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Ask Slashdot: How Do You Fight Usage Caps? 353

Posted by timothy
from the but-your-username-favors-such-restrictions dept.
First time accepted submitter SGT CAPSLOCK writes "It certainly seems like more and more Internet Service Providers are taking up arms to combat their customers when it comes to data usage policies. The latest member of the alliance is Mediacom here in my own part of Missouri, who has taken suit in applying a proverbial cork to their end of a tube in order to cap the bandwidth that their customers are able to use. My question: what do you do about it when every service provider in your area applies caps and other usage limitations? Do you shamefully abide, or do you fight it? And how?"
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Ask Slashdot: How Do You Fight Usage Caps?

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  • by crucifiction (2330280) on Saturday September 07, 2013 @12:21PM (#44783861)
    What would you do if all of the ISPs had 14.4k lines and you just bought that awesome 28.8k modem? They are running a business and have decided to put a cap on your rate. If other providers around you are doing the same thing, suck it up, lobby for a new uncapped plan (good luck), or start your own provider without a cap.
    • by smash (1351) on Saturday September 07, 2013 @12:35PM (#44783991) Homepage Journal
      Yup, go for it and see if you can do better. Bandwidth costs money. Sure, it is only photons or electrons, but you need to pay for your share of the capacity on the various links. And no, you don't NEED to download a few terabytes per month. I have capped internet here in Australia (150GB / month) and it is plenty, pretty much. There are terabyte plans available - we're getting to the point where caps are academic now, if you have fast enough internet to stream, there's no need to hoard stuff any more. And at a terabyte a month, you'll run out of space pretty quick if you keep filling your quota anyway. I used to work in a regional ISP, and have seen the bills on the other side...
      • I have capped internet here in Australia (150GB / month) and it is plenty, pretty much.

        150 GB/mo? Luxury. In some areas, all people can get is satellite and cellular, and those tend to run 10 GB/mo or less on affordable plans. I'm glad I happen not to live in such areas at the moment.

        • by smash (1351)

          Sure. If you live in the middle of nowhere here, you are limited to similar satellite or cellular plans. What's your point? Technology trails behind the curve in remote locations. If you want high tech, you move somewhere it exists.

          Satellite bandwidth is expensive because there is limited spectrum available on each satellite, limited satellite coverage in a particular area, and as I'm sure you're aware - designing, building and launching additional satellites is not cheap.

          • If you want high tech, you move somewhere it exists.

            Why must high tech and growing the food that you eat be mutually exclusive? Perhaps the real problem is overzealous zoning enforcement, where cities have been known to fine people for growing vegetables in what used to be called victory gardens.

            • Jobs program for the tractor drivers.

              Sure, some crops wouldn't be good candidates, but for bulk crops like wheat and such, with enough bandwidth you could outsource actually driving the machinery to a "tractor drone pilot" living in a city somewhere. With GPS navigation and fields in a flat state like Kansas, the remote operator doesn't even have to devote full attention to a single machine, maybe they'd even only be needed to drive the machines to and from the fields to to pick up seed and supplies and dr

      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 07, 2013 @12:59PM (#44784179)

        Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't streaming part of the problem? I know a few people that use their favorite classic shows in a way that I would call background noise and end up streaming them over and over. I have fallen asleep with netflix running a series and several episodes were streamed before it stopped. Had to stream them again. How many times over do we need to send the same bits before it's reasonable to keep them (and not call it hoarding)?

        • by smash (1351)
          Yes and no. We're getting to the point where links are fast enough to stream reliably. Which means you don't need to hoard a whole heap of media for future watching, you just watch on demand. My reference to hoarding was downloading a heap of stuff in advance to MAYBE watch later. If you can easily stream it any time you want, you don't need to hoard stuff any more.
      • by Cimexus (1355033) on Saturday September 07, 2013 @01:23PM (#44784327)

        Agreed. Transfer caps in Australia aren't the big problem they were 10 years ago. There are enough choices of cap (at different price points) that there'll be one to suit pretty much everyone. My ISP in Australia (Internode) has caps ranging from 30 GB to 1.2 TB per month.

