I’m with Cox for my internet, and just noticed that they increased their data cap for almot all plans to 1 TB. I had been worried that if I ever need to downgrade to a lower tier because of a price increase, that I’d be in a bit of a squeeze, but now it’s not a concern.
I wonder if it’s part of a trend with otkher ISPs, especially given that there is a push by Netflix to remove data caps.
I do think 1 TB is a good sweet spot for data limits. My family (2 adults and 2 teenagers) streams a lot of HD video each day, and I work from home via a VPN connection each day as well. We usually use between 550-700 GB a month.
I now stream some 4K content, but there isn’t a lot out there yet, and I only have one tv set that can take advantage of it.
These cable companies also usually have 3 months where they ignore an overage. So if someone is using more than a TB consistently, they can go ahead and spring for the unlimited plan (at an extra cost, but not as bad as the overage fees).
They are just following suit with the other providers like Comcast and AT&T so they can try to avoid any FCC backlash over the dubiousness of imposing caps in a world where bandwidth keeps getting cheaper and cheaper, oh and to preserve their foothold on their aging TV market.
In my case, I’ve been careful with video streaming, trying to rely on OTA TV as my primary source of viewing, and supplementing that with Hulu/Netflex/PlaystationVue/TheBlaze… more than I intended to go with but I’m comfortable with it, am paying for just what I want and can cancel at any time.
Since I’ve been closely monitoring my usage, I’ve been averaging about 250-300 GB/month. But I’ve been looking to the future as well, thinking that as streaming quality rises from 720p/1080p to 4K and beyond, the limits imposed by Cox would soon be exceeded, so that I’m happy to see the caps raised, and expect that over time, they’ll continue rising. My main concern was short term tho, in that if Cox raised the price of my current tier of service, I might fall back to a lower tier which had a lower data cap, but now that most tiers are capped at1 TB, that’s no longer a concern for the time being.
It is because of the Time Warner/Charter merger. One of the terms of that merger getting approved is that they can’t issue data caps for 7 years. As soon as that merger went through, Comcast, who had been starting to enforce their 300 GB data caps, backed off and raised them to about the same (can’t remember if it is 900 GB or 1 TB) so that they could continue to look competitive. Other cable companies are following suit. Good news for now, but who knows what will happen in 7 years, when Time Warner/Charter can start implementing data caps again.
One of the reasons Comcast could up their data cap was their changeover this year from MPG2 to MP4 video transmission which takes less bandwidth and opens up their pipes.
Caps don’t do anything but help a cable company preserve it’s user base of legacy TV people and limit competition from streaming services like Netfix, Hulu and etc…