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High speed internet Bandwidth Caps

The past few years high speed internet has been getting faster and available in more rural locations. Dsl and cable internet companies have been pushing faster download and upload speeds for a few years now. Almost trying to out do one another by offering faster speeds at competitive prices. Which is great if they can truly deliver what they advertise.


Recently I've seen a number of complaints about dsl and cable internet providers here in the U.S. doing a couple of things people are not happy about.

1. Throttling
2. An invisible bandwidth cap (not clearly stated and no usage monitor to track it)
3. Charging more for exceeding the invisible bandwidth cap
4. Cancelling your account for exceeding the invisible bandwidth cap

Basically they provide high speed internet access, but they don't want you using too much of it. They might throttle or slow your speeds down so you don't use so much. Some have a cap which they often do not clearly outline in their terms of service. Some are charging extra if you exceed the invisible cap, which varies from one provider to another. I have seen some that are fairly reasonable while others are totally outrageous.

Now I don't expect a dsl or cable internet company to let me run my connection wide open full speed 24/7 all month long, but some customers assume they can.

If they are throttling or capping, then I think a reasonable amount of usage should be allowed. And, they should clearly state what the bandwidth cap figure really is. If they charge some overage fee they should say so. Not just slap an overage bill on someone as they see fit.

We have 10 mbps, 20 mbps, 50 mbps, and even 100 mbps download speed available from some providers. Seems to me if you are going to offer these speeds, then you should expect some people to use a decent amount of bandwidth.

The funny thing is they have commercials and ads on TV all the time about how you can do all this high bandwidth consumption all at the same time.

So it seems they are willing to sell you it, but they just don't want you to use too much of it.

Some suggest that this could be related to Netflix, Hulu, and other movie and TV episodes you can watch online now. From what I understand watching a movie on Netflix can consume quite a bit of bandwidth. If you frequently watch Netflix movies or any other TV/Movie types of things online, then I could see how you could easily eat up a lot of bandwidth over the course of a month.

Some internet providers have complained about Netflix and similar types of high bandwidth usage sites recently. There were stories in the news how they wanted to charge these users somehow. Either individuals, data centers, or Netflix itself. So I wouldn't be surprised if this is why we are starting to hear about these companies capping and throttling here in the U.S. anyway.

It is also kind of funny that they complain about people using too much bandwidth to watch movies online, when a lot of these companies also offer a similar online movie/video service of their own that they push.

I hadn't heard of internet providers capping or throttling until just recently. Whether they all do this, or just some of them who knows. Like I mentioned some of them are hidden and invisible caps. You probably will not know what it is until you surpass it. Unless they start disclosing it more openly.

Does your internet provider have a bandwidth cap or throttle? Good question and something to think about. Like I said some of them do not clearly disclose it. They may add a very vague clause in their terms of service that potentially allows them to cap or throttle you as they see fit.

I would hope that an internet provider would allow plenty of bandwidth consumption in a given month. Most people will probably have nothing to worry about. But, if you have 3, 4, or more computers in your home all using the same internet connection it could add up. And, how much gaming, videos, and other high bandwidth are the kids doing in a given day not to mention for the month.

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04.21.2011 (2371 days ago)
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