US Senate floor proposal bans internet service data caps calling them "predatory"

nodfor

Posts: 322   +578
Where do you get this ludicrous assumption?? Your ISP??

The US is a Fifth-world country when it comes to broadband speed AND pricing!!
I actually linked a report above, unlike those who disagree.

Internet has become a necessity like water and electricity. It should be regulated like such. Water and electricity caps are not allowed and neither should internet access caps be allowed.
Bad argument. Plenty of cases where water is rationed

For electricity there are tiers in pricing - the more electricity you use, the higher your rate gets
 

BadThad

Posts: 1,223   +1,491
Thank you! Finally the government gets it. When I build or reimage my computer and have to redownload my games. My bill goes up by 100$. I mean screw the ISPs doing that. Let's go politicians. Somebody may earn my vote.

That's an oxymoron, government DOESN'T get "it" ever unless it's about taking your money or freedom.
 

waclark

Posts: 707   +451
Thank you! Finally the government gets it. When I build or reimage my computer and have to redownload my games. My bill goes up by 100$. I mean screw the ISPs doing that. Let's go politicians. Somebody may earn my vote.
I've never had this problem. Our typical month usage is about 450G, give or take. We've never gone over the 1.2TB data cap for Comcast. We also get a "free" month to go over and additional 50G is only $10, so how many games are you downloading?
 

Hotlynx16

Posts: 64   +15
Not sure if this pertains but I cancelled my Spectrum cable and phone and kept the internet.
The rep on the phone then said because you're a long time customer I can knock off $30 from your present bill if you keep your cable, plus...then I thought why am I not getting this discount already? I said no thank you and said just cancel what I wanted. A bunch of greedy Bastardos.
I am fixing to cancel my spectrum TV(never watch it) also, and just keep my internet and phone. My bill is $259 a month. I am keeping my cable phone because it doesn't drop you out like T-MOBILE does when your on hold trying to talk to a govm't entity or insurance company! I was on the phone last year with a retirement councilor and T-MOBILE would drop the call after a couple of min!! Sad you have to do that to have reliable service! May go back to ATT hard-line phone for back up!
 

waclark

Posts: 707   +451
When cellular phones came along...they charged you for the minutes used. Then texting came along and they charged you for each text. Once data came along, they "give away" talk/text and charge you out the rear for the data.
The ISP's think the data is like gasoline, water, electricty. The more you use, the more you pay.
They are raking in a ton of money doing it that way and it needs to stop.
Granted, if you are downloading 500 gig every couple hours/days, they should throttle you a bit, but most people don't go over their caps.
Why shouldn't you pay more if you use more bandwidth? It's not like the infrastructure needed to handle the bandwidth is free.
 

Burty117

Posts: 4,607   +2,906
additional 50G is only $10...
See, this is America's problem. Right here. That's an extortionate rate. The most expensive 5G plans in the UK are cheaper than that for an extra 50GB.

You American's are soo used to being taken for fools you actually, genuinely think you're getting value for money...
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 8,286   +7,671
"reasonable network management or managing network congestion."
With that language in the bill, you can bet that if a fly lands on their cables, the ISPs will call that network management and network congestion. Honestly, to me, anyway, that sounds like it was written into the bill by ISP lobbyists. :rolleyes:
Not sure if this pertains but I cancelled my Spectrum cable and phone and kept the internet.
The rep on the phone then said because you're a long time customer I can knock off $30 from your present bill if you keep your cable, plus...then I thought why am I not getting this discount already? I said no thank you and said just cancel what I wanted. A bunch of greedy Bastardos.
Spectrum - what a bunch of clowns who think they invented and run the internet.
In my area, all we had was Spectrum for a long, long time. Finally, a new local ISP started laying fiber as quickly as they could. When they finally got to my home, I called to cancel Spectrum and all the Spectrum rep could do was tell me "you have to watch out for companies like them, they have contracts you have to adhere to" which was total BS from the Spectrum rep. All I did say was "too late, cancel my service." Then two days later I got a letter in the mail from Spectrum that said, "Congratulations! We've doubled your internet speed to 200Mbps down at no extra charge." All I could do was laugh because the Fiber ISP gave me 5x speed, up and down, for $15/mo LESS.

