By Jon Delano


PITTSBURGH (KDKA)- Some remember when television was free through home antennas. Then, cable television came with lots of choices, but a monthly fee. Now, many Americans download or stream video to their iPads, laptops, and smart phones.

“It’s more convenient, it’s faster, a click of the button, you don’t have to wait — when you’re done doing what you’re doing — you just download it and it’s there for you,” said Oakland-native Brendan Dazan.

Elizabeth Remark said that downloading or streaming television onto a device is simply easier and more convenient.

“Sometimes it’s easier to watch it on that because you can put it on any device.  You don’t have to have a certain — you don’t have to be on the TV.”

But, every time people download or stream from YouTube, Netflix, Hulu and countless other sources, date is being used. Unlike the wireless companies, cable companies do not charge for that data usage. However,  that could change.

A growing number of customers are canceling their cable subscriptions and going online to download their video. That’s why companies like Comcast are exploring in other cities ways in which to charge for that data usage, depending on how much data you download.

In a few cities like Nashville and Atlanta and states like Florida, Comcast has introduced usage-based pricing. If more than 300 GB of data is used, customers will pay $10 for every 50 additional GB.

Paige Beal, professor at Point Park University, told Money Editor John Delano that she used to work for Comcast and said cable companies want to charge for GBs.

“They’re trying to replicate what the wireless world has, which is if you go over your limit in your phone, you can upgrade your package.

Only eight-percent of users go over 300 GBs and Comcast says there’s no plan to bring these charges to Pittsburgh, but Beal predicts it’s coming.

“It’s breaking apart the original model of how people watch TV, and the result is I think the consumer is going to pay.”

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