10.4.09

Internet Bandwith Caps

I just saw this article pop up in, of all places, the RSS header in Gmail:

http://blog.wired.com/business/2009/04/consumer-group.html

The thing that shocked me was that TWC charges $15 a month for ONE gig of data.  I just checked the handy bandwith counter in my dashboard--over the last six days, I personally have been responsible for 983 megs of downloads.  That's just six days from one computer.  I have a webserver which probably eats its fair share of bandwith, and there's three other people who browse the internet regularly at my house.  Admittedly, I do probably have the highest usage, but still, $15 is what we pay per month for internet right now.  I'd rather live with slower, all-you-can-eat style internet than faster, data-capped internet.  Because, believe me, one gig a month is not enough.

It would also be interesting to see if/how this limit would play into updates for critical software.  I could easily see people turning down a 300 meg service pack because that's a third of their monthly bandwith.  Or even updating their antivirus only once every couple of months.  Basically, this could widen the spread of virii due to fewer people keeping their machines up-to-date.

On another tangent, it's a great way for TWC to make money on overage charges.  Joe User isn't going to bother watching his data usage; and if he spends a lot of time watching YouTube and playing WOW online, he's going to eat that data up fast.  And voila, TWC nails him with a $2 per gig overage charge. 

All-in-all, this isn't going to make the internet any better.  In fact, it's probably going to hurt a lot worse. 

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