I think I would rather deal with dragons than deal with that POS Spectrum. I could go on and on about their abusive customer service that I have had to deal with in the time that I was with them. Not anymore, though. There is finally real competition in our area with an FTTH ISP replete with better speeds, no caps, and less monthly cost.
 

Neatfeatguy

Posts: 1,026   +1,890
I've never had this problem. Our typical month usage is about 450G, give or take. We've never gone over the 1.2TB data cap for Comcast. We also get a "free" month to go over and additional 50G is only $10, so how many games are you downloading?

Your needs/use are not the same as someone else's. It's not hard to get close to that 1.2TB cap and even pass it.

During the summer months when the kids are home more the data usage goes up, watching more while at home. We don't have TV/cable, so we stream stuff from Netflix, Peacock, Discovery+ and so on......it all adds up, especially if my self or one of my kids downloads a game or two. So far during the month of June and July of this year I've received notification from Xfinity that I'm near the cap....just exceeded 1TB a couple days ago.

I'm glad you don't have any issues with the data cap, but your experience/needs are not the same for everyone else.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,838   +1,909
The most expensive 5G plans in the UK are cheaper than that for an extra 50GB...You American's are soo used to being taken for fools you actually, genuinely think you're getting value for money...
You Brits are so used to be taken for fools you actually believe the billions you pay in taxes -- which the government gives to broadband companies to support cheap price plans -- isn't coming out of your own pocket:

From Gov.uk: "The government has today set out the next steps in its £5 billion strategy to deliver next generation broadband to the entire country...."
 

waclark

Posts: 707   +451
It's worth noting, most other country's around the world have unlimited data with a fair usage policy that slows your connection down after a huge amount has been downloaded (normally in the terabytes).

I'm sure a friend who studied in China years ago said it's normal to have unlimited data in China as well, They have far more people connected to their networks yet are able to provide unlimited.

The real fix to this issue in America is to allow competition in the ISP space again. From what I hear, the big guys pretty much lockout any new comers or buy them out if they make even the slightest dent. That needs to stop.
First, China blocks some major web sites such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. They control a lot of international access too. Second, a lot of Chinese people attach to the network via mobile device, so I'm guessing they aren't as likely to be downloading large files to a phone. Third, though it's hard to know for sure, the download bandwidth in China appears to be low, 20-30Mbps in many areas, but as high as 90Mbps. That's a far cry from Gig speeds. At 25Mbps it would take over 3 days to download a TB of data. I'm thinking (guessing again) that the slower speeds discourage massive amounts of downloading. Last but not least China restricts online gaming time for kids, further reducing the load on the networks.

We have unlimited data in the US too. We just don't have unlimited data with unlimited bandwidth. Those are 2 different things. So, China having unlimited data at 25Mbps isn't the same as unlimited data at 1 Gbps.

I agree that competition would help. It's coming, but slowly. We have fiber put in by the county now, but the ISPs leveraging that still aren't that cheap. They sell 100 M up/down for about $100/mo. I get 750M from Comcast for $90 so it's hard to switch, even though I would love to boot Comcast.
 

waclark

Posts: 707   +451
Your needs/use are not the same as someone else's. It's not hard to get close to that 1.2TB cap and even pass it.

During the summer months when the kids are home more the data usage goes up, watching more while at home. We don't have TV/cable, so we stream stuff from Netflix, Peacock, Discovery+ and so on......it all adds up, especially if my self or one of my kids downloads a game or two. So far during the month of June and July of this year I've received notification from Xfinity that I'm near the cap....just exceeded 1TB a couple days ago.

