by Mike Masnick

ISP Download Caps To Slow Swapping?

from the biting-the-hand-that-feeds-you dept

It seems that high speed internet providers are thinking bad thoughts again. The latest idea is to start adding bandwidth caps that will prevent you from downloading more than a certain amount of data without paying extra. They say they want to do this to prevent bandwidth "hogs" from using more than their fair share while using file sharing programs. Of course, it'll also knock out those who do things like listening to streaming radio online. It's a bad idea in many ways. First off, it's killing off the reason that some people sign up for high speed internet access - so they can download lots of stuff. If these companies claim they're trying so hard to entice new customers with "high speed content", what good does it do to then cap them off? Second, when wireless carriers have experimented with data caps, it has failed miserably. The last thing people want to do is be aware of how much data they've used. Your average user has no clue how many megabytes of data they download on a regular basis. Even worse, a lot of that isn't controllable. Someone sends you a large file? There goes some of your data. You get hit with a pop up spam attack that includes some large images or streaming videos? You now need to pay extra for it. In the end, all this will do is encourage smaller, customer friendly ISPs to offer service without these customer-unfriendly limitations, meaning the large ISPs will end up losing business.

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