Streaming Is on a Collision Course with ISP Data Caps

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by Megalith, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. Tiburon1186

    Tiburon1186 Gawd

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    Don't support companies with caps if at all possible. I have fios in Pittsburgh with no caps. Typically i use about 175GB/month.
     
  2. dvsman

    dvsman 2[H]4U

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    Maybe something you guys haven't considered is this. The companies know their landline based services have a shelf life. As 5G rolls out and becomes more common (I'm talking 5-10 years horizon, not right now), they will lose their monopolies. Look at cable TV - no one thought cord cutting would be a thing and yet here we are.

    Of course once we have a paradigm shift to fully mobile data, we'll have to deal with the mobile companies, but maybe having competing technologies will keep both landline and mobile companies in check (probably not) but one can always dream :)
     
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  3. lostin3d

    lostin3d [H]ard|Gawd

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    I've got a 400/20 Comcast connection. So far haven't hit a cap but I do watch quite a bit of 4k Netflix and the family constantly watches HD streams of things plus 100-200GB's of Steam downloads a month.
     
  4. BlueFireIce

    BlueFireIce [H]ardness Supreme

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    Which would be even worse.

    As it stands now, last mile is already heavily regulated, and is why most areas have little to no competition. It is one of the great examples of crony capitalism. Local government controls ROW access and often limits line installs to one or two ISPs, everyone else is just buying bandwidth from them and reselling, which is why the prices are quite static. In other cases local government is the one that sets the "reasonable" price, just like with cable. Aka, regulatory capture.

    In areas this has been opened up, such as areas Google fought to have ROW access, as they are one of the few with pockets deep enough to force their way in, prices dropped over night. Markets Comcast said they couldn't reduce prices and network was saturated for speeds, same month Google went in, Comcast cut prices and upped speeds. Another example being many areas in Houston where there are little to no restrictions, I have 6 ISP choices at my place, and pay $80/mo for 1Gbps/1Gbps.
     
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  5. kju1

    kju1 2[H]4U

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    Government mandated monopolies are just plain wrong. If they were going to do that they should have FORCED comcast to produce verifiable metrics so they could do data driven decisions to set the "acceptable" price.

    IMO its a real shame google shut down their fiber roll out. But then everyone did so...
     
  6. Humanoid1

    Humanoid1 n00b

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    I would have thought Trump would be more embarrassed by the state of US broadband and harping on about making America Great Again !!!

    For a long time it felt like the UK was in the dark ages as far as TV channels and broadband went. Thankfully all fixed now and most providers semi fast packages are unlimited data caps.
    Pings are great too even during peak times.

    Virgin proudly tell me how much I have managed to DL every quarter (I'm Bossin it apparently) and provide 115Mb/s on their 100Mbit service :)

    Hope you get yours all sorted in the near future too.
     
  7. McCartney

    McCartney Gawd

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    edit: if you wouldn't mind, kju1, could you pls share a link or two for the figures you're mentioning regarding cost decreases? it would help me sharpen my familiarity in this area.

    now for the brunt of your post:
    i understand where you are coming from, however i think nutzo's response is more appropriate here. i'm not saying costs haven't come down, but i don't know if it is in proportion to the increase appetites.

    what he describes below, in terms of iSP tactics, i have yet to experience.

    we are typically paying around 100 USD a month for a 150MBit down/~20MBit up line, so we get shafted. but i don't recall them shifting prices accordingly, however they may have.

     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
  8. BlueFireIce

    BlueFireIce [H]ardness Supreme

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    When you buy off local government regulators, the whole point is not to have to show/produce any sort of metrics though. The idea and even rules/laws around regulating ISPs is quite good, and great intentions, but it is run by humans and they are corruptible. It's the same with Cable, when the Cable bill passed, one of the biggest questions consumers had was "why have cable prices gone up?" as one of the main mantras behind the bill was it would reduce cable bills, but it went the other direction.

    Google stopped new rollout of fiber because forcing their way in is expensive (and took years of legal battles in some cities), and have been in a number of lawsuits tying them up getting into new markets. So they bought that wireless gigabit company for the tech they were making, they stated rolling this out to bypass last mile ROW access, Comcast filed a complaint stating that this should still be considered ROW installation, last I heard this is still an ongoing fight, but they have a few new installs going as well. Time will tell how it plays out, and I still think Google is evil, even if I agree with their current attack on the current ISP and ROW situation.
     
