The difference between 300GB and 500GB transferred through cable internet every month is pretty negligible. While there are limitations on how much data can move through these series of tubes, we’re still a ways off before brand new infrastructure needs to be rolled out to meet the demand.
But despite this, major broadband companies have been increasing their data cap roll outs, claiming it’s important to keep things fair for the rest of subscribers who don’t stream as much Netflix as the rest of us.
Dane Jasper, CEO of independent California ISP Sonic argued that this is simply a business decision, to increase the use of data caps, as opposed to a necessary limitation to prevent congestion.
“The cost of increasing [broadband] capacity has declined much faster than the increase in data traffic” Jasper argued.
And while Comcast has moved to increase their imposed data caps from 300GB to 1TB, this seemingly kindhearted consumer-first gesture is likely with less wholesome intentions. As CIO points out, this most recent move likely keeps the FCC off their back for now as consumer complaints decline. With that, while the FCC researches data caps, with fewer complaints, it’s unlikely they will take any action to impose changes on these policies.
It seems likely that within the next decade, data consumption will only continue to drastically increase, with 4K video, virtual reality streaming, and more eating up more of that 1TB a month rate. And by then, perhaps as consumers we’ll all be more likely to accept our fate willingly.