        The problem in the US though is twofold:

        1. In many areas there are only one or two ISPs available (the local cable monopoly and the local phone/DSL monopoly). Not like in Australia where pretty much everyone has 15-20 ISPs to pick from (even if many of them are Telstra resellers).

        2. Some US ISPs have transfer caps, but it's a one-size-fits all approach. You can't choose different caps for different prices like you can in Australia. My (cable) ISP in the US had a 300 GB cap but there was no option to move to a higher cap if I needed it (other than to get a business connection).

        Basically, I have nothing against caps *IF* you provide options. Grandma who just checks her email and does a bit of banking can get by on her 10 GB cap which costs some measly $15/month or whatever, the average family of four can get the mid-range "few hundred GB" plan and Mr. Uber Torrenter can get his 1 TB+ cap (but has to pay more for it). That's how it works in Australia and it's fine. In some other places though there's a cap, and no choice.

        • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

          by Rockoon (1252108)

          but there was no option to move to a higher cap if I needed it (other than to get a business connection).

          The business connection is an option, so stop disingenuously saying that there wasnt an option. Its clear that you dont like the option, but its still an option. My ISP's business plans start at $65/month.

        • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

          Caps area always a problem for any country. I don't know if Netflix is available in Australia, but consider that high usage of streaming video could easily hit a 160GB/month cap with a few users in the house. Your economy is hobbled because no-one can come in and just set up a competitive streaming video service, they have to deal with the fact that on top of their fees the user will have to pay more for their broadband connection to get high enough cap.

          In the UK broadband is supplied by either a cable comp

      • by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya&gmail,com> on Saturday September 07, 2013 @01:26PM (#44784359)

        Yup, go for it and see if you can do better. Bandwidth costs money.

        Based on the fact that there is never really any competitors, I think that's not it.

        Physical access to customers is monopolized so that there is typically no competition.

        • by smash (1351)
          No, bandwidth does in fact actually cost money. How do you think you get content from offshore? Via cables between continents, or satellite. Bandwidth on said links is LIMITED.
          • by sjames (1099)

            Bandwidth in bulk costs under $4/Mbps/month, try again.

          • Did you even read the parent post? He said Physical access to customers is monopolized... by government regulation, paid for by industry through their highly paid lobbyists. You can start an ISP, if you can pony up a couple million to buy a lobbyist, and more millions for equipment, lawyers, employees, and then more millions for finally getting to tap into a backbone for bandwidth...

            Artificially imposed monopolies throw a monkey wrench into the theory of free enterprise competition and technology improvemen

      • by DarkTempes (822722) on Saturday September 07, 2013 @02:19PM (#44784665)
        You can easily pass 150 GB a month just watching 720p video from youtube or twitch.tv every day. Maybe even 420p, I'd have to do the math. Don't even think about 1080p. I know that with my 300GB cap that I have to be very choosy about what content I get to watch in 1080p.

        If you're a gamer then you can use up large portions of 150GB just from game patches. Actually downloading a new game is frequently 15GB or more (your typical MMO is over 20GB these days, even FPS games get up to 30GB).

        You like to clone big projects on github and tinker with them? Tough luck.

        And that's just for ONE person without any file sharing; imagine a house full of people that actually use their technology. You wouldn't even be able to buy a plan with a cap that accommodates their needs (the highest my US ISP goes to is 450GB). And if they're all streaming their media then you're actually multiplying the bandwidth cost for any individual media item as they can't just push it over the local network.

        Tell me 150 GB / month is plenty when you retire and you're actually home to use your internet more than a couple hours a day.
        I mean, sure, you don't NEED the internet. You could survive perfectly fine from subsistence farming. But sometimes nice things are nice to have...

