Broadband data caps are having their intended effect: punishing cord-cutters

Jeremy Ward

TS Rookie
So "cutting the cord" here would mean you disconnect yourself from internet in the first place.
In that case, cord-cutting is irrelevant to your location. That's not the case elsewhere.
Pay no attention to that comment -- it's bad information. The cable industry's #1 product in terms of subscribers AND revenue is broadband. They will happily sell it to you as a stand-alone service. Anyone who says otherwise is misinformed or a shill for the cable industry.
 

Jeremy Ward

TS Rookie
You shouldnt be going over for college football. even if you cut the cord all you need to do is buy a damn hd antenna for 20-50$ and you should be able to pick up all the local channels that will be showing college football. and unlike cable or satellite OTA is actually 1080p. no compression bs and still no monthly subscription.
ATSC broadcast air is compressed, BTW. It's based on MPEG compression (v4 I think).
 

beachbowi

TS Rookie
As far as bundling channels is concerned -- you can place the blame on the programming conglomerates for getting all the channels you don't watch. Don't get me wrong, the cable industry has plenty of faults from a consumer perspective, but bundling isn't on them.
You're right. The programming providers bully the cable industry into doing things their way. However, the cable TV comapnies have their own national association. If they banded together and stood up to the programming conglomerates, they could change things and do a better job of giving the American public what they really want. Just on principle alone, I will never again pay for 100 crappy channels I have no interest it and will never watch.
 

waldojim

TS Rookie
In what way are consumers getting the shaft? Service providers are asking to be paid for the the service they are providing based on usage. How is that not fair? You call yourself a cord cutter. That is so inaccurate. You want to selectively trim the cord and expect the cord provider to slit their own throat by allowing you to use the part of their cord without limits to replace what you used to pay for. It is called pay for play. In most industries that is just considered good business. Just because you do not like it does not mean your are getting shafted. Cord cutters are not being punished, they are just being asked to live in the real world and pay for the services they consume. How is a provider being unfair when they do not provide unlimited service just because their band width would allow it. How are they not supposed to be able to monetize their services.
Are you familiar with technology at all? Familiar with what they are charging for, or why?

With electricity, it costs resources to deliver that electricity. It also cost resources to generate it. With data over pipes, your ISP is generating nothing. The only resource involved, is the delivery pipe. And so long as your ISP is doing their job, the only changes in that delivery are to the equipment at the ends. That equipment doesn't take on additional wear because you downloaded 5GB of data today instead of 1. That equipment doesn't care if the entire neighborhood does.

There is no reason for meter-based charges except for greed. With proper competition, even that greed can be tamed. Without competition, companies can charge 1000x's their costs without ever thinking twice - because you have no choice.
 
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Kibaruk

TechSpot Paladin
Actually, the wiring in your home (and in most states, up to 18" extending away from your home) is owned by the property owner and can be used by any provider.

I know this because I'm an engineer in the telecommunications industry.

On the question about competition: yes, more competition in the broadband markets will make the difference on data caps. Right now we have a duopoly between the Telcos and the MSOs (cable).

More competition may be coming down the pike soon. With 5G wireless deployments rolling out in the next few years, you will have a third (possibly even a fourth) option for residential and small business broadband. One of the major business cases for 5G is fixed wireless broadband. Verizon Wireless is starting to trial the technology in the 28GHz band in the coming months.

So stay tuned...
As far as bundling channels is concerned -- you can place the blame on the programming conglomerates for getting all the channels you don't watch. Don't get me wrong, the cable industry has plenty of faults from a consumer perspective, but bundling isn't on them.
I think CableOne will likely institute broadband caps -- after Altice acquires them.
Actually, the intended affect is an increase in revenue for the MSOs. Don't kid yourself, I work in the industry.
Dude, if you keep hitting reply you will make every post come together...
 

Jeremy Ward

TS Rookie
A viable alternative is to have the U.S. Post Office provide Fibre-Optic to the customer premise.
Fibre-Optic has nearly unlimited bandwidth. Fibre-Optic has been "in play" now over 15 years.

The protocols are all the same I.e. ATM packets eventually converted to ethernet once at the customer site.

The Post Office could offer two pricing tiers, a lower cost say 32.00 $/month and you receive all the "junk mail".
or pay 64.00 $/month and no junk mail at all.
In either case one could still access any streaming service of their choice w/o bandwidth usage "caps".
No one deploying a new network uses ATM in the middle unless they have some legacy TDM (telco) services to support. All new deployments are Ethernet in the middle.
 

