Can Comcast Ditching 250 GB Data Cap Be A Sign For A Future Of Which The Old Media Becomes The Radio Of Today?

Picture of a Comcast service vehicle taken in ...

Picture of a Comcast service vehicle taken in an open area from a public street in Macomb, Illinois 61455 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PCMAG reported that Comcast will ditch the 250GB data cap for their customers soon, because Comcast is exploring the option of increasing the data cap beyond 250GB.  When questioned, Comcast refused to say that people needed more bandwidth, instead they said nowadays it simply makes sense to have their customers with bigger data cap since online videos are becoming evermore popular.  In my opinion, I think sooner or later, the ISP industry will get evermore competitive and people will use more data than the data cap allows.  The people who need more bandwidth will just have to leave the ISPs that do not provide bigger data cap.

Google might speed up the adoption of which to abandon the data cap altogether.  Obviously, I’m looking at how Google is providing 100 times faster than today Internet connection speed for Kansas City, KS and Kansas City, MO.  Perhaps, once Google thinks that they will reap even more profits by providing ultra fast fiber broadband beyond Kansas City, KS and Kansas City, MO., then the competition will definitely push more ISPs to rethink about data cap logic.

Sure, Google has deeper intention for offering ultra fast fiber broadband.  I think Google wants to make sure they have the experience in providing ISP service, because Google never knows that they might need to roll out their very own ISP service to just about anyone who relies on Google services.  Perhaps, Google fears that one day ISPs will be able to dictate what people can watch and download over the Internet.  If such a day will happen, Google’s ultra fast fiber broadband will be able to aid Google in providing Google whatever services over the web to just about anybody as usual.  Google will always be the master of its own Internet services!

Google is so depending on the Internet for its prosperity, therefore no matter is too small to be overlooked when it comes to how Google does business over the Internet — ultra fast fiber broadband service/experiment is definitely a defensive and possibly an offensive strategy.  I don’t think Google ultra fast fiber broadband has data cap, but I’m not sure.  Nonetheless, I think Google wants to promote a future where data can roam just about anywhere without being restrained by the data cap limitation.  It makes sense, because Google core business relies on unrestrained Internet.  One good example would be YouTube.  Sure, Adwords is what making Google the most money, but YouTube, in the near future, might be the most important medium of which to allow Google to increase its core business might (i.e., Internet advertising — Adwords and Adsense).  Of course, nobody would know for sure that YouTube will play out as we think Google has hoped, but at the rate of everyone is slowly ditching the traditional TV for online media — it’s only a matter of time when online media will rule the world and the traditional media (i.e., TV) has to become something like the radio of today.  So, in order for Google to prosper in the upcoming media order, Google has to make sure that YouTube will become evermore popular and people will want to stream YouTube videos evermore.

Google’s YouTube might be so powerful as to how it will attract advertising dollars like nobody has ever seen something like it before.  How come?  Imagine regular TVs will tune into YouTube channels and not the traditional TV channels.  Such a future is probably where YouTube wants to be!  I think such a future for YouTube is very very possible!  Google is creating and promoting original TV type of contents for YouTube, therefore this sort of actions from Google confirms the importance of YouTube in regarding to Google’s media/advertising business.

Google is probably not the only one who thinks about how important it is for folks to be able to use the Internet without data cap, because there are so many other companies out there whose sole business relies entirely on the Internet.  Especially Netflix, because Netflix relies on the ISPs not to tighten the data cap as Netflix customers need to be able to stream Netflix movies.  Eventually, the old media will see that it’s futile to hold back the wave of the new media, therefore I think data cap strategy is too narrow.  Even the ISPs will be able to profit hugely when data cap limitation will no longer be around.  How come?  Like I had mentioned earlier, people will just have to leave the ISPs that are not providing them enough bandwidth.  Some of you might argue that people might not be able to leave their old ISP, because there won’t be a second ISP within the same broadband coverage area.  Well, I think such thinking will be outdated.  How come?  We can just take a look at Google ultra fast fiber broadband experimentation and know that the future for ISP industry will be a lot more competitive.  I sure hope the future will allow people to have a lot more choice of choosing an ISP, and I think we are heading for such a future anyway.  This is why data cap is just too narrow of a strategy — a strategy which will make ISP industry looks petty and the rest look eager to push ahead for a brighter better broadband/Internet future.

