Comcast CEO Brian Roberts. (credit: Business Insider)

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts defended his company's much-criticized data caps yesterday, saying that consumers should pay for Internet access based on how much data they use, just like they do with gas or electricity.

"Just as with every other thing in your life, if you drive 100,000 miles or 1,000 miles you buy more gasoline. If you turn on the air conditioning to 60 vs. 72 you consume more electricity," Roberts said. "The same is true for [broadband] usage." Cellular data is already billed this way, "the more bits you use, the more you pay," he said. So why not cable Internet, too?

Roberts was being interviewed by Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget at the publication's Ignition conference. (Video is available here.)

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