Jeremy Ward

TS Rookie
Er.... uh, um... do you think a little more competition might change this? Oh, right, they control the wiring to your house... so I guess there won't be any competition unless someone wants to put in another wire.
Oddly, there is some legislation on the books which forces major utilities, (like Verizon), to share their infrastructure with would be competitors. At one time here in Philly, we had "Cavalier Telephone". As far as I can tell, they went bust.

One cell phone company on TV advertises thus: "we don't have to build or maintain cell towers so we offer you a better price".

Dunno what the back story is there, but I suppose it would be worth investigating.
You're referring to an MVNO -- Net10, which is a subsidiary of Tracfone. MVNOs buy access to the cellular network at wholesale rates. They are sales and marketing organizations that don't operate a network in the traditional sense.

I use one of these companies, and I'm ultimately on ATTs networks with 5GB of data, unlimited voice and text, and pay only $45/mo.

Remember, pay-as-you-go cellular (prepaid unlimited) is always cheaper because the carrier doesn't lose money on customers that don't pay their bills, and therefore pass the savings on to the subscriber.
 

Jeremy Ward

TS Rookie
In what way are consumers getting the shaft? Service providers are asking to be paid for the the service they are providing based on usage. How is that not fair? You call yourself a cord cutter. That is so inaccurate. You want to selectively trim the cord and expect the cord provider to slit their own throat by allowing you to use the part of their cord without limits to replace what you used to pay for. It is called pay for play. In most industries that is just considered good business. Just because you do not like it does not mean your are getting shafted. Cord cutters are not being punished, they are just being asked to live in the real world and pay for the services they consume. How is a provider being unfair when they do not provide unlimited service just because their band width would allow it. How are they not supposed to be able to monetize their services.
If they want to bill me based on the number of GB I use, fine.

But if they want to cap me, that's not fine. My electric bills and water bills don't come with caps, I don't see why my internet bill has to be different.

Caps are not "usage." That's bogus.
That's where the industry is heading -- metered billing.
 

Jeremy Ward

TS Rookie
This 'punishing' is a natural result of video taking most of the internet bandwidth. It's easy for companies to sell 'unlimited' something when the expected use is low, but when usage is high, that becomes impractical.

Logically if you use 300GB a month, you should pay 300 times higher than someone who uses 1GB. That won't sell too well, so that's not what happens, but you should keep that at the back of your mind. You're using a limited resource. With cable, that infrastructure is factored into the payment. With the internet, it needs to be factored somewhere, so there's every reason for the provider to limit you or charge more.
Cable Internet has plenty of bandwidth to go around. Streaming video is highly compressed, and very likely takes far less bandwidth than watching the video on a channel. If they can fit hundreds of channels into a single copper wire - there's no way the Internet is using even a fraction of that. It's largely a bogus argument.

Copper (or fiber optics) is nowhere near as limited as wireless. It has incredible bandwidth, and you can always lay down more copper. Building out more infrastructure is possible. So I'm very comfortable saying that I uphold cable internet to a much different standard than wireless.
So does the FCC.
 

Moneyd623

TS Member
If you want better internet, just ask your city to go into talks with Google Fiber to make your city one that Google is "considering". They don't even have to fully agree to bring the fiber there. The city I live in was listed as "Potential" for Google fiber, and a few months later, my ISP upped my connection from 50 down and 5 up to 300 down 50 up with no data cap at no additional charge.
 
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MonsterZero

TS Evangelist
Time to start putting pressure on the FCC to leverage higher data caps. This is pretty shitty of the cable networks to do, this coming from a cord cutter.

I play games, watch Hulu,Netfix,HBO, Starz, and Showtime and have had no issues with Charter in my area. I hope this is not a trend.
 

kwsuther

TS Rookie
Why is the main photo for this article a picture of someone plugging in a coax antenna into a stereo? :-/

That has absolutely nothing to do with cord cutting - In fact, it's completely the opposite.
 

cliffordcooley

TS Redneck
Why is the main photo for this article a picture of someone plugging in a coax antenna into a stereo? :-/

That has absolutely nothing to do with cord cutting - In fact, it's completely the opposite.
Think of someone disconnecting the cable, not connecting the cable.
 

Tanstar

TS Evangelist
A lot of interesting debate, but what I want to know is how he's getting that much college football without cable or satellite? I live in an area that is too rural for OTA to be much use, so to ever cut the cord I'd need to know how he's getting football over the net!
 

