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.