I'm glad you don't have any issues with the data cap, but your experience/needs are not the same for everyone else.
I never said they were, however, I work from home. My wife works from home when she needs to work on the remote computer for our small business. We store most all of our files in the Cloud. We have all the streaming services, Netflix, Prime, Hulu, Disney+ etc. I do video conferencing every day for multiple hours, for my job. We have phones, tablets, Alexa devices, home security devices and a full complement of LG appliances that are all connected to the Internet. And I game, FPS, MMORPG and more, games that often do large updates.

I'd say that we are definitely on the higher end of data usage for an average family.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,838   +1,909
Your needs/use are not the same as someone else's. It's not hard to get close to that 1.2TB cap ... we stream stuff from Netflix, Peacock, Discovery+ and so on......it all adds up, especially if my self or one of my kids downloads a game or two."
Your mistake is confusing what you want with what you need -- then assuming others should foot the bill for it.

Like it or not, bandwidth costs money. If you use four times the bandwidth as your neighbors, but pay the same monthly rate, they're paying for your fun. Or the American taxpayer is.
 

Neatfeatguy

Posts: 1,026   +1,890
Your mistake is confusing what you want with what you need -- then assuming others should foot the bill for it.

Like it or not, bandwidth costs money. If you use four times the bandwidth as your neighbors, but pay the same monthly rate, they're paying for your fun. Or the American taxpayer is.
Your mistake is: Bandwidth and datacap are two different things. I cannot exceed the upload/download limitation of my connection.

If my download/upload speeds are 100/10 Mb, saying that I'm using 4x the bandwidth would imply that I can download 400Mb by assuming my neighbor has 100/10Mb speeds like I do. You can not say that I'm using 4x the bandwidth of my neighbor....we don't know what my neighbor has for speed nor how much of it he uses. Maybe he's got a 1GB connection? That exceeds my bandwidth of 100Mb by (what...a 1000 fold?) a lot. Maybe he's on DSL and not even using cable. Maybe he uses satellite or 4/5G through his mobile phone provider....

I'm talking about datacap. The data limit in place for downloads.
I'm not talking about bandwidth, the speed at which you can download/upload things.
 
Last edited:

Neatfeatguy

Posts: 1,026   +1,890
I never said they were, however, I work from home. My wife works from home when she needs to work on the remote computer for our small business. We store most all of our files in the Cloud. We have all the streaming services, Netflix, Prime, Hulu, Disney+ etc. I do video conferencing every day for multiple hours, for my job. We have phones, tablets, Alexa devices, home security devices and a full complement of LG appliances that are all connected to the Internet. And I game, FPS, MMORPG and more, games that often do large updates.

I'd say that we are definitely on the higher end of data usage for an average family.
If it's just you and the wife and you're around 450GB a month....cool.

But, add 2 more people to your household and you're going to double the monthly use (+/-). You'd be pushing roughly 900GB of data or more, especially if someone else is a gamer and they need to download games, so getting close to or exceeding that 1.2TB datacap isn't such a far fetched idea now, is it?
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,838   +1,909
Your mistake is: Bandwidth and datacap are two different things...If my download/upload speeds are 100/10 Mb, saying that I'm using 4x the bandwidth would imply that I can download 400Mb
Your mistake is confusing maximum bandwidth with consumed bandwidth. Very few customers use their maximum bandwidth more than a small fraction of the time.

Maybe he's got a 1GB connection? That exceeds my bandwidth of 100Mb by (what...a 1000 fold?) a lot.
Was that a joke? I sincerely hope so, or I'm wasting my time here.

If it's just you and the wife and you're around 450GB a month....cool.

But, add 2 more people to your household and you're going to double the monthly use
Double the usage, and the cost rises? Oh, the horror!

When I added two children to my household, it certainly raised the cost of my food, clothing, medical, and utility bills. And eventually, my mortgage and auto insurance bills. If only I'd have told all those evil companies how unfair they were being...
 

