How Your ISP’s Data Caps Will Kill The Cloud [Opinion]

How Your ISP’s Data Caps Will Kill The Cloud [Opinion]

Credit: David Sedlmayer, used under a Creative Commons license.

Today is the day that will bring us one step closer to the death of the cloud. That crucial new part of the internet that is gaining popularity due to the likes of Hulu, Netflix, MobileMe, DropBox, Crashplan, etc. is about to get another blow — AT&T on Monday started restricting the amount of data its millions of broadband customers are able to use in a month. Data is now restricted to as little as 150GB a month.

That isn’t good news — users should an uproar over the whole thing. It means that a large number of people using broadband in the U.S. will be severely limited in what they can do online. They might risk extra charges or even total loss of their broadband access. This comes as Apple is rumored to be on the verge of introducing a more Cloud-based model of computing for millions of customers.

The changes AT&T has made bring new monthly limits of 150 GB for DSL and 250 GB for UVerse. AT&T joins Comcast, which applied a 250 GB data cap to their broadband services several years ago. The companies claim that 99% of users won’t be affected by the data caps, but I’ve exceeded them already, just by using an online backup plan.

The changes come, as the internet sees explosive growth. The number of online services that require huge transfers of data has exploded: YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Crashplan, DropBox, and MobileMe, to name just a few.

And so have the number of devices: Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, etc. Modern homes generally have multiple devices accessing the internet, multiple users, and on demand streaming is gaining popularity as a means of watching TV on the internet instead of paying for cable.

This shift in consumer demand puts us at a crossroads. Many people like myself are considering dumping cable TV and switching to the internet. Some of my friends have already made the switch and they now access over-the-air HD TV and use their internet connection to catch their favorite TV shows, movies, etc. using services like iTunes, Hulu, Netflix on their Apple TV, Mac, iPhone, or iPad. People are also moving to cloud services on the internet like video and music streaming, cloud storage, etc. Cloud services and all the other services that originate on the internet are going to get killed or severely impacted if something isn’t done about data caps.

Comcast is my ISP and their 250 GB data limit, which they claim impacts less than 99% of their users, has already caused me some concern. You see for the first time that I can recall I consumed 200 GB of data in February, 523 GB in March, and 271 GB in April for downloads. I’ve exceeded my download cap twice in less than 12 months. The reason – I bought a subscription to CrashPlan, an online backup system.

How Your ISP’s Data Caps Will Kill The Cloud [Opinion]

It isn’t clear how Comcast will react to my circumstances. I haven’t received a letter yet from Comcast, but according to their FAQ I could loose my internet access for up to 12 months after receiving a letter and exceeding the 250 GB cap more than once or twice in a 12 month period. I didn’t intentionally mean to do exceed the limits. I was just using a service I paid for the way I’ve always used it without worrying about about data caps. I’m sure with all the expanded cloud services that I won’t be the only customer running into this same situation.

I’m writing this today on May 1st and I’ve already used 3 GB according to Comcast’s Usage History Meter — which by the way is very difficult to locate on their web page and only allows me to see the last three months. It would be nice to know my last 12 months of usage so I could plan accordingly. However, I am not sure that would help, since I don’t really have any idea about the bits flowing in and out of the various applications I use. My head spins when I think about it. I did some research and located a page that said watching Netflix, which I subscribe to, can use 3600 MB for a two-hour HD movie or 500-700M MB for an SD movie. This means that you could watch about 40 HD movies under the 250 GB cap, but then you’d have nothing or little left over for the rest of the internet usage in your household. I guess I could research the usage for every application I use and thinking about that gives me a headache.

In my opinion both AT&T and Comcast have one thing in mind and one thing only they want to control who I get my content from and if it is from someone else then they want to limit how much I can get from them.  I’ll have to think twice before I stream my next HD video from Netflix which is probably exactly what Comcast wants. Comcast would prefer that I spend money on their video services like Comcast’s On Demand rather than Netflix, Hulu, or iTunes.

