SPRINGFIELD — City Councilor Jesse Lederman is urging Comcast to reconsider a planned cap on home internet usage, saying it poses a hardship during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The internet has become an essential utility for individuals, families, and businesses,” Lederman said in a news release. “Residents should not be nickel and dimed in the wake of a global health pandemic as they attempt to access education, conduct commerce, and participate in government.”
Comcast/Xfinity announced recently that, beginning in January, it will cap home internet usage in the Northeast, including in Massachusetts, for those who are not subscribed to one of its unlimited internet plans.
Anyone who uses more than 1.2 terabytes of data a month will be charged $10 per additional 50 gigabytes of data up to $100. The company said 1.2 terabytes represents about 500 hours, or more than 20 days, of high-definition television.
Lederman said he sent a letter to the president of Comcast’s Northeast Division objecting to the cap.
“Public reports indicate that bandwidth has not been challenged even at the height of the pandemic, though many families are feeling the pinch economically,” Lederman said in his letter. “An increased internet bill when many families are facing fixed needs with regard to internet access adds up.”
Lederman said he has heard from residents prior to COVID-19 with concerns about rising costs of internet access.
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