So much for watching shows online from network websites.

Bandwidth Caps on Internet Usage - Time Warner, AT& T and Comcast seem to be leading the way.

Internet download caps - whether they be 5GB, or 20GB or 40GB could suck for you if you do a combination of a lot of the following:
  • you're a MMO gamer, playing stuff like guild wars, world of warcraft etc
  • you use your xbox, ps3 etc. online
  • you stream free video from amazon, hulu, (on demand videos) etc
  • you downloads lots of video (shows, anime not licensed yet) etc.
  • you use youtube and other streaming sites a lot
  • you stream shows from the official network sites
  • multiple people in your household use the same internet connection
So there's been more congestion with the internet since audio and video usage has gone through the roof. However, the problem isn't usage, its infrastructure - instead of updating that last leg of cable et all (which they've been supposed to be doing for what, the past decade?), they're just going to limit internet use and spin it so THEY FRICKIN' MAKE MORE MONEY.

Way to shoot tech development in the foot guys. Not only does this hamper new internet services but the USA is even less likely to get faster internet, like various countries and regions in the world ALREADY enjoy.

And as video and gaming continues to improve (high def, better virtual reality environments etc.) usage is going nowhere but up. There are already plans for games that could take up to 2GB of bandwidth per HOUR of gameplay. And networks are finally realizing that officially streaming shows leads to increased marketshare that they can measure and track *headdesk repeatedly*

Talk about suckage. The last quote is a doozy btw:

“But some of it, I’m sure, is just that people don’t like change. I’m sure that the first people to buy early cars were angry when they introduced speed limits, too.”


And Time Warner has a basic internet option at about $25 - with the new pricing and caps, people will have to pay $5 more AND get their bandwidths limited.

Plus a bit from a different article:

Charging per gigabyte is more forced migration than natural evolution -- the impetus originates with investors and executives who fear the impact Internet video will have on TV revenues. Imposing such low caps in the age of HD video -- and charging users $1-$5 per gigabyte for bandwidth that costs a carrier pennies -- is a money grab, and it's only made possible by a lack of sustained, viable competition and napping regulators.

While carriers correctly note there are obviously other costs beyond bandwidth that go into providing service -- those costs are more than covered by advertising, alternative revenue and the monthly charges customers are currently paying. Meanwhile, evidence suggests heavy users can be handled without resorting to metered billing by imposing a very high cap (like Comcast's 250GB cap in the States), and by nudging those users -- which carriers freely admit only make up a small fraction of their userbase -- onto a business-class of service.

As with Time Warner Cable yesterday, the argument that carriers don't make enough money under the existing flat-rate system to operate or support infrastructure upgrades is something simply not supported by the healthy profits clearly illustrated in earnings reports. Anybody bothered by the metered billing trend should be demanding hard numbers from any carrier boldly claiming that flat-rate pricing isn't a completely viable business model.

You guys don't have bandwidth caps? :P I'm in Canada, and I'd thought that bandwidth caps were normal. Where I like, cirakaite and I have the 60GB package from Shaw, and we haven't had a problem... Now, I know someone who lived in a household of students who got a polite but stern warning about going over their cap, but they didn't get fined or anything, so I don't really know what happens if you do go over...

But there are other places that have it and are okay, I guess? Is fast internet really a problem in the US? It's a bit surprising if it is, for me, because it'd seemed as though people had settled everywhere, unlike Canada where there are these little regional areas across a wide expanse, in some provinces.
I've heard horror stories about Australia's bandwidth caps and if I were still sharing my Time Warner internet, I'd probably be switching to AT&T which would, at the very least, have a higher cap.

Never had to deal with a bandwidth cap at home - even in asia, where the internet was slower but there weren't any limits in that sense.

The uni campus labs had weekly bandwidth caps, which, when I hit YouTube, were quickly exhausted.

There've been a few articles about internet speeds worldwide - I think Japan had the fastest ISPs? And when people asked why, it came down to the fact that the infrastructure here needs an overhaul and it hasn't happened yet.

Edited at 2009-04-06 06:48 am (UTC)
- (Anonymous)
TBH I think that the cap is ridiculous - everyone is encouraging everyone to use the internet more, and to move to electronic means of communication so as not to waste paper. When you do that, it becomes VERY easy to go over the bandwidth - especially if you are a home-business and have to move large files. Toss in a single online video game, and even a few videos on youtube, and BAM! Overage city.

From what I understand, they are planning on changing the infrastructure to be a better supporting one, that can handle more load, but have made no indications to the public of changing their bandwidth limits, just grand announcements about rehauling the infrastructure to handle more loads and to be much faster.