I think its time to convert the internet services that transmit data provided by Comcast and AT&T into utilities just like my electric company. After all, the costs for bandwidth are steadily dropping. So why haven’t I seen improvements in bandwidth, download caps, and speed? It’s probably due to the fact that companies like AT&T and Comcast spend very little on their infrastructure when you compare that expenditure to the amount of revenue they earn. If we had better infrastructure in the U.S. I’d probably be paying $.10 or less per gigabyte for my internet usage. I’m paying about that much for electricity currently per kilowatt.

Comcast offers an alternative business class service for $99 a month that doesn’t have a data cap, but it lacks speed and has features that I don’t need or want. I’m running a household after all — not a business. I’ve told Comcast that its current plans don’t meet customers needs. Especially the data caps – the world has moved on since those were implemented and 250 GB isn’t enough for people interested in cloud or media streaming services like I am.

Unfortunately, the sad fact is that as we all look to the cloud for more services, the circumstances are starting to get grim. I predict that many more of us will hit the ceiling, preventing us from using the internet as we would like too. And that my friends, is what will ultimately kill the cloud.

Who else uses more than 150GB of data a month?

Updated 05/20/2011 at 3:42 PM PDT: A request for comment has been made to Comcast, AT&T, Netflix, Hulu, CrashPlan, YouTube, Dropbox, and Apple.

  • SeanAndernacht

    You guys should feel lucky. In Canada we have Rogers, their highest usage limit is 175gb and that’s $100 a month. The lowest you can get is 2gb and that’s still $28 a month.

  • nthnm

    All of the ISPs in Canada have data caps and have ever since I can remember.

  • nthnm

    All of the ISPs in Canada have data caps and have ever since I can remember.

  • Epcjudge

    How can I complain about this?

  • araticus

    In Canada, theres numerous organizations aimed at destroying the ISP’s power here, were the CRTC (regulates our industries) is the the ISP’S back pocket. Thankfully its became a bit of an election issue (Federal election today!) and hopefully we and Americans can stop this ridiculous price gouging (especially for us – highest in the world).

    But compared to us, you guys have unbelievable internet caps – we don’t even get CLOSE to yours.

  • guest

    for the past 6 month i’ve been monitoring my usage and every month i exceed or come close to it my cap. I guess i’m one of 1% who uses 250gb or more

  • Bgrinter

    Welcome to how the rest of the world get it. We’ve always had data caps. Funnily I see our 120gb cap as quite reasonable for the price and don’t grumble, I’ve come close to exceeding it once or twice but overall I haven’t had any problems .

  • Edward Chamberlain

    150gb a month… wtf do you guys do online… we ( 3 of us) use less that 10…

  • madhatter61

    Dave you are so right on. I have a Verizon Mi-Fi device capped at 5 GB/mo for $50/mo. I don’t dare stream videos from Netfix as it would cost me a fortune. We divorced our phone Landline as we didn’t need two phone systems. Cell phone work for us (just for simple voice communications. All our data schemes are handled by our computers including the new iPad2… which clearly needs a cloud storage locker scheme… hopefully one is coming from Apple.

    I look at the carriers like I look at our Nations gasoline costs. Greedy and not caring how it impacts our lives. In today’s economies and job situations we could use some national goals that benefit the consumers … the old systems of ITC and TV, Movie comglomerates and their distribution models (DRM, etc) are really holding back wonderful developments that could otherwise be offered.

  • atimoshenko

    Well, to be fair, with electricity and water we pay per kilolitre and kilowatt, so were Internet to become a utility, we should start paying per kilobyte.

    That having been said, ISPs (just like MNOs) are some of the most, stupid, consumer-hostile businesses around so the *way* in which they are going about this is terrible, but it is their implementation of the principle that is wrong, rather than the principle itself.

  • nizy

    You think 250gb is bad? In the UK, BT recently launched it’s new high speed fibre optic broadband called BT Infinity. On the adverts and marketing materials, they promote it for HD videos, video calling, gaming, high speed downloads etc. But the limit on the cheapest package is , which is ridiculous considering those types of uses. Just 1 HD movie is likely to be about 10% of that! At least they do offer an unlimited service for and extra £10 each month, although there is still a reasonable usage clause.

    Having said that, even on the high speed network, with upto 40mbps speed, and my rather large usage, I still only get 50 to 100gb monthly usage. I would say that your backup solution or the amount of online video you watch might be excessive?

