05 September 2008

Americans whinge about proposed Internet bandwidth cap

For the first time ever, it seems American ISPs are thinking of implementing bandwidth caps to curtail Internet usage, and many users are up in arms about it.

But Comcast's mooted 250 Gig cap seems infinitely generous compared with Telkom's 3 Gig monthly maximum, and anything else one has to pay extra for.

The era of unlimited Internet usage for a flat monthly price is one step closer to its end, as cable giant Comcast officially announced today that residential subscribers would top out at 250 gigabytes (GB) per month of data bandwith availability, beginning October 1.
Critics of metered broadband say that the plans offer too little bandwith for too high a price. Customers will shy away from using high-speed Internet's full potential, such as uploading or streaming videos, if they are afraid of going over their limits in doing so, and that companies who are supporting metered plans do so to protect their own video channels and hamstring competitors such as YouTube.

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For a long time I've been annoyed by URL-only posts on Usenet newsgroups, and sometimes respond to them with a URL-only reply, to explain why I find them annoying. I never even try to look at You-Tube or other streaming video, I get annoyed with too many unnecessary graphics on web sites, and blogs that play music on all posts. Even with this, I find that I often run out of bandwidth before the end of the month, and have to pay extra to retain access.

If Telkom offered 250 Gig, most South Africans would be delirious with joy.

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