        The argument that it's expensive to be an ISP as a reason for caps is flawed. That's a reason to raise prices but not a reason for caps. Hell, do ISPs even pay for bandwidth in their peering agreements? No?
      • by Archfeld (6757) *

        I see no problem with a 150 GB/month cap as long as the MAIN seling point for the net connection isn't listed as streaming movies and such. We watch Netflix in our household in lieu of cable and would exceed a 150GB/cap in a matter of days. The idea that the ISP can advertise somthing that they can't or WON'T provide as the main selling point is criminal. As for running out of space I don't hoard what I download/stream I/we just watch it and go on to somthing else. This reminds me of the mobile phone ads we

        • "We watch Netflix in our household in lieu of cable"

          One of the reasons for data caps. They are affraid mor people would cancel their TV service.

      • by bitt3n (941736)

        Australia (150GB / month) and it is plenty, pretty much

        that's only enough because Australia also limits the kind of porn you can watch

    • by sabri (584428) on Saturday September 07, 2013 @12:41PM (#44784043)

      or start your own provider without a cap.

      And you'll soon be out of business. Truth of the matter is, that a business simply cannot sustain by providing unlimited broadband internet for the prices that the average consumer is willing to pay.

      For example, my connection via Charter is great. I pay for 30Mbps but actually get 45Mbps. If I were to suck up 30Mbps 24/7, that would mean that Charter would have to reserve 30Mbps of bandwidth on their network, and to their transits. So 33 customers like me would fill up a Gigabit Ethernet link. With an average price of ~$4 per Megabit, transit traffic alone will cost approx $4000/month, or roughly $120 per customer. Cut that in half, because my ISP will likely peer a lot, and you're still left with $60 per customer. And then we're not even discussing the cost of the access, core and edge network gear, installation and operational costs. I'm paying less than $60/month.

      So, what do ISPs do? They oversubscribe. Since I'm not using my link 24/7 at full speed, it is easy to "share" my bandwidth. The last time I worked for an access-ISP, the oversubscription rates were between 1:35 and 1:50 for consumer-grade access. And in order to make sure that everyone gets a fair share, they'll have to include some type of limitation.

      So all in all, the numbers just don't add up. You can't expect premium service for a bargain price and as long as the ISP is transparent about it, I don't have a problem with bandwidth caps. In the end I can still choose to pay for the premium service and not be subject to a cap.

      • by TrekkieGod (627867) on Saturday September 07, 2013 @12:54PM (#44784147) Homepage Journal

        So, what do ISPs do? They oversubscribe. Since I'm not using my link 24/7 at full speed, it is easy to "share" my bandwidth.

        That's not the problem. That's perfectly reasonable, and there's no reason why they should do it any other way. All that this means is that during peak usage hours, people aren't going to hit their max.

        If you have enough users using enough of your bandwidth that your customers can't hit your peak speeds for a reasonable amount of the time, or it's just too slow during peak, then you're selling too high a bandwidth. You don't have the infrastructure to sell 30 Mbps, you should be advertising 15 Mbps. Alternatively, you can upgrade your infrastructure and raise costs. Either way, I have no problems with my speeds being limited, I have a problem with the amount of data I transfer being limited.

        • Well, they are linked. Would you rather max your speed at 50KB/s or reach 1.0MB/s but be limited to 130GB per month? They amount to the same monthly hard limit (unless my math is off), but with the faster connection you can simply burn through your allowance faster. The plus side is needing less actual machine uptime for the same data transfer.

          Of course, caps can be reasonable or unreasonable. My ISP sells 10Mbps connections limited to 80GB/mo. I'd much rather reach only 5Mbps limited to 160GB/mo, and they

          • by Arker (91948)
            It's also a market where the customer almost never understands what they are buying. The salescritters certainly never understand what they are selling. Just witness all the babble about 'speed' when they arent talking about speed at all, but throughput. (If you have difficulty understanding the difference, consider a Ferrari vs a Road Train. Which one is faster? According to the marketing materials from every ISP I have ever seen, the tractor-trailer is 'faster' which is obviously utter nonsense.)
      • by Skreems (598317)
        The key is "for the prices that the average consumer is willing to pay". With ~$15/mo plans I understand why capping has become necessary. But most providers will also have a business plan which is completely uncapped, and usually has much better customer service levels as well. For example, I use Comcast Business, and pay $60/mo for 20/3. I regularly get faster speeds than I'm promised, have no cap, and I've had tech support out on Sunday afternoon with 2 hours notice to replace a busted router. It costs m
        • by green1 (322787)