  • nizy

    Sorry the BT infinity limit is 40GB each month.

  • Clayton Zimmerman

    I have a slow connection, but no cap and it gets what I need done (albeit slowly sometimes).

  • mark reinhoudt

    250gb… man you guys and girls are lucky.

    Here in NZL I pay the equivalent of USD67.50 and get a whopping 40gb per month with 4mb download and 512 upload. Anything over 40gb costs me an additional USD1.5

    So if there is any complaining to do it is not (yet) in the USA and Canada.

  • NewMex

    Finally someone gets it. My only choice for broadband is Hughes satellite which only allows 475MB/DAY! Exceed that and you are throttled back to dial up speeds for 24 hours. Almost all iPhone updates are greater than that. Almost all magazines plus a little surfing exceed that. The people who don’t get that most of us don’t have access to large amounts of bandwidth seem to be the ones making cloud promises. It is a real limitation to those services.

  • Js0636

    Same here!

  • jimlat

    Netflix, Carbonite….

  • Ashley

    I watch all of my TV online (20+ hrs/wk), and many movies, frequently in HD, and I’ve never gone over 30MB in a month. These caps might not be enough for backups (which obviously aren’t designed to distribute their backups over time, especially the initial backup), but they’re quite adequate for media streaming. If you’re exceeding the habits of 98% of users, why shouldn’t you pay more for the privilege?

  • Jaison Green

    Over the last year I have consistantly reach 200gb+. I have exceeded 250g only once though. It is becoming a problem and I have no options. I cannot even pay more to get more bandwidth. And I dont even back up online. Reasons why I use this much bandwidth:
    - No cable TV, Hulu, Netflix WatchNow, AppleTV, Podcasts
    - two PC gamers in the house, Onlive (rarely) and game downloads via Steam.
    - Day trader, constant live data stream from NYSE
    - two home offices

  • Alex

    Why isn’t everyone screaming about this on Twitter and or Facebook? Bit’s of data are not a finite resource. It’s not like oil or water. This is an outrage as bits are virtually limitless, (and there is so much dark cable, yet unused fiber).

  • mgs911

    You guys are fortunate! I used to have unlimited data bandwidth, they lowered it to 60gb!! We gotta thank CRTC and the Big Two in Canada… and with an iPad iPhone 4 & 10 computers, you can imagine the rest over a period of 30 days!!

    P.S. Did I mention that it’s the same darn price!?

  • bojennett

    So, I’m gonna piss off all the right wingers and say… this is why the government has to own the pipes. If the car manufacturer’s were responsible for building roads in this country, we would have a lot of freeways that are currently 5 lanes in each direction instead being 2 lanes, because there is no incentive, financially to the owner of the road, to make the road wider. We would have traffic jams all over the place, but hey, you are still in your car, so the auto company, as owner of the road, still wins. (I’m not saying this because car companies are evil. I love cars!)

    As bad as things might be imagined if the government owned the pipes, the fact is they would make the pipes faster and wider and have more of them if they didn’t have to try to make a profit over every bit traveling on it.

    I’m so tired of hearing about all the capital outlay these poor, multi-billion dollar internationals have to struggle with. The “water grid”, the “electrical grid”, the “road grid”, and the “rail grid” are all “public”. Hell, even the “air grid” is public (you are licensed as to the routes and altitudes you can fly at). But the “telecom grid”? Only what AT&T, Comcat, Verizon, etc. deem appropriate to their bottom line.

  • minimalist

    Cable companies can’t have their cake and eat it too. Either they have to truly compete with other cable companies (like long distance and local providers do) or they have to subject their own on demand content to the same caps to which they subject Netflix’s, Microsoft’s, Hulu’s, Blockbuster’s, Amazon’s and Apple’s content. Or they have to get data delivery business altogether. As long as they are being given priviledged access to public rights of way and cushy monopolies by municipalities all over the country, they shouldn’t get to cap their competitor’s content while exempting their own.

    It would be like Wal-Mart owning and operating the highways and limiting the number of delivery trucks Target, Kmart and Costco could put on them each month. Anybody who thinks this is “the free market” has a severely twisted idea of what free market really means.

  • Nick Papageorge

    Okay now – you’re just using a terrible provider.