Burty117

Posts: 4,607   +2,906
When I added two children to my household, it certainly raised the cost of my food, clothing, medical, and utility bills. And eventually, my mortgage and auto insurance bills. If only I'd have told all those evil companies how unfair they were being...
The internet is very different to any of those though. If you need an extra T-Shirt, toilet roll, Fuel, more electric, water etc... They physically cost more to produce more. If you need more water, more water has to be filtered and piped to your house. More Electric usage means more strain on powerstations. There is raw material needed.

Downloading a game from a Steam Server doesn't cost the ISP anything. Literally nothing or if you're being very pedantic, a tiny fraction of a penny at best.

The ISP's equipment (Switches, Routers, Repeaters etc...) will be on regardless in order to provide the service. Using said equipment doesn't double it's electric usage for every 50GB you use or anything like that.

Data Caps have always been a way to squeeze more money out of paying customers, it still is, it probably always will be.
 

nodfor

Posts: 322   +578
Data Caps have always been a way to squeeze more money out of paying customers, it still is, it probably always will be.
Telecoms are a for profit business, not a charity. They have to charge their customers in order to make a profit and charging more those that make heavier of the service makes sense.
 

Burty117

Posts: 4,607   +2,906
Telecoms are a for profit business, not a charity. They have to charge their customers in order to make a profit and charging more those that make heavier of the service makes sense.
Yeah it makes sense if you pay a certain amount extra a month like:

Basic tier internet: you use around 1TB a month for $30 then a fair usage policy kicks in slowing you down.
Heavy tier internet: you use up-to 5TB a month for $40 then a fair usage policy kicks in slowing you down.

That's far more fair than charging through the nose for every 50GB...

Also, you try to make it sound like all ISP's outside of America aren't for profit businesses because they do unlimited data plans?
 

TazR6

Posts: 7   +3
Data Caps? In my 24 years or so as a subscriber to the same ISP (it was called NTL back then, but now Virgin Media), I have never had a data cap. I have always had unlimited access. It would have been hard to go over any data caps in the old dial-up days anyway. I now have a 1 Gig connection, which is mega super duper quick, and I have absolutely no worries of ever being capped for my usage. I think the only ISPs I am aware of with some sort of a cap are SIM-based ones where you buy them in blocks of data. Even then, there are unlimited options.
I pay approx $55 US for my 1 Gig fibre to the property internet, a landline phone with inclusive calls, voicemail, caller display, caller waiting and my TV package with TiVo and more channels than I would ever watch.
A cap seems so backward and archaic.
With my Mobile Phone, I have had unlimited everything for at least 15 years now. Caps are very rare really, and data is so cheap caps seems daft.
 

nodfor

Posts: 322   +578
Yeah it makes sense if you pay a certain amount extra a month like:

Basic tier internet: you use around 1TB a month for $30 then a fair usage policy kicks in slowing you down.
Heavy tier internet: you use up-to 5TB a month for $40 then a fair usage policy kicks in slowing you down.

That's far more fair than charging through the nose for every 50GB...

Also, you try to make it sound like all ISP's outside of America aren't for profit businesses because they do unlimited data plans?
From past articles in the site, I remember for example 30$ surcharge for unlimited data, that is not an extravagant amount.
As long as data caps don't affect 95% of the consumer base, they are ok in my book.

In the EU we have heavy regulation that has resulted in a very big mess. For example in my country (Greece) the state gave subsidies to subscribers of FTTH connections in order to improve network availability.
The end result? Those with the best connections actually paid less, on the taxpayer's dime, while others don't have even vdsl access... and end up paying similar amounts for s**ty adsl connections.
The subsidies where supposed to last 2 years - do you know what plenty of folks did? They transferred the connection to their spouse, and applied AGAIN for subsidy. I am pretty sure that there are folks who then transferred the line to their (adult) offspring and ended up with 6 years of subsidies...

