Data caps justifyable?

I've heard the justification of data caps being that it offloads the cost to user who use more bandwidth, so people who use more bandwidth put more money in to pay for the infrastructure and stuff, do you think that it is fair enough?

I can get an unlimited DSL connection for £2.50 a month with free connection and a free router on a 12 month contract up to 16Mbps.

Data caps are unjustifiable on the majority of connections. Only once you get to gigabits you can justify them.

Keep competition high and it'll keep prices low.

but if everyone payed 2.50 a month wouldn't the ISPs not make enough money to provide bandwidth to their customers? or make upgrades to the infrastructure?

I posted that as an exmaple to how little data really costs. The infrastructure on most of our over 200 ISPs is payed for via 'line rental' to BT Openreach. It's in your broadband bill but seperate. So you'd pay say £20 for a fibre connection and £12.50 for line rental.

Line rental includes the line to your house and any repairs for damage caused to it. This money is also reinvested in infrastructure upgrades.

When looking on scale if you can conclidate infrastructure and allow ISPs to run on it as if it were a public utility it really isn't that expensive. In fact, the data is so cheap that unlimited can be offered that cheaply.

If they are capping you they aren't doing so to invest in infrastructure, merely to boost profits from a captive market.

I would have agreed with that idea a few months ago before I found out that in the US Time Warner makes over 90% profit on their internet subscriptions right now.

The way they are implemented in the US isn't to discourage use, it's a money grab. The average household will use ~200-300GB per month, and that's where they set the cap most of the time. That means that half will have to pay overage fees. They aren't discouraging use for the heaviest users; they are discouraging (at least) half of users from doing things with high bandwidth requirements (which for 90% of customers is streaming video). Cable companies want you to use their services, not Netflix.

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We already pay a steeper price for higher tiers. In their current form caps charge us twice for a single commodity. If I pay for 100 Mbps line I could use the 300 GB cap in under 7 hours. That is just downstream and no upstream. What am I supposed to do with the other 30 days in the month?

i think the option to pay less money if you use less bandwidth doesnt sound like a terrible idea if it was implemented well, but it seems like data caps as they are right now are just there for ISPs to raise the price of the unlimited bandwidth options even more just so they can make more money..


Bandwidth caps are only beneficial to an ISP when they have no competition, it's used to extract even more money from their customers by artificially imposing a cap hoping you will go over the cap and incur a surcharge on your monthly bill, after a few months of surcharges they hope you'll call to upgrade your service to a unlimited package (up sell). This scenario doesn't work if they have competition because most of the time the competition would offer a tier same as their capped tier that is unlimited.

ISPs have gotten tons of money in large federal tax breaks though the '96 Telecom Act (and other more local sources). That money that they saved was intended as an incentive to upgrade everyone to fiber. It's been almost 20 years now...20 years of tax breaks adds up. But much of the US has access to fiber? Where did all that money go? Not into infrastructure.

Have Satellite internet here in Canada around $75 CND for only 20gb of data at 10mbs (if that) and on my phone 6gb for $45 on top of my phone plan.

The ISP's don't have much competition, so they cap to what they think is within reason. It's like you pay a lot to get so little.

Not for landlines, no.