Comcast Stream Use Won't Apply to Customer Data Caps

Customers who get Comcast's new Internet-only video streaming can use it without being affected by any monthly cable download limits.

Comcast Stream, streaming video, broadband, ISP, cable Internet, data caps

Comcast's recently launched streaming video service, Stream, can be used as much as desired by customers without its use counting against any monthly download caps that might be applicable to their traditional broadband accounts.

Comcast recently clarified its policy that gives customers unlimited use of Stream without affecting their cable download usage, according to a Nov. 19 story by TheNextWeb. When using Stream, Comcast customers will be able to view as much content as they wish to see, with no arbitrary limits.

Because of data download caps Comcast does use for customers, some critics said that the service wouldn't be very useful because it would allow only limited use until those caps were reached.

The company has since discounted those criticisms, saying that the $15 a month Stream service is not considered part of its broadband services but is "an IP cable service delivered over our managed network to the home," the article reported.

Stream, which was announced in July and was launched in Boston earlier in November, lets subscribers receive a package of live television stations using their cable Internet connections.

The fledgling service was beta-tested in Boston and is expanding to Chicago this week, according to an earlier eWEEK story. The Stream service works without a television or cable box, instead bringing a live video stream directly to a customer's in-home devices over the Internet via a cable modem.

Comcast plans to expand Stream to Seattle this year and then to the rest of the nation by early 2016 wherever Comcast Xfinity is available. Interested customers can email Comcast to find out when Stream will be available where they live.

Customers will be able to subscribe to the service when it becomes available by signing up online and downloading an app, without the need for a visit from a Comcast technician.

Stream is an Internet-only service and is not connected to Comcast's cable television services, which remain separate. It's essentially a "skinny bundle" service, which means it offers prospective customers a smaller-scale channel selection for a lower price than traditional larger cable channel packages, according to the Comcast spokesperson.

Among the channels to be included in Stream are network programming from ABC, CBS, CW, Fox, NBC, PBS, Telemundo, Univision, HBO and local channels where a subscriber lives.

The streaming video business online is expanding rapidly as more players push their content online and seek customers to buy it. The idea of cutting the cord to cable TV offerings and replacing it with targeted streaming video options has been growing with more and more households and users across the nation.