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Customers could pay more as internet data usage increases dramatically

By midian182 · 25 replies
Dec 3, 2018
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  1. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that households are increasingly using more bandwidth, and it’s mostly due to the rise of video streaming sites and the popularity of 4K devices. Unfortunately, this will likely mean everyday users are forced to pay more, thanks to data cap limits.

    As noted by Motherboard, Cisco’s 2018 Visual Networking Index predicts that global IP traffic will increase to 396 exabytes per month by 2022, which is more traffic than has crossed global networks throughout the entire history of the internet to date. A major contributor to this rise is the proliferation of 4K devices and the amount of UHD content being streamed to them.

    Cisco says that throughout 2017, video made up 75 percent of global internet traffic—a 63 percent increase compared to 2015. By 2022, it’s expected to hit 82 percent, 22 percent of which will be 4K content.

    With several ISPs allocating data caps and charging customers who exceed these limits, many users will likely start paying more for their internet. It had been claimed that these caps were necessary to prevent congestion, but we know this isn’t true. Even Comcast now says the limits are there in the interests of “fairness,” or to put it another way: it just wants more money. Most data caps are set at 1 TB per month, with companies charging an average of $10 for every 50 GB over that amount.

    “Usage caps on wired broadband connections have always been a joke,” Matt Wood, Policy Director for consumer advocacy group Free Press told Motherboard. “ISPs have admitted repeatedly that they do not address any real network management problem, and they couldn't.”

    Permalink to story.

  2. Humza

    Humza TechSpot Staff Posts: 201   +136

    Slightly unrelated (and a bit lazy) question: How many inches must a tv/monitor be so that 4k content is noticeably different from 1440p or 1080p? I currently have a 32" Sony Tv and that's totally fine at 1080p.
  3. As internet data usage keeps climbing, how is the NSA going to keep up?
    Michael Baker likes this.
  4. Richard M

    Richard M TS Member

    It depends on how close to the TV you are as well as the size of the TV. There are a few charts out there that show whether getting a higher resolution is worth doing or not. I found this one pretty quickly.

    Danny101, Reehahs, Humza and 2 others like this.
  5. Toju Mikie

    Toju Mikie TS Booster Posts: 70   +71

    I have a 15 inch 4k laptop and also a 27 inch 10-bit 4k monitor and there are very noticeable improvements. Main thing I notice is text being a lot smoother, but I am sitting close to the screens
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
    Humza likes this.
  6. Toju Mikie

    Toju Mikie TS Booster Posts: 70   +71


    Based on bitrate, 4k 30fps on YouTube needs about 16 GB/hr, up that to 4k 60 and you are using a whopping 23GB/hr!

    also game streaming will be an issue as well. Things like Project Stream and GeForce Now are on the rise. GeForce Now recommends a 50 Mbps connection which is 22.5GB/hr.

    And don't even get me started on HDR!
    data caps should be banned!
    Khanonate and psycros like this.
  7. Experimentongod

    Experimentongod TS Maniac Posts: 293   +124

    Wow you guys in the USA are getting shafted by Internet providers really hard. It's like living in the Stone Age over there.

    Here in Spain I pay 30EUR/month ($34) for 600Mbps/600Mbps optical fiber. No data limits of any kind of course.
    Reehahs, Toju Mikie, senketsu and 3 others like this.
  8. kira setsu

    kira setsu TS Booster Posts: 101   +75

    that's the american way, didn't you know?

    Just quietly getting reamed by gigantic companies as the govt protects them and points the finger at the lil guy for being suspicious about it, american as apple pie
    Toju Mikie, senketsu and psycros like this.
  9. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,620   +2,353

    By taxing you more to help build bigger data centers and put pressure on the few remaining holdouts (Apple, etc) who won't install backdoors.
  10. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,749   +1,490

    HUH? 99.999% of us have only one ISP so all connections (front or back doors) go thru the same provider.
  11. OutlawCecil

    OutlawCecil TS Guru Posts: 653   +469

    Word of warning to all: Cable companies are not stupid. They won't immediately raise prices because Net Neutrality is out the door. They will find a reason that is half way understandable and blame price hikes on that.

