Bandwidth Caps….Fair or Un-fair?

With more streaming and file downloads encompassing the internet, capping a users bandwidth per month seems to be the only way to go, correct?  Wrong.

For the average consumer, checking email, logging on to Facebook and playing an online game might be the most data that they use.  Honestly speaking, that could be less than 1GB of data transfers for the  month(remember this is an AVERAGE consumer).  However, with the advent of all media becoming digital and services such as Netflix and Hulu Plus that are causing some users to reach their data caps according to their ISP.  Let’s look at the bigger picture, if I am a cable company and I have 100 customers:

  • 15 customers log on once a day to check email
  • 35 customers upload various files during work hours, otherwise their connection is un-used
  • 50 customers stream HD movies via Netflix

You can see that I have purposefully split it 50/50, in reality this is far from the case!  Most people I know, use their connection for casual surfing and most people are not power users.  So why should internet caps be put in place when the majority of the populous is not using a lot of data when only a minority are.  I find myself to be a power user, I have a high-speed wireless network in my home where I stream movies and television shows by the dozen on a day to day basis. 

Question:  Is this what the usual person does?


Being an IT Specialist, I am well versed in technology.  So, I decided to substitute my data usage(Netflix/Hulu) for cable and other means.  Does that mean I should be capped when the vast majority of people that are subscribed to my ISP rarely use their connection for anything else but email?  No.

Bottom line: Internet bandwidth caps are hot air, there are honestly enough users that do not use their connection for streaming and intense uploading that it balances out those that do.