Does your broadband provider use data caps? Check this list to find out

Broadband Now has recently compiled a list of broadband providers that offer plans with data caps. There is a huge range of caps – from 4GB to 3000GB. Just about every mode of broadband transport is listed too – fiber, fixed wireless, satellite, cable and DSL. It doesn’t appear to have cellular plans listed. (So if you’re using a mobile hotspot it won’t be listed here.)

To put the caps in perspective, last year iGR reported that the average broadband data usage for a household (of 4) is 190 gigabytes per month.

Here’s Broadband Now’s explanation of data caps…

Data caps have emerged in recent years as a way for Internet providers to police bandwidth usage on their networks. Rather than letting everyone use the “pipe” as much as they want, the broadband industry in the US seems to be moving towards a “pay as you go” model where customers who use more data than other will have to pay extra for it.

Statements from Internet providers suggest that data caps are a necessary step to combat network congestion. Opponents of data caps believe that the motivation for data caps has more to do with recovering declining cable revenue or creating a roadblock for streaming services like Netflix. Whichever side you believe, the outcome is the same — data caps are becoming commonplace.

When you shop for an Internet plan, keep in mind that Internet providers often advertise their data caps as “data plans” or “data limits.”

Sitting in St Paul, I’m tempted to ask myself – who would choose a broadband provider with a data cap? Especially one with a limit significantly lower than the average used. Truth of the matter is some folks don’t have a choice. I hear from those folks often. They are out of range for provider “in town” and often only have access to a provider with a data cap.

This entry was posted in Research, Vendors by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

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