Imagine you are streaming your favorite TV show and suddenly you get a notification from your ISP that you have run out of your monthly data cap. You have just signed up for the provider a month ago and you were not even aware that your plan had a fixed monthly data. You have two choices, either to buy more data or switch your internet service provider.
Many providers in the US have data caps. These data caps are usually not specified and to be honest, customers rarely inquire much about the service. As a result, the chances of data running out are quite possible.
Does CenturyLink have a data cap? Can you get unlimited data with AT&T? We came up with a comprehensive guide on internet service provider data caps. Why do they exist? What are the different data caps for all the major internet service providers? How can you save your monthly data?
Without further ado, let’s begin:
Why do internet providers have data caps?
In this pandemic, we all were forced to stay at our homes. Our study rooms became our workstations and work from home became a necessity. Since our sole entertainment was through the internet, the burden on the internet service providers grew even larger. Therefore, internet outages are quite common in these dark times.
Back in the past, internet providers knew that they have to find a way to control this ever-increasing surge in internet traffic. Our smart devices, TVs, laptops, tablets, and home appliances require an internet connection. If the internet is left open, then a lot of people might not get the service like others. To address this disparity, FCC came up with the idea of a fair usage policy. According to this policy, every consumer must have fair usage every month according to the limit set by the provider. This paved way to make the internet more accessible and this is the reason why internet providers have data caps.
Internet Providers and their data caps
We will review all the major providers operating in the US and their data caps one by one. Without further ado, let’s begin:
CenturyLink Data Cap
Does CenturyLink have data caps? Yes, CenturyLink internet has a fixed monthly data. For most of the plans, a 1 TB data cap is in place. However, this limit is not true for Fiber internet customers, CenturyLink prism customers, and business customers. If you fall under these categories, you are not subjected to this limit and enjoy unlimited data.
What if you exceed the data cap? Currently, CenturyLink does not charge you for exceeding the monthly data. There might be a follow-up email telling you how to reduce your data consumption. It may suggest you alternate plans to accommodate your data usage.
However, you have to take these warnings seriously. CenturyLink internet service is quite radical when it comes to repeated offenses. Your internet service might get a downgrade and they can disconnect it entirely.
Spectrum Data Cap
Charter Spectrum is known for its high-speed internet powered by a network of coaxial cables. Luckily, Spectrum does not have any data limit. This means that you have unlimited monthly data to stream, download, or make the most out of your Spectrum services. This is going to stay the same for a while. Back in 2016, Charter merged with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Network. FCC approved the merger of these three providers and made it an obligation for the newly created Charter Spectrum that they couldn’t charge customers for extensive data usage and impose data caps. This has to stay this way for at least seven years. Although it is bound to change. Until then, the consumers can take full advantage of unlimited data caps on every plan.
Cox Data Cap
Cox Internet has ultra-fast download speeds for the customers. The plans are tailored with perfection and have all the high-end equipment to support fairly consistent download speeds. In the case of monthly data, it is not unlimited in its true sense. Cox offers a 1.25 TB data limit with all the internet plans. It is not possible to exceed this data in a month. But, if you are a 4K streamer and have nothing better to do than binge-watching Netflix or Prime, you can get close.
In case you do, there is a $10 charge for every 50 GB of extra data consumed. Cox has thought it all out quite well. If you think your internet consumption might cross 1 TB a month, you have bonus data plans and add-ons to help you out. An extra 500 GB will cost you over $30 or else, you can get unlimited monthly data for $49.99 per month.
AT&T Data Cap
AT&T has services in 50 states making it one of the largest providers in the country according to area coverage. Just like COX, AT&T has a data cap of 1 TB for a majority of its plans. 1 TB equals 1,000 gigabytes. In case you exceed this data, there is an overage fee of $10 for 50 GB of excessive usage. This data is more than enough for many households even if you have gamers or streamers at home.
If you exceed this data, AT&T sends a warning before charging the overage fee. This is for you to figure out what is consuming your data in case you are going over unintentionally. The only exception to this 1 TB rule is the AT&T 1000 plan. It has unlimited data. With speeds up to 1000 Mbps, you can stream, download, or play online games without having to worry about your monthly data. If you have other internet plans, you can switch to unlimited data by paying $30 on top of your monthly bill.
Xfinity Data Cap
Xfinity from Comcast has services in more than 39 states. Recently, Xfinity revised its data cap to 1.2 TB per month for all internet plans. Xfinity has a grace period. If you have exceeded your data for the first time, there are no charges. On a subsequent offense, you will be charged an overage fee. It is $10 per 50 GB.
Does CenturyLink fiber have a data cap?
No, CenturyLink fiber has unlimited data.
Does Spectrum have a data cap?
No, Spectrum has unlimited monthly data.
Does CenturyLink internet have data caps?
Yes, CenturyLink DSL internet has data caps.