Data caps are quickly becoming the new normal for internet service providers (ISPs). The latest company to expand its data cap program is Cox, which will levy new fees on customers in Florida and Georgia.

Cox's “trial” data cap program is being expanded from Cleveland to include its customers in Florida and Georgia. Under the data cap program, customers who exceed 1TB of data in a month will be charged $10 for each 50GB of data consumed over the limit. One small mercy is the two-bill grace period that customers in the trial areas will get.

A terabyte isn't a very tight data cap, but the Cox program is just one more sign that data caps are becoming universal. Cox's program is just a “trial,” but if you think it won't eventually affect all of Cox's customers, then I've got a bridge I'd like to sell you.

Data caps are no fun for customers, but there are other reasons to be concerned about their expansion. For one thing, data caps can be abused to circumvent net neutrality. By exempting certain services and websites from their data caps, ISPs can violate net neutrality and create a less competitive streaming landscape.