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Watch for overages: Sparklight puts back on the data cap

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If you use Sparklight for home internet – and you’ve been chewing up more bandwidth working from home – watch your bill.

We told you in March that Sparklight – formerly CableOne – suspended its data cap policy. That meant folks who moved their offices home, or who have kids doing remote schooling, wouldn’t have to pay overage fees.

But the company ended the unlimited party. After extending it through June 22nd, the data caps are back on. That means if you go over the bandwidth cap on your plan, you’ll pay extra.

[Boise company hopes to help make home Wi-Fi work better]

Sparklight’s data caps vary from 350 gigabytes per month up to 1.2 terraybytes per month, depending on how much you pay. The company slightly increased the caps this summer.

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If you go over your bucket of data usage, Sparklight will add a $10 fee for an extra 100 GB of data. But watch out – if the overage happens late in your billing cycle, you might pay the $10 with just a day or two left to use it. The extra data you pay for expires as soon as the billing cycle ends.

Some internet service providers, like Comcast, also have a data cap, but set it at 1.2 terrabytes per month, no matter what service level a customer pays for. Sparklight owns a series of cable and broadband systems across the country. It primarily serves smaller markets like Boise where competition is less intense. According to a 2019 report, Sparklight charges more on average for home Internet than any of its peers.

The other main home broadband company in the Boise area, CenturyLink, has a data cap sitting at 1 terrabyte, significantly above Sparklight’s most common plans.

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Don Day
Don is the founder and editor of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow.

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