Welcome to the terabyte: What does Cox’s new data-usage Internet plan mean for you?


Nevadans don’t like limits. And that’s how they’re translating Cox Communications’ new data-usage Internet plan, now implemented in the Las Vegas market. We parsed the policy, and despite online fuming, there actually isn’t much to fret about—for now.

The nuts and bolts: There’s no actual limit to data usage. But if you don’t want to face a $10 surcharge for each additional 50 GB block of data—which begins with the October billing cycle—you’ll have to come in under your plan’s monthly allotment of one terabyte, or 1,000 gigabytes. That should ease some concern, given that 1 TB equals about 341 hours of high-definition Netflix viewing or 30,000 song streams, and that only 2 percent of Cox users currently cross the 1 TB threshold.

Why the change? Public perception is that Cox is reacting to cord cutters who are swapping cable plans for a la carte streaming subscriptions. Company spokesman Juergen Barbusca maintains that two trends prompted the change: Internet usage doubling every two years and an increase in connected devices per household. “It’s a change, but a change that’s not that unusual when you look at other providers,” Barbusca says, referencing cellular and other cable companies that employ similar policies.

How do users avoid surpassing 1 TB?

Monitor data usage by visiting (you’ll need to log in) or downloading the Cox Connect mobile app. Cox says it will notify users who approach 85 and 100 percent of their allotment. Also, customers might want to check for malware, outdated security software and an unsecured wifi network, all potential data gobblers.

Alternatives: Competitors include and CenturyLink, though users have vented about the latter’s reliability and accessibility on social media. Cox has also announced an unlimited data plan for later this year. As our usage increases, hopefully it won’t mean our bills will, too.

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