  9. kju1

    kju1 2[H]4U

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    My post was focused on the cost to ISPs not consumers. Consumer prices have, at least in my personal experience, gone up while the cost to the ISP and large businesses (such as where I slave away) have gone down.
     
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  10. That_Sound_Guy

    That_Sound_Guy 2[H]4U

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    Paying for data caps is something I don't like of course but I fear worse coming.

    - 5G hits and cord cutting now kills ISP only subs like me putting pressure on them to find more avenues of profit.
    - Backbone providers like Level 3 will put pressure on their lease line holders to cover the massive bandwidth increase
    - Pay per usage model will be adapted making a cell phone/ISP a utility
    - Heavy content streamers will either have to raise price for being the data hogs or we will have to pay more for streaming service

    We are accelerating the exit of the glory days of the internet IMO, entering a policed one now that the transition from pay for TV and wired internet is threatened. Once 5G floods the airwaves and accomplishes its theoretical speeds, the market will entirely change.
     
  11. McCartney

    McCartney Gawd

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    For us, what we paid 40/mo for in 1997 (approx 10Mbit down, probably 10Mbit up, but this is cable Internet at a time where neighbours had no cap and shared a node), we current pay he same (roughly) when all things are considered; about 70 bucks/mo for 75Mbit down and 10Mbit up.

    Are there any isps in particular that you find egregious in terms of the conduct you're describing?
     
  12. Ultima99

    Ultima99 [H]ardness Supreme

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    We should all turn off our TV's and cancel all our TV/Internet services and go outside and sit in drum circles. That would show them!
     
  13. Megaslug

    Megaslug Limp Gawd

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    Makes me glad to love where I do - in the Northeast. I've really had no problems with Comcast - other than the idiot tech who was ready to re-wire the hardest to replace cable in my house because he stuck his test equipment on the line from the pole BEFORE the lightning arrestor which was the actual failed component. ANd of course he started at the end of the runs - replacing all of my carefully crimped ends at the devices and at the splitter - all before even checking to see if the line down from the pole was good. I wasn;t really inconvenienced, I was just trying not to laugh at the guy's really poor troubleshooting skills. And yeah, I get it, half the homeowners out there will crimp ends on coax and have no clue how to do it, but after a lifetime of making Arcnet and thinnet Ethernet cables, I kind of have this down. I just finally took pity on the guy because replacing the line he wanted to replace would be a serious task - above the fireproof ceiling in my garage. I know how long it took me to pull out a 240VAC line through that space and replace it with a single #12 120AC line.
    Outside of that - in the 5 1/2 years I have been in this house, they've upgraded my speed twice for no increase in the bill, and no data caps. I'm at 250Gbps now - and I actually get that. Do wish the up was a little faster, but for the amount I remote into my home systems, the 15Gbps or so I get is fine. Glad they do this on a regional basis though, and not local municipalities, because competition? If I didn;t want Comcast I can get crappy AT&T or Verizon DSL. That's my alternative. Not even close to equivalent performance, and they charge just as much as Comcast.
    Still, none of this will ever change if they don't treat ISPs as common carriers and you pay for the line with some speed. Not the content, not the potential content. As more and more people elminate the cable TV part of the service and just use the internet side of it, of COURSE Comcast (or any other company) is not going to want to lose that revenue, and will try to make it up somehow. That's the problem of the cable TV content provider also being the ISP for internet service.
     
  14. Aioeyu

    Aioeyu [H]Lite

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    Data caps are the ISPs way of discouraging cost cutting. I'm so bummed where I live. We have gigabit internet from Comcast, charter, and Google. When I bought my house Google said they'd be in my neighborhood by year end . They've since abandoned expansion. Google is $70/ month symmetrical with no data cap. Comcast, which I'm stuck with, is $150/month with 1TB data cap, and I usually only see 800ish Mbps down, with 40mbps up. I go to another part of the city and my friend with Google gets dann near 1Gb up/down. Comcasts battle to succeed through legislation rather than innovation is working all over America.
     