Cycloid Torus

Stone age computing - click on the rock below..
That's where the industry is heading -- metered billing.
Or rather a hybrid of setup, connection, maintenance, equipment rental and metered billing?

While we 'may' have to look to the FCC to jawbone, regulate and even oversee/approve reasonable rates, many wonder if this be the best solution.

History may teach us...
- "divided into districts, as well as into towns, problems arose coordinating the various jurisdictions."
- "State and local governments, however, had small bureaucracies and limited budgets which prevented a substantial public sector response."
- "For Americans looking for better connections to markets, the poor state of the ... system was a major problem."

To learn more: http://eh.net/encyclopedia/turnpikes-and-toll-roads-in-nineteenth-century-america/
 

lripplinger

TS Addict
We don't have data caps where I live thankfully. Hopefully the rural telecom provider here never will. $75ish a month here nets you a 100/20mb fiber connection that I have. I just have Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. I dumped Dish a few years ago. Have never missed it.
 

Peter Farkas

TS Evangelist
You can get unlimited 1Gbps for ~$13/month in Hungary or Romania....

Many European countries have upgraded their infrastructure significantly in the last decade thanks to EU support programs.

I am in the UK and paying ~$65/month for 12/200Mbps at Virgin Media. I guess it is without cap since I am a heavy user and never reached any limit. Never even bothered to check if there is a limit. Service is simply perfect.

I am shocked to see these outrageous deals in the US. I would have expected the US to be among the top but I just realised they are at the bottom of the list. I hope it gets much better for you guys asap.
 

deemon

TS Addict
You can get unlimited 1Gbps for ~$13/month in Hungary or Romania....

Many European countries have upgraded their infrastructure significantly in the last decade thanks to EU support programs.

I am in the UK and paying ~$65/month for 12/200Mbps at Virgin Media. I guess it is without cap since I am a heavy user and never reached any limit. Never even bothered to check if there is a limit. Service is simply perfect.

I am shocked to see these outrageous deals in the US. I would have expected the US to be among the top but I just realised they are at the bottom of the list. I hope it gets much better for you guys asap.
my conspiracy theory: The problem there isn't the possible network bandwidth, but NSA, which demands data surveillance from the ISPs. And when it's relatively easy/cheap to just "switch" 1Gbps data from point A to B, it's entirely different story, if you want to analyze this same 1Gbps traffic in real time (the price for capable equipment is like 10-100 fold compared to simple switching costs). So in countries where you don't have caps and have relatively cheap broadband, you can rest more easily and be more sure, you are not monitored on your home turf :)


Just an example of very capable "next gen" firewall ;-)

http://www.securityweek.com/palo-alto-networks-pa-7080-firewall-targets-service-providers-large-enterprises
[SIZE=4][FONT=trebuchet ms]"The top of the line PA-7080 next-generation firewall is a mini-fridge sized appliance that can deliver up to 200Gbps of throughput and 100Gbps with all security capabilities enabled, the company said." [/FONT][/SIZE]

[SIZE=4][FONT=trebuchet ms]"The Palo Alto Networks PA-7080 is available immediately, with pricing starting at $300,000 for a base hardware configuration that supports throughput of 20 Gbps. Up to 10 NPCs, priced at $150,000 each, can be added to the chassis, allowing the network security device to scale to 200Gbps. All totaled, a fully loaded PA-7080 will cost $1.65 million without subscriptions."[/FONT][/SIZE]

[SIZE=4][FONT=trebuchet ms]so ... roughly $1.65M / 100Gbps => $16500 for 1 Gbps port full surveillance (just for hardware... but then there are also yearly support and update subscriptions)... someone has to pay for it :)[/FONT][/SIZE]

[SIZE=4][FONT=trebuchet ms]and if you want to also be able to decrypt VPN and other fancy stuff in real time the prices go astronomical.[/FONT][/SIZE]
 
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ET3D

TechSpot Paladin
Cable Internet has plenty of bandwidth to go around. Streaming video is highly compressed, and very likely takes far less bandwidth than watching the video on a channel. If they can fit hundreds of channels into a single copper wire - there's no way the Internet is using even a fraction of that. It's largely a bogus argument.
That shows a big lack of understanding of the technology involved.

