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Data Caps? Really? In This Age?

Yes I know this is old news but I haven’t talked about it so beat it.

So about a few years back, major telecom company AT&T started putting data caps on mobile data and did away with the unlimited data plans, then came the data caps on there DSL service. Fast forward to today and now we have more telecom companies putting data caps and doing away with unlimited data. Verizon Wireless did away with unlimited data about a year ago now and max data you can get now is 5GB. What’s worst is most ISPs has a data cap of 150 or 250GB.

There’s only 2 major wireless telecom companies that still has unlimited data plans and that’s Sprint and T-Mobile. And quite a few cable companies has data caps but not really enforced (can’t really think of them off the top of my head though).

In any case, that isn’t the main point of pointing out the companies that has what, the point is, more companies are, in fact, looking at data caps and why I think it’s a bad idea.

Don’t get me wrong, in a way I can see why some companies (even more so for major players such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon) are doing so. It’s mainly because there network is overloaded and so they need to do something to make it fair for everyone to get there piece of the pie.

And every company does things different when it comes to reaching the match limit or if you’re in the top 5% to 15% (set by the provider). For example, if you’re on an unlimited data plan with AT&T with a 4G device, if you’re in the top percentage you’re data will be kicked into 3G until the new month. Verizon Wireless will just slow down your connection if a cell tower is overloaded. And if you’re not on an unlimited plan, once you go over you’re limit you are charge extra fees on top of it. Talk about ouch.

The problem is, every single thing we do nowadays involves being connected to the internet. You’re on it right now, on your cell phone, on your tablet, laptop, desktop, etc. Sure most people might not even reached 150GB of use if they do nothing but emails but if you are a person who enjoys streaming Netflix, it adds up quickly.

The way I see data caps as is nothing more then a way to hinder technical advancements, forcing those who wants to embrace the internet as a means to interconnect to try to use minimal data as possible which isn’t possible for some medias such as streaming. People wants high-definition, only way to provide true HD is not to compress the video so much which makes the video size huge. For a true, 1 and an half hour HD movie, you’re looking around 5 to 10GB, maybe higher depending on effects and audio compression as well. It adds up very quickly.

Now if data caps were only on wireless products (smart phones and what not) then it makes more since because of tower usage but for actual at home internet connection makes no sense at all and should not be welcomed because of the few facts I said above. Data caps on at home hard line internet connections is just way for companies to get more money out of you for going over. It’s like they’re afraid they’re loosing out on business. I’m paying you $110 a month for a 40Mbps internet speed, believe me you’re not loosing money. The world is moving to a place where faster and more reliable internet connection is needed. Heck other countries is already doing 100 Mbps and the US just now slowly getting there with Verizon FiOS offering 50Mbps down and 50Mbps up and with Google starting to build their 1Gbps FTTP (Fiber To The Premise (also known as Fiber To The Home or FTTH)) internet connection.

So yes the world is moving to be completely online so data caps? Really?

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