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Comcast winds down quarantine benefits with new data plans

This means it will no longer be suspending data caps for internet users.

Comcast, the largest internet provider in the Twin Cities, will start winding down its quarantine benefits this summer. 

In March, Comcast, like other providers, pledged to suspend its data caps and not cut off internet service, among other benefits, amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

"We have worked hard to keep all our customers connected during the coronavirus pandemic and will continue to do so by offering extended payment options and adjusting services and packages to meet customers’ budgets," Comcast said Wednesday while announcing its new data plans, which begin this month. 

Comcast is increasing its data plans to 1.2 terabytes each month and lowering its prices, noting about 95 percent of customers will not use all the data that's available to them – even during the pandemic when people are streaming, video calling and using residential internet a lot more. It is also lowering the price of its unlimited data plans.

It also means data overage charges are coming back, but not until August or September, depending on a customer's billing cycle.

Comcast is keeping some of the things it offered during the pandemic, at least for the time being. It says it will allow anyone to use its public WiFi hotspots for free through 2020, something it opened to everyone when stay-at-home orders went into place. 

It is also continuing to provide 60 days of free internet service to new, eligible customers through the end of the year. 

Some other internet providers say they'll continue to suspend their data caps for a little longer. 

The Pioneer Press reports CenturyLink, Comcast's biggest competitor in the Twin Cities, won't charge customers for going over their data plans through Aug. 1. 

AT&T will waive overages for most customers through Sept. 30, PC World reports.

Mediacom Communications has extended its pandemic benefits through the July and August billing cycles, Lightreading.com states.

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