          I dropped my business plan when I discovered that:
          - Business tech support was mon-fri 8-4, residential tech support was 24/7
          - The highest business plan was half the speed of the average residential plan
          - The business plan cost 4 times as much as that residential plan
          - Data caps were the same on both
          - Uptime guarantees were the same on both (none)

          In the end, I went from a 4Mbps 2 static IP business plan to a 15Mbps 2 dynamic IP residential plan + a good VPS, and still saved about $80 a month. And on the upsi

          • by Skreems (598317)
            That's insane.

            One potentially mitigating factor, I've heard that often residential plan speeds are quoted as "up to" while business plans are "guaranteed average", so when the links get saturated during busy hours the business plan should be less affected. Although even if that was the case with your provider it sounds like it's probably not worth it.
      • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Saturday September 07, 2013 @01:21PM (#44784317)

        So, what do ISPs do? They oversubscribe

        Caps do not fix the problems of over-subscription. The majority of customers will all have the same usage patterns - basically heavy usage during prime-time and a trickle the rest of the day. Restricting the total gigabytes downloaded by the month can only minimally improve congestion during prime-time ... it does nothing until a couple of weeks into the month when people start to hit their limits and can't download anything at all, otherwise they still go full speed during prime-time.

        Furthermore, the modern ISP has huge, huge margins on bandwidth. Like 90+ % gross margins - the vast majority of an ISP's cost are in the infrastructure (cables, equipment, staff) not in bandwidth itself. Wholesale bandwidth pricing itself has been dropping like a stone, reducing by at least 30% a year for many years now and has recently accelerated to about 50% a year.

        http://www.telegeography.com/products/commsupdate/articles/2012/08/02/ip-transit-price-declines-steepen/ [telegeography.com]

        Download caps are just a wholly inappropriate tool for fixing problems with over-subscription. They are, however, fantastic for hurting competing businesses like NetFlix and Hulu.

        • I am waiting for speed caps during peak periods and unlimited data quantities.

          Streaming media is only going to grow, and the impact felt by me when my Netflix stream breaks 5 times in 10 mins, is irritating. During peak periods I have no problems with a bandwidth cap to 1 or 2 simultaneous streams.

          But I do take issue when ISPs whine about all the bytes downloaded at 3AM when it costs them nothing extra. Don't limit total bytes....but do make sure each customer gets their share of peak.

        • by smash (1351)
          The modern ISP also has huge, huge costs on hardware. How do you think they pay for the switching equipment required? Large quantities of Ten and 40 gigabit ports aren't cheap.
        • Restricting the total gigabytes downloaded by the month can only minimally improve congestion during prime-time

          Some ISPs have an interesting way to shift heavy use away from prime time. Satellite ISP Exede, for example, turns off the meter between midnight and 5 AM local time. This encourages subscribers to run bulk downloads, such as Steam purchases or service pack downloads, during the wee hours when the bird is less congested. This is similar to how long distance companies and cellular voice carriers offered free nights and weekends.

      • by greenbird (859670)

        And you'll soon be out of business. Truth of the matter is, that a business simply cannot sustain by providing unlimited broadband internet for the prices that the average consumer is willing to pay.

        Strange how other countries are able to provide unlimited AND much faster connections than what's available in the US. They must be using magic electrons/photons or something. And I'm guessing you're predicting the demise of Google soon also?

        In other words, bullshit. It's not a mater of business. It's a mater of regulatory constraints and lack of competition allowing US ISPs to jack up their prices while reducing their service. That's what happens when there is limited competition.

      • by Wycliffe (116160)

        I agree with this post that bandwidth is limited but monthly caps are too simplistic.
        95th percential is slightly better but penalizes you for bursting. A hybrid solution
        where there is a monthly quota for peak times and no quota for off-peak times
        like the cell phone companies did for a while might be the best solution to both
        allow fair access to the network but also reward high bandwidth users for
        scheduling their high bandwidth usage during non peak hours.