    I’m in Canada and have Telus. I pay what, $50 a month – no, less, and I’m getting 25mbps down and 2mbps up, and my data cap is over 250gb. They’ve confirmed there are no overages at this point, there is no way to track overages and I have zero concern.

    With Shaw, if there are overage issues, you can pay an extra something around $30 for another 100gb.

    We actually have it BETTER here than in the US.

    And this will all get resolved. We just need to keep our focus, keep our voice, not let up and do it reasonably and with earnest.

    It’s not like oil pricing, there’s enough of us out there that will dump our provider and all jump to the next who raise/eliminate caps.

    Can you imagine how much business the cable/phone/internet providers would get if even one of them opened up the pipes?

    Anyway, it sounds like you just need to switch providers.

  • Nick Papageorge

    Damn, under 30 megs in a month??

    That is some seriously compressed data!! ;)

    I get what you mean though.

    But you’re wrong. You’re batting in the wrong corner, and just because YOU aren’t exceeding your limits, doesn’t mea you’re the norm.

    Who cares if you don’t? Enough people do. With the push toward cloud/internet everything, the fact that these companies are BACKSTEPPING in providing a service that doesn’t have limits like oil, electricity, water – It’s stupid.

    They are simply protecting their other services. They don’t WANT people to have options like Netflix which may cause them to skimp on paying an arm and a leg for a crappy HBO subscription.

    I really get frustrated with people like you and your narrow-minded views. Just because you don’t use it doesn’t mean that a large majority don’t. Or couldn’t. Cloud based backup services are where it should be at. I have kids, which means I have lots of pictures and video that I don’t want to lose if something were to happen to my house.

    But that’s a tangent. My initial point stands.

  • Nick Papageorge

    Dude, what are you talking about?

    Telus pushes 250 gigs.

    Shaw you can get 300

    How is that not close? It’s better, in some respects, as overages are just sort of shrugged off.

  • Nick Papageorge

    Ugh. How many canadians are going to come on here and talk about this?

    Telus, Shaw – all have limits > 250gigs. Back east, Bell has services that jump up pretty high too.

    I think it just comes down to needing to look around a bit. The options aren’t perfect, but they’re not terrible or 3rd world in quality.

  • BuckWheaties

    I gave up cable for about 6 months and relied heavily on web based news and netflix and the such. I too have Comcast and damn near hit that 250GB limit EVERY month. I was averaging between 220-244GB. It is nowhere near enough, especially with everything going cloud based. I’d like to take advantage of Amazons Cloud Player, I have to be careful as to how much I use it. Im still unlimited on Verizon, but soon, that too will change. Such a shame.

  • extra88

    Since the Comcast Usage Meter is hard to find on their web site, why didn’t you provide a link to it? After logging in, this appears to be the URL:
    https://customer.comcast.com/S

  • mgs911

    I use Bell, do you have any suggestions for an ISP in Quebec?

  • Rather Not.

    I get 60GB a month in Ontario, Canada, and pay ridiculous amounts of money for that little amount. Stop complaining.

  • qp

    According to my logs, the LOWEST value for me in the last 18 months has been 410GB, highest 1.1TB, average somewhere around 700GB.

    I’m paying for a flatrate (€ 35 btw) and thus I’ll use it the way I see fit. Some years ago, some ISPs here tried to get rid of powerusers by paying them ~100 bucks, but then the law stepped in and told them what ‘flat’ means according to our laws.

    I wouldn’t have a big problem paying some more, but an absolute cap is totally unacceptable for me.

  • davidafenton

    silicone valley needs to create a tech funded broadband network. With the 10’s of billions Apple, Google and Microsoft have in the bank they should be able to roll out some good fiber

  • cassandralite

    Yep, it’s really terrible when we can’t have everything we want when we want it exactly the way we want it, especially with someone else paying for it. Those bastards. They should give it to us for free. In fact, when Lion is introduced, I think Apple should send us all a copy. I love BoJennett’s thinking that if the government owned “the pipes” that things would be great and the price never rise. I guess most of you are too young to remember the 80s, when online access cost hundreds of bucks a month for ridiculously limited choices. What dropped the price to the point where people can now whine about having to pay more for using more was private competition after the companies had invested billions. If the govt (read: bureaucrats) had owned the pipes then, we’d still be using 57 baud dial-up modems.