Afterthought:  I don’t think to do away with data cap is to encourage piracy.  People who want to pirate are the people who will never pay for the things that they want to pirate in the first place, therefore forcing onto them with data cap plans is like asking them to be more prudent with what they want to pirate.  Furthermore, people who have great technological knowledge might hack into various networks so they can use such networks’ resources (e.g., bandwidth, storage space) for their piracy activities anyway.  This is why data cap is senseless for a future that relies evermore on a busier Internet/broadband highways.

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Charter Cable Touts 100 Mbps Download And 5 Mbps Upload Speeds For $59.99/Month If You Bundle

After reading the article “Charter Cable boosts downloads to 100Mbps, keeps uploads limited to a modest 5Mbps,” I compelled to call Charter up to see if their service would be available in my area, and I did call.  Unfortunately, Charter isn’t servicing my area.  I guess I have to stick with my slow ISP for now.

Some people might not notice that even though United States is very techie, but the American general population is behind many other parts of the world in regarding to the Internet speed.  A commenter who wrote a comment below the Engadget’s article I mentioned above boasted he had only paid $19 for 100 Mbps download and 100 Mbps upload speeds in Lithuania.  If that is true, it’s just one example among many other examples that proves American general population is really behind in regarding to the Internet speed.

It’s not a surprise that we might see people who are giddy up and called Charter, because Charter is now providing faster Internet connections at cheaper prices than any other Internet service provider I’ve heard about.  For an example, its Express package which touts up to 15 Mbps download speed is almost as fast as AT&T’s most expensive package which touts up to 24 Mbps download speed, but the price for Charter Express package is only one third of AT&T’s fastest Internet package.  Charter Express package costs you $19.99/month.  The juiciest Charter’s Internet package would be 100Mbps download speed, and it costs roughly the same as AT&T’s fastest Internet package, but AT&T’s fastest Internet package touts only at 24Mbps download speed, about four times slower than Charter Ultra package.

If you look on Charter’s website, it shows that the prices for their Internet service are low as listed if only you bundle.  Does this mean you have to order their Internet service with something else too?  Perhaps, you have to bundle the Internet and TV services together to keep the price of the Internet service low and enticing?

I forgot to ask Charter’s salesperson about contract.  This is why I’m not sure if Charter requires you to sign a contract for however long before they can hook you up with the awesome Internet speed.  I’m so hoping Charter isn’t going the contract route, because it’s one more reason for some people to not upgrade their Internet speed.  I know I hate services that require me to agree to a contract enough that if I can help myself, I would stay away from such services at any cost.

Charter provides free Internet security suite known as Charter Security Suite to protect users from viruses, worms, trojans, and hackers.  I’m not sure the strength of their Internet security product.  Usually, Internet service providers would team up with well known security companies such as Symantec.  Maybe Charter is doing something similar for their security products too.  Nonetheless, I guess you have to find this out for yourself when you become a Charter customer.

Charter salesperson told me customers can also order $5/month Cloud Drive.  If I heard correctly, Cloud Drive would be free for the first month of service.  Cloud Drive allows customers to back up their data.  When I asked the salesperson how much Cloud Drive space a customer could have?  She said it is unlimited.  If our conversation has any merit, I guess $5/month, unlimited Cloud Drive is a sweet deal.  Still, I do not yet know how reliable Charter Cloud Drive would be, therefore I cannot really vouch for Cloud Drive until I really use it.

In conclusion, Charter touts amazing Internet packages that make me drool.  If Charter services my area, I would think about becoming a customer of theirs, but it has to do without contract and bundle.  I think Charter will eventually push other Internet service providers to provide better services, because it’s all about competition.  Unfortunately, it seems even though it’s already highly competitive among Internet service providers within the United States, other parts of the world have already touted faster Internet services for a long time already.  In regarding to the Internet speed for the general population, let hope someday we Americans will eventually lead and not play catch up, but today isn’t the day!

More On Why Capping Data Isn’t My Cup Of Tea

We don’t know if the whole technology industry knows that it’s so less enticing for customers to want to buy something when they cannot really use it to your heart’s content.  For an example, I love to get my hands on iPad 2, but I think about it’s too expensive for me to pay for my data plan.  Even worse, data plan is not even unlimited.  Even, even worse even more… when we’re not on the go, our routers that hook up to the ISPs can no longer provide us the comfort of unlimited data, because big ISPs are data capping everyone.  What the point of having an iPad 2 and Netflix and other futuristic devices and services, but we cannot really use them to your heart’s content.

