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internet-100016261-largeI admit, I use a lot of bandwidth every month, which I’m sure my Internet Service Provider (ISP) is very aware of. I don’t have cable, so I use torrent programs, stream media, Skype, game, and use other services quite often. And you know what?  I don’t care, since it’s what I pay for. Even if I use more data than most people in my town, does that mean I should automatically have to pay more than everyone else?

Maybe I should admit yes, but that will never come from my mouth. I am not stupid, and most of you should know that once you give some companies – especially big biz and corporations – unregulated power, they’ll exploit their customers any way they can. We’ve seen it happen with cell phones, most notably AT&T, and that is already happening with Internet.

Time Warner Cable, one of the largest ISPs in the U.S., has the option of tiered internet pricing, much like what you see in modern cell phone plans. For example, they have bandwidth caps set at different amounts for each of their plans. It’s ridiculous to treat bandwidth like a nonrenewable resource. Get. Effing. Real.

I have been  keeping track of my personal bandwidth, and I’ve used nearly 100GB of transfer in March! Today I’m already almost at 3GB, and it’s been an average day so far (for me, at least). Keep in mind most people will easily transfer at least 1 GB per day; it’s not as difficult as you think, especially if you surf the web often. And if you’re a gamer like me, oh man.

What I want to know is, how the hell should a person respond when a notification pops up on their computer saying they’re out of bandwidth for the month? Will they be confronted with a pay screen and forced to cough up the cash or not be able to use the Internet? Will people find new ways to steal the Internet of their neighbors? I don’t understand why people in other countries put up with this crap. I’m a part of a few forums and I’ve heard UK ISPs tiered internet plans failed and they ended up getting rid of them.

To add insult to injury, look at all the HD items on the web. Sure, minimalism is a trend now, but Internet speeds are faster and a lot of items on websites are better quality, meaning more bandwidth is needed. I’m not understanding why these companies don’t see capping this only creates problems for everyone. I doubt Google, which needs users to surf the web for their ad programs, is very thrilled, so perhaps they’ll step in to fix things.

Oh and let’s not forget this is all a moneymaking scheme since ISPs are gung-ho about providing fast connection speeds, hoping customers download data, exceed their limit, and pay fees. And, some companies might increase speeds for those who almost have gone over – just think, with a faster connection, someone might be tempted to use the net more and only realize they went over after it happens. Ugh.

We have to ask if overage rates will be variable or fixed? Also, what if someone else is using my connection legally or illegally? Who is responsible for the charges?

What’s certain is that Internet users, aren’t happy. Just like with cell phones, there now are so many hidden fees and catches. I guess one positive is that maybe people will be encouraged to get up out of their office furniture and read a real book or go outside or do something that does not involve a computer or Internet connection. Or, maybe they will spend more time and money at local businesses that offer free WiFi. We shall see.

 

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