We go over our bandwidth every month (60gb). In fact, we just got a warning this morning saying that we had reached our bandwidth limit. I watched an episode of House last night, and Project Runway Canada. If that is going to put me over the top, well fuck me.
- (Anonymous)
The problem with purchasing a larger bandwidth cap is that the costs are prohibitive - 60gb is about $45, 100gb is about $90. 250gb is about $200. And that is per month. the cost per GB is something like $10 if you go over your assigned package and want to just add on a few more gbs.

I am all for them restructuring to handle larger loads, it is definitely needed. I am just worried that bandwidth restrictions won't be lifted, and that with the increased speed the average user who downloads a video or two on the 360 or PS3 will max out their bandwidth in a few days.

TBH if you watch what you do online (I try to avoid watching streaming shows, and I only download things as I need them) and monitor your usage on a day-by-day basis, 60gb isn't that hard to work with. It would be a hell of a lot easier if it was 100 or even 250, because then you would have wiggle room. I guess that I just don't see how some companies can encourage HD streaming video usage (Global, CTV, Hulu, Netflix, etc) and others can say, "we don't want you to use up too much internet bandwidth!" and essentially force you to cut things from your internet usage.
- (Anonymous)
I really hope they don't stay at the rate they are at - here in Windsor we have been paying this rate for the past 5 years. Of course, they didn't start enforcing the cap until last year. before that, the average usage amongst my friends was about 150gb/month.

If they increase the bandwidth cap, I would have no problem with that. If my $45 was getting me 100-150gb/month, I likely wouldn't complain at all.
those bandwidth prices seem very reasonable to me - they basically encourage you to purchase more, because it has a better value. I know that for sure we would be using the 95gb package if we had any option about it.
I am from ONtario, and we have cogeco in my city for cable internet. they started enforcing the 60gb limit last year, and every month we end up going over just with our regular downloading, game playing, and watching of videos.

There is only one provider in our area with unlimited bandwidth, but they use DSL and our apartment building is so old we can't handle the DSL signal through the lines.
I also live in Canada, and also thought bandwidth caps were normal around the world... lol.
Ugh. This makes me so :((((( because I went from 250 in MN to 5gb a month. It's horrible. I've downloaded about 50gb a month despite this cap and have yet to get a letter, but I've also only been their customer for about 3 months. >.>!!! What shits me is that I'm not even doing a ridiculous amount of DLing. I'm just streaming, watching stuff online, etc etc.

So irritating.
AUGGGHH. What garbage. Time Warner, I hate you.

It's just so effing lovely how in these tough economic times they'd try to make more money by making their customers suffer. If/when this comes to us, I'll have to look into making a switch because, really. It's bull.
I am so happy that we don't have bandwidth caps over here. Especially now that I have to start watching streaming content instead of downloading things due to new laws.
I heard about this this last year and remember being surprised that America didn't have caps. Of course I'm Australian and the entire system is terrible, a combination of a large country, low population and companies being stupid and not updating the infrastructure. Currently I don't have limits but my god the speed is horrible. I've always had limited downloading so I don't find it terribly hard to watch what I download. But I have to wonder what the system is like in the US if you don't have bandwidth caps? Everyone gets charged the same rate?
Huh, here in germany we don't have caps at all, or well, you can do caps voluntarily, but i haven't seen ads for one of those in ages. Most providers try to go the flatrate route now. But then again, the infrastructure is not exactly the best and it depends on the largest provider in Germany, and if you're not their customer, you're fucked.
Bandwidth cap? I've never heard of such a thing, how stupid! They already charge too much as it is for service that doesn't always work. I'll take my current cheap Korean internet that I've never had problems with and can download as much as I want. At a time when the economy is going down the toilet, the last thing people will want to do is spend more for the same stuff they were doing at the old price. The US needs to follow the Korean example: low priced payment plans for internet, TV & cell phones = more customers and more money for the companies. For such a big country we sure are slow in improving electronically.
It's bizarre to me that other countries have bandwidth caps and that companies in the US are seriously considering returning to it -- We've not had caps since we had AOL, which was ages ago. Although I must admit that Time Warner doing it isn't THAT big a surprise, since cable companies are all bastards.

We use BellSouth DSL and they've always been super-great. They're an independent subsidiary of AT&T, so hopefully we won't be affected. I'm sort of hoping that these test markets make it clear what a terrible idea this is.

Edited at 2009-04-06 01:55 pm (UTC)
I hate to rain on your parade, but Canadian providers started that waaaaay back in 2003. We would complain, but there're only 4 national providers in the entire fucking country anyway, so they decided what to charge.

That's just. *has no words* 40GB? What can you *do* with 40GB per month, especially in a family of more than one person? >_>