Like it or not, you’re going to have a hard time escaping the clutches of landline internet data caps. Cox has expanded its trial 1TB data caps from Cleveland to include customers in Florida and Georgia. Once a two-bill grace period expires, you’ll have to pay $10 for every 50GB of data you consume over the limit. You’ll start getting warnings if you reach 85 percent of your cap. It’s not clear if or when Cox will expand the trial or make it permanent, but it won’t be shocking if it becomes a mainstay.
At the moment, 1TB is par for the course among numerous US internet providers, and relatively roomy. About 99 percent of customers are on plans that meet their needs, Cox claims. The problem, as always, is that caps can easily be anti-competitive. Telecoms can use caps to steer heavy users toward conventional TV services, or exempt their own internet services to discourage you from using competing offerings. Also, there’s the simple matter of future-proofing. A 1TB cap seems like a lot now, but it could be a problem a few years from now when you’re regularly streaming 4K video, downloading extra-large games or backing up your entire PC.