19. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    LEOs move. The dish installed for Starlink isn't going to have motorized tracking where it is following one satellite until it follows another satellite with the dish panning the sky 24/7 trying to follow a signal. This isn't a in motion vehicle system trying to lock on to a geosynchronous satellite. For the most part it is the opposite - a stationary dish trying to lock on to multiple moving satellites. Physically the dish is aimed at the sky - the internal electronics take care of the tracking and phased array electronic aiming.

    SiriusXM is receive only - but the aiming is the same. Put the antenna in a place with a clear view of the sky. Sirius has moving satellites and XM has stationary satellites so there is some difference. The point is precision aiming is not needed.
     
  20. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset DBSTalk Club

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    I can accept that careful aiming by the installer isn't required but that's a long way from being something you can just lay on a roof and connect a small coax to your radio.

    If you look at the low-profile in-motion systems that use beam forming, they're a couple orders of magnitude more expensive than a Sirius or XM antenna. One example of a beam forming antenna currently used in two-way satellite Internet communications is the Cobham Explorer 510 and it has an MSRP of just under $2,300. It uses L-band geo satellites so it perhaps isn't as sophisticated as a Starlink antenna would need to be.
     

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