  • Designer

    If Apple were to do something BOLD with their on hand cash, it would be to BUY an ISP like Comcast, offer UNLIMITED bandwidth to make the others compete.

  • GregsTechBlog

    Exactly, government is supposed to protect us from this sort of thing.
    But, buy enough lobbyists and politicians, and you can do whatever you want.

  • minimalist1969

    I’m perfectly willing to pay more for more bandwidth. What I am not willing to do is let the cable companies exempt their own content from the same limits they put on their competitors content going over the same pipes (their own VOD does not count towards those bandwidth even though it takes up just as much bandwidth as content from Netflix). You don;t get to use a monopoly on public owned rights of way to proviledge your business over those of your competitors.

    For now, 250GB is not that bad. But as HD streaming becomes more the norm it will get used up quickly. And the cable companies know that this will give them a serious advantage.

  • minimalist1969

    Paying per megabyte is fine. What is not fine is paying per megabyte for Netflix but not paying per megabyte for Comcast or Time warner VOD. The same standards that get applied to the cable companies’ competitors has to be applied to their own content as well.

  • minimalist1969

    With two of us in our household, with modest surfing and a reasonable amount of Netflix streaming and streaming radio we use an average of 50-80 gigabytes per month. A friend’s household with his wife and 2 kids uses 150-190 a month. No bittorrenting, no insane backups. Just normal usage for busy 40 year olds with families.

  • Mason

    Well, I suppose what we can hope for is increased lobbying by these companies that are starting to roll out enhanced cloud based services. They can’t expect people to go crazy over their cloud products if we’re all hitting our limits.

    It’s a similar idea to the concept of requiring every citizen to have health care. Say what you will about its constitutionality and whether it’s good or bad, but if providers are required to cover healthcare, then they have a huge incentive to lobby for preventative measures, such as fighting diabetes. (They may find ways to get around this, but it still exists as a possibility.)

    If Apple, Google, and the other tech companies are going to offer services that easily pass the caps imposed by the internet providers, then I’m going to hope that they’ll push for higher caps. It’d be nearly idiotic to not lobby for higher data caps. It’d be like slitting their own throats.

  • Oddish03

    I don’t like the idea of the cloud anyways! What happens when everything is on the cloud and the Internet goes down? So then I have no acess to all my files, apps, music, etc! Sounds horrible to me! I’ll keep everything on my computer thanks!

  • Banai

    This was news to me. I’ve had Comcast for years and had no idea there was a cap. Isn’t it nice when companies tell you absolutely nothing? I just checked my usage with the link in found these comments and I’m well below. Good, now I know I have plenty of room to dump the cable and stream the few shows that I watch.

  • Beast_m

    250 gb per month? WOW
    I pay like $90 per month for a 35gb limit, and 4mb/s
    and this is the NEW super just upgraded our servers offer
    3 months ago it was 12gb and $100+

  • Edward Chamberlain

    under 30mbs…. we get 0.6…

  • Chris

    well in my opinion an online backup is unnecessary anyway

  • Sacha

    I don’t know. I have no cap at all here in switzerland with cablecom. I have 25Mbit download and 2.5Mbit upload and I pay 55$ a month.

  • Paalo

    In Greenland we pay approx. 399 USD for 50GB data per month! (no I’m not joking!)…

  • AlmostDoneWith CoM

    You really don’t know anything about how it developed, who developed it, or where it was developed. Nor do you know anything about Net Neutrality and how Comcast and AT&T have spent massive amounts of cash trying to kill it. Here’s a very quick history lesson for you. The government, that means us, paid for the development of the internet. It was done by the government first, then in partnership with private business where the government ponied up almost all of the capitol. The telecoms then converted existing infrastructure instead of building new infrastructure because they were cheap. We already paid for it all, but they make the profits.

    The only viable means of technological development is to open the pathways. When people and businesses can utilize the transmission infrastructure at low cost and without restriction they are then able to apply those resources to further development of new technologies. Hardware companies will create new hardware that takes advantage of this new openness. Online content providers will create newer, more innovative services and products because they aren’t limited and neither are their customers. Stop being a dupe for the plutocratic telecoms and learn a few things about this history of computer networking. We should already own it, but instead, it was handed over to the telecoms pretty much free of charge and with little investment on their part.

