Every tech connected individual will, at some point, run afoul of data caps. Originally implemented for Internet Service Providers in high traffic areas, data caps have since crept into nearly internet providing agreement. Smartphones, satellite internet, and desktop/laptops are all forced to comply with these agreements. Go over your data cap, so the contracts read, and we’ll charge you extra for every bit downloaded.
Consumers and watchdog groups have long suspected data, or broadband, caps were simply price hikes on unsuspecting customers. This argument was bolstered by tech experts pointing out that cost of providing internet to consumers (in terms of routers, switching equipment, and other infrastructure costs) has dropped precipitously over the last 15 years. So if their costs data caps were meant to cover have dropped, why are service providers still charging more then ever for them? The public got its answer this past week in a series of recent interviews with smaller ISP corporations. Sonic (an independent California ISP) and growing giant Frontier Communications have stated that they will not be imposing data caps, as their infrastructure costs are so low that such a measure would be totally unneeded (As detailed here). These recent disclosures all but prove that ISP giants such as Comcast, Time Warner, and Verizon, are doing little more then gouging customers to prop up their uncompetitive (and decidedly mature) market. Keep this news in mind the next time you get a bill saying last night’s Netflix movie was a download too far.