      • by sjames (1099)

        OK fine, they over-subscribe. Now that $120/month/customer is actually $2.50/month at 50:1. The problem is when, on top of that effective cap on the rate they ALSO impose a cap on data transferred. I'm not expecting the theoretical peak rate to become a committed rate, but adding transfer caps on top of providing a 50:1 oversubscribed 0 commit connection would be an insult.

        So no, the numbers don't add up, but not the way you think.

      • by MightyYar (622222)

        Caps are perfectly reasonable (as long as they are up-front about it), but I think they are enforced disingenuously. IMHO, the fairest way to enforce them is with throttling, similar to how T-Mobile throttles bandwidth after your "4G" speeds run out and you are forced back to 2G speeds. If I exceed my 250GB Comcast cap, then don't charge me $10 or cut me off - just only let me use bandwidth when no one else is using it... put me at the back of the line so I don't negatively impact those still under their ca

  • i dont know of a single internet company who DOESNT cap your internet speed. as far as total allowed download/upload, i suggest voting with your money. i couldnt really tell which you were complaining about, but it is standard practice to cap upload and download speed. think about it this way, in a few years you will be able to get google fiber.
    • by CRCulver (715279)

      i dont know of a single internet company who DOESNT cap your internet speed

      Is this a US thing? With my ISP here in Romania, I've never experienced caps even going into the hundreds of gigabytes a month (I torrent a lot of Blurays).

      • i dont know of a single internet company who DOESNT cap your internet speed

        Is this a US thing? With my ISP here in Romania, I've never experienced caps even going into the hundreds of gigabytes a month (I torrent a lot of Blurays).

        Around here (Salt Lake City, US) people can get inexpensive home connections in the 12Mbps-20Mbps range. The caps on many of these plans are about 1TB/month. As you mention, an individual can transfer quite a lot of data before hitting that kind of cap.

        Businesses, especially tech businesses, tend to have much greater telecom requirements than a single residence.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      well.. some just sell you the max their tech allows.

      what the poster is probably referring to is about limiting amounts of transfers though, like limiting to 10gigs per month or whatever.

      besides, what you say makes no sense because you're aware of services like google fiber.

      and what to do about it? complain, complain complain. some cablemodem systems are hackable, but it's illegal and easy to get caught.

      • and what to do about it?

        Apparently, move. Some people think moving for better broadband is practical (1 [slashdot.org] 2 [slashdot.org]); others disagree (3 [slashdot.org] 4 [slashdot.org]).

        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          It is for renters or for people buying a new home. It factored in my buying a home. No FIOS, no sale.

    • Verizon FIOS caps are so far in the sky that you're unlikely ever to hit them.

    • by Frankie70 (803801)

      in a few years you will be able to get google fiber.

      What if you want a server - google fiber bans servers, don't they - http://tech.slashdot.org/story/13/08/13/2148245/eff-slams-google-fiber-for-banning-servers-on-its-network [slashdot.org]

    • My U.S. (NJ) provider, Optonline (Cablevision) does not cap or throttle, at least in my area.

    • The story isn't about capping SPEED, it is about capping BYTES TRANSFERRED. Critically missing from the stories are both of those numbers.

      • * A setup that runs at 4Mbps can run for a month and struggle to hit a 1TB/month cap.
      • * A setup that runs at 12Mbps will never hit a 4TB/month data cap, even if kept saturated.
      • * A setup that has a 4Gbps can pass a 4TB limit in about 2.5 hours.

      Equipment and infrastructure are not free. Even our business connection (fiber@4Gbps) has caps. We pay quite a lot for it, and ar

  • by Zontar The Mindless (9002) <plasticfish,info&gmail,com> on Saturday September 07, 2013 @12:25PM (#44783885)

    When I first ordered Internet service here, and asked them what my monthly bandwidth cap would be, their customer service guy responded with the following question:

    "Bandwidth cap? I'm sorry, is that some sort of hat? And what does that have to do with your subscription to our service?"

    Sometimes I really do love living in Sweden.