  • Larry Davis

    I find this to be a big problem. I also did not know there was a cap until about a month ago. It’s been over 2 years since they implemented it. I was never informed. There is no easy to find disclaimer on their site or when you sign up for service. The whole time I’ve had service at my current location they’ve had the data cap and yet I’ve never known.

    I finally took a look and my graphs are similar to those in this article. I use CrashPlan. I use streaming services (Netflix and Hulu+). I also work from home so I regularly transfer large files back and forth from the main office. It takes me little time to exceed their cap doing “normal” things.

    The problem is that they don’t offer an alternative. I couldn’t pay for more if I wanted as a consumer. That smacks of monopolistic and illegal. There will be a lawsuit, I guarantee it.

  • Larry Davis

    They can’t. Well, they could, but would be subject to the same laws. While they can be local monopolies they can’t be national monopolies. They are allowed by law to only own a certain percentage of the whole market. And Apple would never do that.

    Though I do think it’s Apple’s goal to turn ISPs into dumb pipes just like they are doing with cellular providers.

  • Larry Davis

    There’s a couple ways to look at it. The pipes are infrastructure and most conservatives are ok with the gov’t investing in infrastructure like roads, sewers, electrical grids, and so forth.

    The other way to look at it is that the gov’t should get out of regulating. What the gov’t has done through their regulations is create regional monopolies that are essentially a collusion between the various providers. They agree to not compete in each other’s markets in exchange for regional monopolies.

  • Larry Davis

    Bullshit. There’s no way you are under 30MB/month if you watch 80hrs/month of video.

    However, the problem with your comment is that we CAN’T pay more. Comcast, for example, doesn’t even make it optional for a consumer to buy a more expensive plan with a higher cap. It’s not unreasonable for them to charge more for heavy users but it is unreasonable to not even allow it.

  • Larry Davis

    I’m going to look into Sprint 4G. Unlimited bandwidth and 10Mbps. $50/month. Should be sufficient for streaming video. The traditional cable providers are going to start losing customers to wireless providers. And what they need to realize is that those users who are early adopters are also influencers and will bring other users with them.

  • bojennett

    Yes, unfortunately cassandralite has fallen victim to the same Friedman-ite, Ayn Rand inspired stupidity that private is always better than public, because “private” is “competition” and competition always ends up better for the consumer. It was the same reasoning that led California to deregulate its energy market, resulting in mass chaos (demand didn’t change, yet all of a sudden brownouts and price spikes). Under cassandralite’s logic, all our public infrastructure should therefore be opened to the private market – roads, water, electricity, heat/cooling, all of it.

    And cassandralite will always look at it this way, because cassandralite will never look at actual data. Most of the infrastructure in this country was put in place using public dollars, not “companies investing billions.” But they are profiting on it. Cassandralite will also not look at other countries, which have public ownership of the pipes, where users get faster internet service with no bandwidth caps and fewer outages. No, cassandralite will not look at this, because when ideology conflicts with fact, cassandralite will throw out the facts.

  • Norm Mcgee

    Out West and out East options are in fact good. Where a 250GB cap or no cap is considered normal. Ontario and Quebec they are terrible as anything more than 60GB and you are considered an evil heavy user.

  • Trickster1080

    so i have had comcast and i got cut off for 1 year for going over the 250g i never knew of a cap till 2 weeks after my internet was cut. had no internet 1 day called comcast help and they got it back on. 2 days later lost it again and comcast help could not find out why or fix, so had a tech come out to house and go over all lines and replace some items, still no fix, 2nd tech came out did same and still no fix, after 2 weeks and hours on the phone got told of cap and that i went over it so i got cut off, person on phone had never heard of what he was telling me and had no idea why it took 2 weeks to show up under my account notes. for any modern person it is far to eazy to go over 250g, for my self i play games online and watch 80% of my tv and movies off the web and video chat with family over seas

  • Nevermark

    Your kidding right? Lots of cloud services are all about multiple avenues of availability. Like Dropbox.

    Local+Cloud saves enormous amounts of time, complexity and risk.