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  15. WestSidaz

    WestSidaz Limp Gawd

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    Big boys usest mora data than average users ;D
     
  16. kju1

    kju1 2[H]4U

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    All of them? When I was on Cox my price was for 10MB down 1 up and it was 50/month. Three years later I was paying twice that for the same thing. When I was on comcast it was 10/10 and 100/month first year, second year was 150. When I was on qwest it was 200/month for 768k up and 1mb down.

    Ive been on FIOS for about 10 years now. I started off paying 75/month for 40/20 (ish, dont recall the exact speeds) and am now paying 175/month for 75/25. Next Feb its going up to 250/month because my contract is expiring and they dont have my plan available anymore. So I will be on the "new" plan at 75/50. None of the ones on their website are "available" at my address. However if I cancel for 30 days and come back I can get gigabit for 200/month. (Thank you to the tech who let that slip...and probably got himself fired).
     
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  17. TwiceOver

    TwiceOver 2[H]4U

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    Cable companies aren't going to lose money from TV cutters. They'll just raise the cost of internet and apply cap overage charges. They have to stay in business, we're just shifting the cost from one service to another.
     
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  18. SJetski71

    SJetski71 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    No caps here but still hoping the 5G roll-out throws that monkey wrench in just the right spot, and shakes things up a little bit ... at the very least.
     
  19. Dodge245

    Dodge245 Limp Gawd

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    yep, back in 2000 there was when BT first launched ADSL in the UK, at 0.5Mbs... 2010 was around the time we had upto 50 Mbps and unlimited. On offer from Virgin, everyone else was around the 10-15 mark.. https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0023/53735/cost_value_final.pdf
     
  20. spiroh

    spiroh Limp Gawd

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    I would be ok with a 1.5tb cap but the 1tb cap I have with Comcast isn’t cutting it. I have a total of 5 family members and we hit close to cap every month. In fact we went over last month for the first time.
     
  21. Spidey329

    Spidey329 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    The caps are to make it less desirable to cut the cord. They want you to subscribe to a TV package of theirs, if you don't want to, they're going to extract that revenue in some other way (increased internet cost or data caps with overage fees). The past few years, my internet cost has gone up significantly but my speeds/caps have not changed. My current package went from $40-->$60-->$80 (actually $100, but I negotiated a lower rate).

    I do a lot on my home internet with a 1Tb cap (cord cutter), I have never peaked above 400Gb in a month. Granted, I only stream 1080p. I'd assume a lot of the people bumping against the caps are in multi-person households and possibly doing 4k content.
     
  22. lightsout

    lightsout Gawd

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    What no way is this true? I love Spectrum. It's been solid for me. Hope they never have caps. TW never had caps either when I was in so Cal.
     
  23. nutzo

    nutzo [H]ardness Supreme

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    We don't hit out 1TB cap because we don't use any of the streaming services. (we still have cable and a DRV)
    With the wife at home all day, and a home-schooled kid (on-line school), and the IT work I do from home, we use about 500GB.

    If I where to dump cable and switch to streaming services to replace all the TV the family watches, we would easily go over the cap, significantly increasing our internet costs.
    Due to the location of my house, we can't even get local channels with an antenna, so we would even have to stream for the local channels.
     
  24. nutzo

    nutzo [H]ardness Supreme

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    They say what they are paid to say by the industry.
     
  25. Wierdo

    Wierdo [H]ard|Gawd

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    I can't find an old paper that showed data costs are fractional pennies per gb these days, but this basically tells a similar message:
    https://broadbandnow.com/report/much-data-really-cost-isps/
    TransitPriceDrops.jpg

    In Europe it's not unusual for ISPs in many competitive areas to offer no cap service, they don't misleadingly claim traffic management as the excuse to make money in their PR - ISPs here plainly state it's simply for increasing profit margins from a captive market during their quarterly investor reports.

    I assume 8k Netflix programming will take off there long before it does here.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
  26. Link

    Link Gawd

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  27. jardows

    jardows [H]ard|Gawd

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    Meh, cry me a river. All this complaining from people who just want prettier pixels on a TV screen. For Freeeeeeeeee!!!!!!
     
