While they have, in past years, enjoyed glorious recognitino such as the iconic "Worst Company in America" award, Comcast isn't letting its data-caps go away anytime soon, and while they have raised some of their caps in some markets, it's apparent the motive of the entire movement is far from bandwidth-related.
Last month, Comcast stopped kicking around the idea of data caps and instead pushed it into high gear, launching the capped services in various test markets, with limits ranging from 300GB to 600GB. The caps, designed to help quell bandwidth usage with their customers, seems to be suicidal from a customer service perspective, but isn't stopping the company. In fact, and perhaps even worse, other companies are considering it too. While several more test markets are beginning the data cap services for Comcast, other companies, like Time Warner, are also committing trials on the data cap service, offering customers discounts in return for testing the service. The customer backlash doesn't seem to be enough for the companies to stop, and instead the idea of spreading to various cable operators all over the country.
With some markets, such as mobile, data caps make perfect sense. When AT&T ended its unlimited data (and Verizon & T-Mobile soon followed suit) during the summer of last year, nobody was surprised. In Europe, data caps long existed and continue to as mobile data is, compared to regular old bandwidth, extreme expensive. With the advent of 4G LTE, the cost isn't going down any time soon either, as this requires (yet) another nationwide upgrade, and each of the various carriers are not shareing their bandwidth. As a result, this new services is very expensive, and makes sense to be capped to offer light users better rates and fairly charge heavy users. In the world of home internet, however, this is a very different story.
Compared to the wireless world, bandwidth is getting cheaper, not more expensive. Surprisingly, supply and demand dicattes as the pipe widens, the product gets less expensive, and this is exactly what's happening. Time Warner and Comcast are not increasing prices and setting caps because they can't handle the bandwidth. The reason, unfortunately, is much simpler: Netflix, and money. In the case of Comcast, they want to deter usage of heavy-bandwidth online video services like Netflix and Amazon Instant Videos, as they have their own stake in VOD through NBCUniversal, Hulu, and their other various properties. Money, meanwhile, is a very obvious motive: Why not nickle and dime customers to make more revenue? It may not be very enjoyable, but it's an ever-present fact in the world of telecom.
In the end, pitchfork in hand or not, you should be angry about this. Sadly, the issues of the telecom world and its various cartels are not solved in a day. For now, the best you can do is cross your fingers and pray Google Fiber is coming to your neighborhood.