That is just one example of a regulated market, heavy regulation damages the market in many ways, it makes it very hard for new players to enter, they have to uphold every stupid rule some bureaucrat thought.

Trust me, you do not want the US market to end up being a heavily regulated mess.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,838   +1,909
The internet is very different to any of those though. If you need an extra T-Shirt, toilet roll, Fuel, more electric, water etc... They physically cost more to produce more. If you need more water, more water has to be filtered and piped ....The ISP's equipment (Switches, Routers, Repeaters etc...) will be on regardless in order to provide the service. Using said equipment doesn't double it's electric usage for every 50GB you use or anything like that.
I'm sorry, but this demonstrates a near-criminal level of ignorance of the telecom industry. It's akin to saying that you should be able to fly anywhere for free, because the airlines are going to be operating the planes on those same routes regardless.

Your use of an ISPs bandwidth costs them nothing ... once they've built that capacity. But, if an ISP has 1,000 customers at a 1 gig speeds, they don't have 1,000 gigabits of bandwidth, nor anywhere near that. They dimension their network based on an estimate of what percentage of that bandwidth the customers will use, then overprovision a certain amount. If all their customers attempted to use their maximum data rates 100% of the time, the network would fail.

Now, you can naively say that "they shouldn't build it that way". That ISPs should build networks to all customers to operate at full-speed simultaneously. That sounds nice in theory. In practice, it would mean five or ten times the capacity ... at five or ten times the price.
 

Neatfeatguy

Posts: 1,026   +1,890
From past articles in the site, I remember for example 30$ surcharge for unlimited data, that is not an extravagant amount.
As long as data caps don't affect 95% of the consumer base, they are ok in my book.

There is no extra $30 surcharge for uncapped data in my area with my current internet only plan with Comcast/Xfinity.

However, in my area I can get a "new" contract and pay an extra $10 more than I pay now for the "new contract" price, then add on Xfinity's xFi to get unlimited data if I use their hardware (modem/router) for an additional $25 (to my knowledge, this does not include the rental fee for equipment which, if I remember correctly is $10/month). This means I can get unlimited data if I want to, by changing my current plan to a "new contract"....and of course, magically, after 2 years that contract price goes up $20.

Here's where I am now:
$55/month 120/5 (download/upload) - my speeds are usually closer to 200/7 on any given day and I have a 1.2TB data cap. My speeds are fine, we never get bogged down by them so I don't need more speed, I'd just like that data cap removed.
If I could add $30 for uncapped data my cost would be $85/month - but this option is not available for me with my current plan.

Here's where I could be if I went with the unlimited data plan Xfinity offers in my area:
$65/month (for 300/10 download/upload) + $25 for xFi equipment + $10 rental fee = $100/month
After 2 years the "contract price" would expire and my monthly cost would jump by $20, putting me at $120 a month.

I might be okay with $85/month for uncapped data using my current plan.
I'm not okay with being forced to spend over that for an uncapped data plan with a "new contract" and having to rent their equipment. I think it's a load of horseshit.
 

waclark

Posts: 707   +451
If it's just you and the wife and you're around 450GB a month....cool.

But, add 2 more people to your household and you're going to double the monthly use (+/-). You'd be pushing roughly 900GB of data or more, especially if someone else is a gamer and they need to download games, so getting close to or exceeding that 1.2TB datacap isn't such a far fetched idea now, is it?
Mostly it's me and the wife. But my grandson (9) comes over quite a bit. When here, he's constantly on an iPad or laptop gaming, streaming gaming videos or whatever.

I checked my library of installed games and while I have one or two that are 80-100G most of them are between 5-50G. I (or someone) would need to download several games, per month, to make a real impact on data usage. While it would be possible to get to that 1TB cap, I doubt it would happen on a regular basis, even with 2 more people in our home. Recent data shows that the average is between 400-500G per month for subscribers, so a cap of 2x that seems reasonable to me.