Home internet data caps

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Eravial
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Home internet data caps

Postby Eravial » Sat Aug 27, 12:23 2016

I haven't had to deal with setting up home internet in a while, but will need to in the next few weeks. I started doing some research this morning on plans and found that monthly data usage caps are now nearly ubiquitous. I had previously associated data caps with mobile internet exclusively, and am annoyed to find that standard unlimited data at home seems to be becoming a thing of the past! I'm also surprised since it seems that the major U.S. companies (at least Comcast and AT&T) changed their policies within the last 6 months or so, and I don't recall seeing a ton of discussion about it.

How does your home internet plan work? If you have a monthly data cap, do you think about it much and does it alter your online behavior? Have you come close to reaching it?
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Re: Home internet data caps

Postby Sonic# » Sat Aug 27, 14:08 2016

My internet plan is through Comcast, and I have a ~1 TB data cap. It's bigger than I would ever use (in a heavy month I might hit 200 GB), which I suppose is the reason they raised it to that - avoiding widespread complaints while still creeping in with features that suit their interests.

What's bothered me more is what happened when I signed up for the service several months ago. On my first bill, it claimed I owed about $30 more than I had anticipated. The bill was bafflingly organized, and it took me some attention to separate the monthly cost I had anticipated, the cost of equipment (which was negligible; I bought my own modem), and an "upgrade" that had been added to my account without my permission or knowledge. I had been updated to faster internet I never wanted, they never told me, and they expected me to pay for it! I had a long phone call where I asked them to take it off. They even prorated the charge for the short time I'd used the service.

I have to imagine they have estimates of how many people will complain when an action like this is taken, and whether enough people will just let the cost go and enjoy the "upgrade."

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Re: Home internet data caps

Postby Aum » Sat Aug 27, 20:43 2016

The data caps are criminal, and not logical. There's no real limit on the bandwidth capabilities of ISPs, it's just greed hindering infrastructure, as usual.

We have unlimited internet here in Canada, but it's very expensive. I've lived in the same place for 5+ years so I'm locked into an old plan that I used to have, which is way better than the new ones. As long as I retain my service, I get to keep the plan.

One of my friends who lives in an apartment building got unlimited internet at $120/month, but he split it with his two neighbours. Because the box is wifi it covers 3 apartments. The ISP doesn't know and never will, and I think more people should rebel in that way.

I always exceed my mobile phone cap, which indicates to me that the same would happen with home internet. The total amount of my bill for doing so is still cheaper than upgrading to the next level. I think they plan it that way and most people just live with exceeding their data. I could not live without unlimited internet. Aside from entertainment use, the amount of research and educational content I view within one month is enormous. My life revolves around the internet when I'm at home. I don't even have a TV.

FWIW, I know a few people with lower data rates and it does affect their online behaviour. They either spend the first part of the month enjoying freedom and then suffering the cap later, or they have to reduce their use throughout the whole month. It sucks.

My conspiracy theory is that the caps are how the entertainment industry is dealing with downloading.
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Re: Home internet data caps

Postby Nech » Sun Aug 28, 13:25 2016

In Canada a lot of places have unlimited plans for home internet, but it's best to go for 3rd party companies. The big 2 are really pricey and not worth the hassle. 3rd party use the same data lines and often don't give a cap; much less hassle.
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Re: Home internet data caps

Postby Eravial » Tue Aug 30, 22:02 2016

It's good to hear that, like I've read elsewhere, 1 TB is generally more than enough. I have a roommate, so I would really not like to go over the data cap and then have to try to figure out who was using more than their fair share of data. Like, Aum, I used to run over my mobile limit fairly frequently (the only reason I don't anymore is because I share data with several older family members who don't use it much) and I imagined home internet data would be a similar case.

That is super shady, Sonic. The last time I had Comcast, I swore I would never use them again, though I can't remember what exactly drove me to that conclusion. I've not had great experiences with AT&T either, but I feel like they've been more annoying than downright sketchy. To your point, Nech, I think those big two are the only options available to me other than satellite! It's not cool at all. I can't wait for Google Fiber to actually happen.
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Re: Home internet data caps

Postby rowan » Wed Aug 31, 7:45 2016

I've heard good things about the fiber put down in other areas of my city.... not here yet though.
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Re: Home internet data caps

Postby monk » Wed Aug 31, 15:15 2016

I have AT&T with a 150gb cap and I have hit the cap 2 or three times which cost me an extra $10 for another 50gb (of which I used less than 10gb). As long as I don't stream too much video at 1080p I don't have problems though and tbh I cant tell the difference on my monitor between 1080p and 480p sometimes I just forget to scale it down when I watch a bunch of video.
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Re: Home internet data caps

Postby Angelica » Sat Sep 10, 15:10 2016

Lol, sucks to live in America. I have unlimited internet.


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