    Today... "Customers could pay more as internet data usage increases dramatically"

    Hmm so the bandwidth caps are suddenly meaningless somehow so they need to charge more from ALL their customers and not just ones who use a ton of bandwidth?
  12. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,890   +1,166

    Even streaming Amazon from time to time, I never go above 80gig per month.
  13. Slappy McPhee

    Slappy McPhee TS Booster Posts: 144   +76

    Well I am glad that I have the ISP I do, that I have fiber, and that I have no data cap. I don't stream any 4k for the most part as of yet and I still consume 10+TB a month easily.
    Toju Mikie likes this.
  14. ShagnWagn

    ShagnWagn TS Guru Posts: 658   +485

    That is a nice chart, but the biggest factor is your eyesight. As I had 20/12 vision, I could see the pixels on my 60" 1080p plasma at 10 feet. People would get furious and red in the face trying to argue with me. Whatever.

    Data caps are artificial. It basically means they didn't plan nor build the infrastructure to withstand the bandwidth they are selling. If I can't always use the speed you sold me, then don't rip me off. False advertisement. That's like advertising 2000GB speeds where you can download a monthly 500GB cap in a couple hours. I am so glad I have fiber with no cap. It's the way it should be.
    Toju Mikie likes this.
  15. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,703   +2,070

    That's classified! ;)
  16. Duke Sparrow

    Duke Sparrow TS Rookie

    Humza likes this.
  17. BobHome

    BobHome TS Enthusiast Posts: 48   +20

    Here's what I don't understand:
    We had cable TV until last month, then switched to Roku and streaming the same shows from the same networks over the same cable that our cable TV shows came in on (streamed in on?).

    So I am no longer 'streaming' cable TV from my provider over their cable, but I am using that same cable to 'stream' Hulu, YouTube, Philo, etc. It's kind of like driving on the same highway, but with a different car.

    Am I really using more data bandwidth using a Roku device than using a cable box? I think I am using less since I limit the Roku to 720p.

    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
  18. Godel

    Godel TS Addict Posts: 166   +86

    If you've got a 32 inch TV then you only need a 720p resolution for a viewing distance over 6 feet or so. Although I have been known to walk up close to a screen to see the finer details of something or read on-screen text.
    Humza likes this.
  19. ZipperBoi

    ZipperBoi TS Member Posts: 18   +22

    Go to the 8k article that was posted on here to get the full force of knowledge that is TechSpot commenters.
    Humza likes this.
  20. Knot Schure

    Knot Schure TS Addict Posts: 219   +95

    My Thailand fiber connection is 1,200 THB/ month (32EUR), about 600 down, and 100 up, but the down varies greatly.

    Its supposed to be 200 down, but I've seen 600 a few times, and I've speedtest to prove it.
    Toju Mikie likes this.
  21. fktech

    fktech TS Maniac Posts: 512   +128

    Follow the money right into politics.
  22. Ryan Barrett

    Ryan Barrett TS Rookie

    Yeah, but are you streaming in 4K? In a few years, 4K will become more mainstream. (Pun intended)
  23. Ryan Barrett

    Ryan Barrett TS Rookie

    Semi related: WIth 4K streaming on several devices available now, how are we still at the point where broadcast tv and cable don't even broadcast in 1080p (most still broadcast in 1080i or 720p (sports) They are so behind on the technological forefront. Unless this has changed in the last year or so and I'm unaware. The picture quality hasn't seemed to change for me though.
  24. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,890   +1,166

    Nope, nothing on TV, is worth it to me.
  25. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright TS Rookie Posts: 22

    Shame on Techspot and Rob Thubron for not taking 10 seconds to verify their facts.

    Note Rob said, "The US has the highest prices for broadband internet by a vast margin—twice as expensive as the UK"

    That is not just wrong, it is grossly, totally and flagrantly wrong. :( So can anything else in that article be trusted to be true?


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