The most controversial part of this change will likely be the company's reasoning; Comcast says they hope the restrictions will help customers "conserve data." .
Customers can reach out to Comcast and request to be upgraded to 720p for free (Comcast is marketing this as a way to help people use less data and save on their monthly bills) but it will eventually transition to a paid upgrade later in the year. First, it will start holding back video quality to 480p for both its pay per GB and unlimited plans. That doesn't mean you'll never have the option of 720p mobile video streaming...you'll just have to pay more to access it. Some of Verizon's and AT&T's unlimited plans include resolution throttling to 480p. Therefore, Comcast may be looking to reduce its payments to Verizon by throttling users' video speeds and personal hotspot connections.
"It's important to note that this change won't impact video resolution when using Wi-Fi, where customers will continue to be able to stream in HD", Comcast pointed out.
One Comcast customer forwarded the email to Ars, and there's also a Reddit thread discussing the email.
Xfinity Mobile from Comcast launched a year ago, and now the wireless operator is making some big changes.
"If you have the Unlimited data option, your speeds on any device connected to a personal hotspot will not exceed 600kbps", Comcast told customers.
These changes will be rolling out over the coming weeks, according to Comcast.
The service now defaults all video to 480p resolution when streaming over cellular data.
For By the Gig customers: hotspot data remains at full speed and is charged as such.
Spectrum Mobile offers two plans: an unlimited data option for $45/month, or a by-the-gig approach for $14 per gigabyte (GB) of data, per month. At this speed, you'll conserve data so that it takes longer to reach the 20 GB threshold but you'll still be able to do numerous online activities you enjoy.
In addition, Comcast says it'll begin slowing down speeds on your Wi-Fi hotspot if you're subscribed to the $45/month unlimited plan to 600kbps. The By the Gig data option will continue to deliver 4G speeds for all data traffic.