What Bandwidth Caps Would Mean for Internet Gluttons

Savor that wild, unmetered American Internet while it lasts. With the two largest ISPs in the US, AT&T and Comcast, already imposing bandwidth caps on their subscribers, and companies like Time Warner toying with the idea of metering, the days of all-you-can-eat Internet could be coming to an end. For now, the ceilings remain relatively high, typically between 100 and 250 GB a month. But there???s no guarantee that those numbers won???t shrink or???more likely???fail to scale as our bandwidth hunger grows. Just ask our friends up north: After a ruling by Canada???s regulatory agency last year authorized usage-based billing, what used to be 200-GB or unlimited Internet service plans suddenly became limited to 25 GB per month. Exceed the allotment and you pay $2 a gig (that???s $7 just for downloading Tron: Legacy). So what will caps mean stateside? We broke down some common Internet activities???as well as some future pursuits???by bandwidth to give you an idea of how easy it could be to exceed your monthly allotment.

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About Matthew Peterworth

I currently work as a Technology Specialist at Henderson Engineers in Kansas City – a Mechanical-Electrical-Plumbing (MEP) design firm. Prior to that I was a Project Manager for Information Technology Services (ITS), the central IT department at the University of Texas at Austin. As of July 2008 I am a Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD) through BICSI. And as of June 2011 I am a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) in the great state of Texas. Please follow me on Twitter @mpeterworth. https://twitter.com/mpeterworth

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