I wrote before about Comcast started doing it in several places, that is limiting the amount of data you can send and receive over the internet. Now AT&T looks like they might be next in line to start capping data, as they have started a test in Reno, NV that caps traffic at 20 GB to 150 GB per month, depending on the plan that you pay for. If you go over the limit, you get a one month grace period. But if you continue to go over, you will be charged $1 for every GB that you use.
I am not a fan of setting caps on the internet. People are watching movies, television, working from home and using VOIP phones – all of these things added together would send you well over any cap set by your internet provider. And while I understand that some people do abuse the system, the majority of people use only a normal amount. But caps like these could really put a damper on the growth of the internet. I work from home and send very large files back and forth over the internet, I have a VOIP phone, I stream music while I work – all of that would not be possible if I was being charged a fortune every month for internet service.
I don’t know where this heading. Maybe it’s companies like Google implementing city-wide WiFi in major metropolitan areas for free, as they have been working to do. People using the internet more equals more income for Google. Maybe it’s a new kind of internet provider other than the cable or phone company. Maybe it’s something no one has thought of yet. But if these companies insist on setting caps on traffic for everyone as a blanket statement rather than focusing on those who abuse the system, people will be looking for an alternative.
What do you guys think about this? What could you see as an alternative in the future to being trapped by these companies? Internet use is only going up by everyone – limiting it will eventually hurt everyone.