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Old 05-06-2011, 06:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 56% of Americans have Internet data caps; FCC asked to investigate

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Two prominent Washington DC tech policy groups have asked the Federal Communications Commission to investigate Internet data caps in the US—with a special focus on AT&T.

New America Foundation and Public Knowledge say in a letter (PDF) that data caps aren't necessarily a problem, but that they do “carry the omnipresent temptation to act in anticompetitive monopolistic ways.”

Quote:
Unlike competitors whose caps appear to be at least nominally linked to congestions during peak-use periods, AT&T seeks to convert caps into a profit center by charging additional fees to customers who exceed the cap. In addition to concerns raised by broadband caps generally, such a practice produces a perverse incentive for AT&T to avoid raising its caps even as its own capacity expands.
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I wish I could say I was surprised about that many being under download caps, but I can't. While it is nice that a couple of groups are asking for this to be looked into I can honestly say that I am not going to hold my breath.

Itis true that, currently, the US is not under the same kinds of caps as other countries (I am looking at certain Canadian and Australian ISPs) there is no solid reason for even having them... other than the ISPs want to squeeze out of us every penny they can.
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Old 05-06-2011, 09:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: 56% of Americans have Internet data caps; FCC asked to investigate

Caps started on my Internet a few days ago.. Brighthouse Cable doesn't have bandwidth caps and has a 60mbps connection here.. I'm going to switch soon
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Old 05-06-2011, 10:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: 56% of Americans have Internet data caps; FCC asked to investigate

There is only a finite amount of bandwidth out there, no matter what a person/company is willing to pay... My family and I have a 25MPS line that does us all just fine for now. Give it 6 months when I get back... hehehe

So I'm with you Trotter... Not holding my breath either...
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Old 05-06-2011, 10:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: 56% of Americans have Internet data caps; FCC asked to investigate

We have standard service of 8Mbps here for 60$ including tax, and another ten dollars gets you 15Mbps... The article also calls to mind cell phones, some companies only have one price point @ unlimited. I read an article about 1 month ago I think on Fox News under the SciTech section that stated that AT&T was looking to cap the data usage on phones charging penalty fees for over usage. The article also cited some reasoning as the companies having interests in other markets i.e. home phones and cable tv. Both of which are suffering in this digital/cellular age. Netflix, VUDU and the like are taking to much money from the giants and they are finding other ways to penalize us for switching. So that begs the question for me, Did MaBell ever really go away?
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Old 05-06-2011, 11:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: 56% of Americans have Internet data caps; FCC asked to investigate

That wouldn't have hurt us when we had ATT DSL. We were told, that the reason we were getting slow speeds, a year into our 1.5Mbps plan, was because they changed there hardware. We could only get a 678Kbps line. But we have Time Warner (Roadrunner) now. At 7Mbps and power boost, who can complain?
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Old 05-07-2011, 04:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: 56% of Americans have Internet data caps; FCC asked to investigate

It would be nice to be cheated just a little less.
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Old 05-07-2011, 11:48 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: 56% of Americans have Internet data caps; FCC asked to investigate

i don't see the big problem with this. I understand completely why they have caps. the more people you have using up the backbone bandwidth the more robust you need to make it, and as that expands then you have to hire more people to maintain it, more specialized people to maintain it (fiber requires more specialized knowledge to handle and maintain than coax/copper) so their costs increase. So it's either you increase rates, or you institute a capped plan and have tiered plans. if you use up 500gb of bandwidth a month you shouldn't be paying the same amount as someone who uses 5gb. There are so many applicable analogies to why caps are a good thing. Like going to the doctors, if I have a broken arm I don't want to be forced to pay the same rate as someone who has to get a quadruple bypass, or if I'm staying in a hotel I don't wanna pay the same rate as someone staying in the Ritz for a motel 8 room. In our day to day life we accept the fact that you get what you pay for, and more is more, less is less, I don't see why people should think that internet access and even mobile data plans should be any different.

I do think that an unlimited access plan should be available, but I think that a tiered subscription is better than a flat access rate.

for c******'s sake it's a business, their goal is to make money not be a philanthropic entity.
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Old 05-07-2011, 03:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: 56% of Americans have Internet data caps; FCC asked to investigate

A 250GB cap wouldn't be too bad, but a small one (like 15GB or less) could be rough... especially when you start counting things like streaming NetFlix and such. I regularly exceed 15-20GB a month and have been known to cap 100GB on many occasions.
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Old 05-07-2011, 04:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: 56% of Americans have Internet data caps; FCC asked to investigate

I've barely managed to stay under my 150GB cap for the last two months (They allow you to monitor before the cap starts)
January I used 440GB... The next two were around 145, just barely cutting it
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Old 05-07-2011, 05:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: 56% of Americans have Internet data caps; FCC asked to investigate

I have Suddenlink cable. We do not have a cap, and my buddy (installation tech for Suddenlink) said he has yet to hear anything about a possible cap. My 10mbps connection led me to download ~130GB last month. Suddenlink did however call to "express their concern" that I may be infected with viruses and/or spyware 'cause I was using close to double the average bandwidth. I told them I used that bandwidth to download stuff, they said, "As long as you know you're the one using the bandwidth, alright." I love Suddenlink, but they need to up the speeds... 10mbps is the fastest here. I know they have the capabilities to upgrade, 'cause we're so close to the local backbone.
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