In my case, I had called a cable company (in a frantic of ditching my unlimited but soon to be limited DSL), but this too was a no go.  This particular cable company provides data cap just like others at 250 GB/month worth of bandwidth.  So, I said no thanks, because I don’t want to keep tab on how much bandwidth I’d use.  Obviously, these ISPs aren’t going to provide you a clear meter as electricity companies do on your usage of their services.  All I can see is that things are very murky when these ISPs can charge their customers base on the amount of bandwidth.  All customers want to know the exact amount of bandwidth they’re being charged for so they can avoid unknown hefty bills and be able to dispute about unfair charges!  If nobody care, well I do!

The rant continues… I was presented with a TV plan as I was on the phone with one of these ISPs, but I was mad as hell!  “Come on,” I said to myself, “I don’t want something as a TV plan.  Why would I want to have a TV plan when I rarely want to watch or be able to watch something on TV at my own designated time?  Netflix and similar services are the future.  TV is dead.  Anyway, thanks, but I’m not looking for a TV plan.  I’m looking for unlimited Internet where my data isn’t capping by a mysterious amount of GB!”  I told the operator no thanks, and I was more interested if they could offer unlimited Internet where there isn’t a data cap in place.

As how my search for a holy grail in term of unlimited Internet where data isn’t going to be capped ever, I think things aren’t looking so well.  It’s rather bleak!  I like to think that I’m being held hostage by my current ISP, because I can’t really find an alternative ISP that actually provides {real} unlimited Internet.  All I can say, when I do actually find such holy grail, I’ll not hesitate of jumping the ship in an instant.  Oh, I’ll be looking at my bill ever more scrutiny for I must know why am I paying so much for Internet, but yet I have such a nasty deal!

I hate being such a drama queen, but I can’t help it this time.  When we cannot use our devices to your heart’s content for unlimited data plans are the things of the past, it reminds me of how Roman Empire was torn apart slowly and eventually degraded into extinction just only so the Dark Ages/Middle Ages could flourish.  Ya, you can say my comparison is something of apple vs orange, but I say let there be unlimited Internet for real!  End of rant…

Canada Allows ISPs To Forgo Unlimited Internet Connection

According to my skimming at this article here, it seems the department that has the jurisdiction to regulate the use of Internet for Canada, CRTC, has decided to allow Canadian ISPs to forgo unlimited Internet plans.  Instead of just charging a flat monthly fee for an unlimited Internet connection as in USA, the Canadian ISPs are going to charge their customers a flat monthly fee for a limited Internet connection and to pay extra charges for extra bandwidths.  This could spell an Internet disaster for people in Canada, because the joy of streaming videos from YouTube, Netflix, and others are just not possible unless they are willing to pay for extra bandwidths.

Canadian ISPs are lowering the data caps.  For an instant, the article suggests that a small ISP has lowered the data cap from 200 GB/month to 25 GB/month.  CRTC also mandates customers to pay CAD$1.90 for each GB of extra bandwidth.  Talking about one has to pull out a spreadsheet and record how much bandwidth one uses each day so one doesn’t have to face the monster bill at the end of the month.

Future innovations for Canadian Internet industry are going to be hindered by CRTC’s decision, because it’s possible that Canadian ISPs tempt to charge their customers more.  Furthermore, innovations/ventures similarly to companies such as Netflix will no longer be that profitable, because the Canadians may less likely to sign up with such services for they have to worry about the lacks of bandwidths.  Streaming movies in HD as much as you like isn’t appealing in such environment!  People aren’t just streaming movies, they may also download apps for their computers (i.e., Macbook Pro and the likes), play games online, host a website from home, listen to radios over the web (i.e., last.fm), and so on.  Any of those activities I had described could cost Internet users a lot of bandwidths and consequently a lot of money for extra bandwidths.

In summary, some Canadians will be jealous of the people who are lucky to have unlimited Internet connection plans.  Internet businesses that operate within Canada will have to adapt to the environment where Internet users will be on guard of how much bandwidths they’re spending.  If you’re a Canadian, what do you think about this?  If you’re living inside USA, do you favor your ISP to charge you more for bandwidths?

Source: http://www.crunchgear.com/2011/02/01/usage-based-billing-hits-canada-say-goodbye-to-internet-innovation/