In an era when many internet and wireless providers are suspending data limits, Cox Communications is throttling entire neighborhoods over a single heavy user.
As unprecedented numbers of individuals have been forced to work from home as a result of the pandemic, many internet and wireless companies have signed on to the FCC’s “Keep Americans Connected Pledge,” agreeing not to terminate services for customers impacted by the current economic climate.
At least one internet service provider is taking it even further, completely ending data caps permanently. Antietam Broadband made the decision based on the information it gathered about usage trends during the pandemic, ensuring its customers have the access they need, regardless of the circumstances.
Then there’s Cox Communications. According to Ars Technica, the company recently sent out an email to one of its customers saying that upload speeds for the entire neighborhood would be reduced from 35 to 10Mbps—as a result of that one individual’s usage.
While the customer in question is admittedly a heavy internet user, accounting for anywhere from 8 to 12TB of data a month, his usage has been steady for the past four years. Cox only started making an issue of it in mid-May, however, going so far as to threaten service termination. As someone who works from home, the individual was paying $50 a month extra specifically to have “unlimited data.” What’s more, he intentionally has his scheduled backups and information sharing, which accounts for the vast majority of his usage, scheduled to occur between 1AM and 8AM, a time when most networks experience far less traffic.
It’s safe to say, unlike Antietam Broadband and many other providers, Cox isn’t likely to win any customer loyalty or customer service awards with these tactics.