Cable shows the same programme per channel to everyone at the same time. If there are 1000 channels, it need only pass 1000 video streams. The internet passes one video stream per person! So a million people watching video on the internet will take 1,000 more bandwidth than these million people watching video on cable. (Even this is a simplification, the actual difference is larger, discounting the actual number of users.)

That's why we get this. So stop burying your head in the sand.
 
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Capaill

TS Evangelist
Some providers don't even bother waiting for you to hit usage caps. Virgin Media (providers of both TV and internet, previously known as UPC) have started throttling video streaming in Ireland and Holland and parts of the UK. It is believed that their purpose is to force Netflix to pay them a license to unthrottle it, as many subscribers think Netflix is to blame for the poor video quality. Clearly VM have never heard of Net Neutrality. Even though I was getting 19 MB/s (on a 240 mbps package) while downloading games, I was getting significant buffering while watching HD video which should be ok on even 8 mbps. I frequently had to endure 10 minutes of buffering to watch 5 minutes of video. I have since moved to a different provider on only 100 mpbs but with perfect video streaming even at 1080p. Much much happier. When I told VM why I was leaving them, they said they would send out a technician to have a look. What a joke.

And, just to highlight the horrible prices the folks in the US have to endure, I'm now getting TV, 100 mbps broadband, house phone and a 4G mobile phone for 92 euro a month (25 euro a month for the first year). As far as I can tell, the download limit was 500GB but this has since been removed.
 

Madmaxneo

TS Enthusiast
In what way are consumers getting the shaft? Service providers are asking to be paid for the the service they are providing based on usage. How is that not fair? You call yourself a cord cutter. That is so inaccurate. You want to selectively trim the cord and expect the cord provider to slit their own throat by allowing you to use the part of their cord without limits to replace what you used to pay for. It is called pay for play. In most industries that is just considered good business. Just because you do not like it does not mean your are getting shafted. Cord cutters are not being punished, they are just being asked to live in the real world and pay for the services they consume. How is a provider being unfair when they do not provide unlimited service just because their band width would allow it. How are they not supposed to be able to monetize their services.
In what way are consumers getting the shaft? Service providers are asking to be paid for the the service they are providing based on usage. How is that not fair? You call yourself a cord cutter. That is so inaccurate. You want to selectively trim the cord and expect the cord provider to slit their own throat by allowing you to use the part of their cord without limits to replace what you used to pay for. It is called pay for play. In most industries that is just considered good business. Just because you do not like it does not mean your are getting shafted. Cord cutters are not being punished, they are just being asked to live in the real world and pay for the services they consume. How is a provider being unfair when they do not provide unlimited service just because their band width would allow it. How are they not supposed to be able to monetize their services.
I agree, though I also agree they charge a bit more than they should. There was also another post that mentioned how inexpensive it is in Britain (I think that is where they are at). He pays like 95 euros for TV/Internet/home phone/Cell, which is a great price. He compares that to the horrible pricing in this country. I can agree a little but I understand why the prices are higher (though they could be somewhat cheaper). In the US there is a lot more ground to cover and a lot more people to provide services to. Therefore they have to have an exponentially larger amount of staff and equipment on hand. Which increases the cost to maintain all of that, to keep that up they have to charge more. I have Comcast/Xfinity with TV, home phone, and internet (at the highest speed they offer). Right now I pay about $150 a month but that also includes $10 for renting some of the devices like the phone modem that is the hub for the in home wireless, internet, and Basic cable TV, and like $4 for each TV box (4 boxes). I am debating on purchasing my own modems (there will be more than one because I can't find any modems that combine all those services like that). If I ever needed to I would drop the Cable and home phone because I can use the internet for anything I need, and my cell for phone. But I take care of my elderly mother and she needs a home phone and the TV to watch her shows all day. So it kind of does pay off. I currently also have netflix but may be cancelling it soon. I only really have it to watch Daredevil and Jessica Jones and it is not really expensive. I have my shows I watch on TV (Arrow, The Flash, Agents of Shield, The Walking Dead, amongst others). I know I could get those on torrent sites and some on their actual channel sites for free but I enjoy them on TV better when they are aired. I enjoy the cable I have now but it would be really nice if things were at least a little cheaper......
The wireless companies used to have a regular billing with no data caps a long time ago. They usually just added the cost for going over your bandwidth limit, but that cost them loads of money due to people claiming that it was not them or they didn't use the phone that much and so on. People refused to pay simply because they did not think about how much they were using the service.
I agree there is a little greed involved with the billing but I can also understand some of the costs involved with the billing.