  • Nevermark

    A Silicone Valley is not what you think it is.

  • davidafenton

    maybe it can become so then =]

  • al friede

    while reading this, a bell of hope went off in my head, thinking that maybe….just MAYBE, that $1B data center apple just built is not just for online storage, but perhaps they’re actually going to become their own ISP? now wouldn’t that just be heaven in the ‘cloud’?!

  • al friede

    larry, in 1993, the deregulation act that clinton signed nullified any % that you could own in a market share – tv/radio/newspapers/et al – ALL ended when he signed that pos act into law! hence all these huge mega-corp merges over the past near-twenty years. think viacom. then think *fear*

  • al friede

    sorry, it wasn’t actually signed until 1996, not 93 – Telecommunications Act of 1996

    see here and think viacom/newscorp/clear channel….THEN think *fear*!

    http://answers.yahoo.com/quest

    http://www.salon.com/news/feat

  • al friede

    extremely well stated!!!

  • al friede

    yes sacha, but in europe, you have REAL internet, i.e. bandwidth – in speed, bandwidth and price! america is wayyyy behind, and other countries even further!

  • al friede

    i didn’t know either – until i got “the call” from comcrap. i’d never heard of such a thing, as i had cox for years, and they have no cap whatsoever! it REALLY pissed me off to realize that, and wish i still lived in an area with cox as a provider. ironically, i live in the same city that is cox’s headquarters, yet comcrap owns this area. if there were true competition in the market, then i’d be able to CHOOSE which one i wanted, and i can certainly tell you it wouldn’t be comcrap!

  • S1010888

    try my 20 gb download limit in the uk – a fairly typical tarriff

  • Clark

    The only options in Ontario are Bell, Cogeco/Rogers for high speed internet. Telus is not available here. They both cap at ridiculously low levels. 50 gig and 60 gig. They both charge $55 to $60 per month for this ‘service’. Try to get a customer service rep on the phone and you are going to be on the phone for an hour or more. You can buy more gig but it will cost you dearly! 250 gig is at least $90 – $120 per month.

  • Damnedgunslinger

    Walmart will come in, just like they did with straight talk and own the market.

  • Gustaf Strömberg

    40gb?! You are lucky. In Zanzibar I pay 65 $ for 5 gb with 512 dl och 256 upload. Now that sucks.

    So if there is any complaining to do it is not (yet) in NZ.

    BTW these things are relative. Obviously the infrastructure is better in the US & Canada then it is in NZ or in Zanzibar so it’s pretty ridiculous.

    Haven’t had any problems with this is Sweden yet though.

  • loop jassay

    sewers, electrical grids, and so forth may be!

    ugg pas cher
     

    monster beats

  • loop jassay

    oh!God!your views maybe right! but how do that!?
    true
    religion jeans

    Tiffany
    & co

     

  • loop jassay
  • Morshu

    my isp limits to 100 GB/month :(

  • jasay loop

    nice views maybe!
    ugg
    pas cher

  • loop jassay

    I like iphone 4S
    Ugg
    Boots Günstig
    Ugg
    Boots

  • David Smith

    I have been living in terror about bandwidth capping, ever since I found out about it early last year.  I think we need to stop applying old paradigms to the Internet, which is a totally new technology, that empowers individuals with a new, boundless freedom.  We cannot allow this freedom to be curtailed, whether it is by using the Cloud, watching movies via the Internet rather than cable, or advocating for change on Change.org or YouTube.  We must not let these greedy corporations–who refuse to simply invest in more data infrastructure–and clueless lawmakers to trample one of modern humanity’s best creations.  To that end, I have started a petition on Change.org to stop data capping.

    http://www.change.org/petition

About the author

David W. MartinDavid W. Martin has more than 20 years of experience in the industry as a programmer, systems and business analyst, author, and consultant. David has written for CNET's iPhoneatlas.com, MacLife.com, CultofMac.com, BYTE.com and recently for aNewDoman.net. He comes to Cult of Mac's website with deep knowledge and passion for the all things Apple. Follow David on Twitter @david_w_martin or see what he's up to now at davidwmartin.com.

(sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)| Read more posts by .

Posted in News, Top stories | Tagged: , , , , , , , , |