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  28. aldamon

    aldamon [H]ardness Supreme

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    Shouldn't H.265/HEVC be doing better than this? I know the HEVC linux distros I download occasionally are much smaller than H.264 equivalents.
     
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  29. TordanGow

    TordanGow Gawd

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    Why is this a surprise? It sounds like working as planned to me.
     
  30. Link

    Link Gawd

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    Before Spectrum, it was Time Warner. Before TW, it was Cumcast. Before Cumcast, it was AT&T.
    Those changes took place over the last 28 years. The download speed went from 50 mbps to 100 mbps while the price basically staid the same.
     
  31. kju1

    kju1 2[H]4U

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    Missed your data reques tin my original response. Here is a link that shows the total amount of bandwidth available. http://www.singularity.com/charts/page81.html

    This paper is a bit dated but it shows some interesting trends: http://drpeering.net/white-papers/Internet-Transit-Pricing-Historical-And-Projected.php
     
  32. Makaveli@BETA

    Makaveli@BETA 2[H]4U

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    This seems to be more of a problem in the US than Canada i've been on a unlimited connection for years now.

    Hopefully US ISP's wake up there is no place for data caps in 2018!
     
  33. Paul_Johnson

    Paul_Johnson [H] Admin Staff Member

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  34. Sparky

    Sparky 2[H]4U

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    After going over my comcast cap 2 months in a row I decided to get the unlimited upgrade for $20/mo. I called to order it and was told it was on sale for $10/mo for 1 year. This was back in Apr or May.
     
  35. mjz_5

    mjz_5 2[H]4U

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    I can’t believe Canada has better internet prices
     
  36. McCartney

    McCartney Gawd

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    thank you for this link, but that graph can be misleading. this white paper says transit costs have been decreasing by, on average, 30 percent per year. (end of introduction paragraph)

    edit: i also think that, if we use the decay rate of 0.3, i'd find it easy to argue the masses' demands on a year-to-year basis may have a larger coefficient (maybe 0.5 or something, as in their appetite grew by 50%). once they learn how to do it, they just get greedy and demand more (human nature, whatever).

    that graph, if you look at the trend, seem to roughly represent that, but it looks weird. dunno.

    i may give the paper i linked for this conversation a bit more of a read, as this area of the "business world' grows more intriguing to me by the day now that i've satisfied my expectations of familiarising myself with the hardware that drives it (lotta MIPS).

    it seems much of your qualms rely with your ISPs, and while i will stop short of saying ours are benevolent, they do not really exercise tactics like the ones you've experienced.

    to mjz_5:
    i don't think we do. the best kind of internet available in my province is symmetric 150/150 with some sort of cap, but the availability of this connection is still scarce.

    the more abundant offering is approximately 150/300 MBit down and 10/20MBit up respectively. they cost approximately 100-125 USD, which is not great when considering equivalently-priced offerings in america are symmetric.

    our cable provider is not interested in providing a symmetric connection, which i can understand somewhat since many people do not upload much data ("l33ch" hahaha [dw i was one too, as a young WHIPPAHSNAPPAH]), whereas telus (once a crown corporation) does, but the availability sucks.
     
  37. Sparky

    Sparky 2[H]4U

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    Their headquarters are in the northeast. Cant have caps on the execs accounts.
     
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  38. Makaveli@BETA

    Makaveli@BETA 2[H]4U

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    Depends on where you live I think.

    In Ontario Canada you can get 1.5Gbps down and 1 Gbps up from bell as their best fibre offer.

    For Cable internet best you get is 1 Gbps and 30mbps up which is similar to comcast in the US. Limitation is Docsis.

    However i've not payed full internet prices in years because I keep getting discounts on my packages.

    i'm on a 500/20 unlimited cable connection now and I pay $24.99 for it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
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  39. exlink

    exlink [H]ardness Supreme

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    Gigabit Google Fiber with no data caps is amazing.

    Previously had Comcast/Xfinity and I hit 900GB+ out of the 1TB data cap frequently. Had to monitor my use, but now with Google Fiber I just let streams run all day and download all I want without a second thought.
     
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  40. darckhart

    darckhart Limp Gawd

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    data cap for users is purely for money money money. it's just an arbitrary number so they can charge overage fee. it's an annoyance on home internet and absolutely terrible on mobile.
     
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