More cable users are consuming 1TB of data per month, face fines for exceeding caps

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

Vendor OpenVault has found that US cable internet customers now use 268.7GB per month on average. That’s up from 226.4GB at the end of June 2018 and a 33.3 percent increase over the 2017 year average. The number of power users—households that use 1TB of data or more each month—also saw a significant increase, more than doubling from 2.11 percent in 2017 to 4.12 percent in 2018.

With the rise in 4K content and the number of devices that support the resolution, along with the increasing popularity of video streaming sites, it’s no surprise to see homes using more data.

Households whose ISPs impose data cap limits, such as Comcast, use 8.5 percent less data than uncapped customers as they try to avoid being fined for overuse—many are charged around $10 for every 50GB over 1TB. Those without caps are also the ones most likely to exceed one terabyte.

It had been claimed that the caps were necessary to prevent congestion, but we know this isn’t true. Comcast says the limits are there in the interests of “fairness,” while OpenVault, says they help cable companies avoid major network upgrades.

"Our analysis makes it clear that usage-based billing is among the most effective tools the industry has in managing consumption and reducing the need for massive capital expenditures," writes OpenVault Executive VP Josh Barstow.

OpenVault told Ars Technica that the data from December 2018 comes entirely from cable networks, so it does not include any fiber, DSL, or wireless Internet services.

Cisco’s 2018 Visual Networking Index predicts that global IP traffic will increase to 396 exabytes per month by 2022— more than has crossed global networks throughout the entire history of the internet to date—which means many users on data-capped plans will likely start paying more for their online services.

Permalink to story.

 

Robertrogue

TS Booster
I use a cable provider who has me use their app to watch tv, so I use only the data for all my needs. If they decide to cap the data, they will shut down half the viewers they have at least. I would just fire them and find a different supplier. I agree with gusticles41, the providers need to adapt to the consumer and not the other way around. You want people to spend $100 plus a month consistently, you need to provide better and better support for the product. Ask Blockbuster how not adapting worked.
 

Mithan

TS Enthusiast
I work for a TelCo, the idea that nobody sees this coming is stupid. I suspect we will be looking at metered internet in 10 years perhaps, but ultimately, fiber to the prem being rolled out is going to increase these transfer rates enormously.
 

ShagnWagn

TS Guru
Advertisment spamming has increased as well. I know a high portion of my cell usage is just for apps spamming me with video advertisements now instead of just pictures or text. Advertisements are now even longer. Facebook now, by default, makes advertisements play videos immediately. They made sure they buried the setting to disable this deep into the settings menu. Scumbags. Do these companies not know I boycott their products who pay to do this to us? They also directly raise our internet costs because of the extra data usage. I'm sure ISPs love the additional revenue. I doubt it, but I can see companies getting kickbacks for the extra bandwidth charges. ;)
 
  • Like
Reactions: cliffordcooley

Toju Mikie

TS Addict
4k on YouTube uses around 15-30 GB/hour, depending on the frame rate of the videos.
game streaming is also on the rise. GeForce Now recommends 50 Mbps speed, which is around 23GB/hour. Data usage will keep going up as more people migrate to 4K, and yet Comcast is also still saying that less than 99% are staying under 1TB! How is that possible?!
 
  • Like
Reactions: cliffordcooley

Vollezar

TS Booster
Hardly surprising that people use so much. Videos on site like Amazon's Prime Video are at over 6 GB per an hour long episode. Sooner or later ISPs will have to start upgrading. Sooner if their customers start raising hell about this nonsense. I don't think they are putting off the upgrade, it's just more profitable for them to charge people excessive rates for "over usage".
 
  • Like
Reactions: cliffordcooley

seefizzle

TS Evangelist
Hardly surprising that people use so much. Videos on site like Amazon's Prime Video are at over 6 GB per an hour long episode. Sooner or later ISPs will have to start upgrading. Sooner if their customers start raising hell about this nonsense. I don't think they are putting off the upgrade, it's just more profitable for them to charge people excessive rates for "over usage".
Downloaded a game the other day. 80 gigs. Most games nowadays are north of 30 gigs.

At some point the content creators themselves will push for changes as it limits the amount of games and movies people can buy.

I've already used up my two courtesy months thanks to my kid downloading games.

Imagine doing remote video editing work.

This bs just isn't sustainable.
 

Karbust

TS Rookie
At least in Portugal we have a really unlimited usage. If it was like in America I would be screwed, myself alone does more than 300GB per day in my building with 19 apartments...
 

Vollezar

TS Booster
Downloaded a game the other day. 80 gigs. Most games nowadays are north of 30 gigs.

At some point the content creators themselves will push for changes as it limits the amount of games and movies people can buy.

I've already used up my two courtesy months thanks to my kid downloading games.

Imagine doing remote video editing work.

This bs just isn't sustainable.
That's exactly why I started to check how big the download is before I buy games. Anything bigger than about 30GB I just ignore, even if I really want to play them.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Godel

ZipperBoi

TS Enthusiast
No data cap from my ISP :) The only downside is they pretty much run a monopoly on the area so unless you are outside of city limits you HAVE to go through them. But paying $49.95 a month for 150mbs down and 15mbps up with no limits is nice.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Toju Mikie

Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
If they found a way to exclude the data used for
1. Forced ad and commercial watching
2. click bait leaders
3. ALL commercial apps

Then we would never get close to the limits. Being forced over the limits by all this junk is sort of like taxation without representation .... Perhaps time for a Boston Data Party where we throw all the servers from our favorite ISP into the river .... but we need to dress like geeks rather than Indians ......
 

redhat

TS Enthusiast
4k has more cons than pros. Just look at the terrible size of games and movies, just few of them plus some family memories and you are out of capacity. I think a powerful lossless compression would be the best solution for many of us
 

Xabi Granja

TS Member
This sucks. Our household gets to 1TB every month, and we're careful not to be charged extra. It's a shameless situation. We own two 4K TVs, but have every service setup to 1080p because otherwise we'd go WAY over 1TB (we're getting to our cap at 1080p!).

I don't even subscribe to 4K quality on services like Netflix, because the *****ic caps mean I cannot use it without paying exorbitant amounts.

Shameless.
 

BobHome

TS Enthusiast
Clarification needed, please.

Through our provider, Wave, we have cable and internet. We dropped cable TV for Roku devices. We are watching the same shows on the same networks as we did with cable. BUT, our data usage has gone from under 100 MB a month to over 1 TB a month (1.77 TB this month an 4 days left in it). We also had to bump up to 100 MB from 10 MB service.

The same TV shows are coming into our house over the same cable, only now they call it 'internet data' instead of 'Cable TV data'. I have the Roku's set to 720p to keep the 'internet data' down where we received many shows at 1080p on cable TV.

So, since we are receiving the same 'data' does this mean when it was called Cable TV we were using more TBs since we had a lot of 1080p shows? Yet we're paying more for internet because of its supposedly higher data requirements?

I'm confused....
 
  • Like
Reactions: Thayios

seefizzle

TS Evangelist
No data cap from my ISP :) The only downside is they pretty much run a monopoly on the area so unless you are outside of city limits you HAVE to go through them. But paying $49.95 a month for 150mbs down and 15mbps up with no limits is nice.
I'd kill for this. I have nearly the same thing but pay almost triple and I have a datacap.
 

ShagnWagn

TS Guru
A cap is stupid. Why even bother? Put everybody on dial-up and you won't every have to worry about caps. Oh yeah, because they wouldn't be able to reach into our wallets as far. Otherwise it's like giving everyone 10GB broadband with 100GB cap.