    • by multriha (206019) on Saturday September 07, 2013 @12:30PM (#44783935)

      Back when there was some competition and choice in my area for DSL service, my standard question was "Could I run a commercial porn busisness off this connection and max it out 24/7/365?". (Assuring them that wasn't my intended use, but I wanted that freedom).

      One ISP responded by saying, 'Of course, actually until recently one of our customers was one of the biggest porn companies in the US'.

      • by girlintraining (1395911) on Saturday September 07, 2013 @12:59PM (#44784183)

        One ISP responded by saying, 'Of course, actually until recently one of our customers was one of the biggest porn companies in the US'.

        Porn server on a DSL line. Musta been really into spanking and torture. :) Okay, that aside, yeah, there's plenty of ways to fight a cap if you're stuck in a residential area and have no alternatives; ICMP traffic typically isn't counted or capped. If you setup a micro instance in the amazon cloud or elsewhere, and create a VPN that uses ICMP traffic, you can tunnel through that and out into the wonderful world of unlimited bandwidth.

        The fact is, tabulating the actual bandwidth used isn't a matter of just adding up the bytes on the wire transmitted or received, and that's because every way of auditing it is different. Some ISPs track it at the border router, some try to limit it during peak periods... take Comcast for instance...

        They have this 'burst' thing where the first 5MB of a http or https connection runs at max speed, then throttles. Well, you can use that to your advantage -- just send a reset packet after 5MB is exchanged, and enable http resume. With a few other tweaks to http pipelining and other things, you can easily get triple what your rated line speed is supposed to be... but it requires you setup your own dedicated gateway/firewall/router combo box and some really complicated ipchains and kernel magic.

        My point is, extensively test what your ISP does and doesn't throttle, how it throttles, and how it caps. Then game the system. It's just another hurdle to be overcome. And when you've figured it out, share it with others. ISPs need to get the message that if they aren't going to support network neutrality, the network is going to rise up and kick them in the ass.

        • by RulerOf (975607)

          They have this 'burst' thing where the first 5MB of a http or https connection runs at max speed, then throttles. Well, you can use that to your advantage -- just send a reset packet after 5MB is exchanged, and enable http resume. With a few other tweaks to http pipelining and other things, you can easily get triple what your rated line speed is supposed to be... but it requires you setup your own dedicated gateway/firewall/router combo box and some really complicated ipchains and kernel magic.

          I've often wondered if anyone's written up a guide on how to game that. I'm guessing that tunneling all of your traffic through an SSL VPN and then running the reset shenanigans might make that particularly easy...

  • How to fight usage caps: go somewhere else, use multiple providers, conserve what you do (that's you TorFreaks), don't upload every stupid cat photo you own, actually think about what you're doing before you upload/download, complain vociferously and frequently to management.

    My suggestion: use another rational provider. If captive, look to conserve. If you hack: (text deleted by the NSA)

  • Business (Score:4, Informative)

    by michaelmalak (91262) <michael@michaelmalak.com> on Saturday September 07, 2013 @12:26PM (#44783899) Homepage
    The solution to get more allowed usage is to purchase business service from your ISP.
    • by tepples (727027) <tepples&gmail,com> on Saturday September 07, 2013 @01:19PM (#44784303) Homepage Journal
      Switching to a business rate may help some people who live within range of wired broadband, but it's not for everyone. Some ISPs refuse to provide business-class service to addresses zoned residential. And with all the other people who choose where to live based on broadband availability, the asking price for properties with no access to wired broadband has fallen. This means an affordable place to live may be affordable only because there's no wired broadband. For those in this situation, switching to a business plan won't kill the cap. Verizon and AT&T, for example, advertise business plans where multiple devices access a shared pool of monthly data transfer allowance.
  • Dewey, Cheatham...

  • ... with the possibility of increasing the cap if needed.

    I am in the UK and wanted to move to an ISP which offered FTTC, IPv6, a static IP, would be happy for me to run servers and would not implement CG-NAT, and offered good technical support in the event I should need it. The ISP which was most highly recommended to me based on those criteria offered FTTC for a fixed monthly price, with a cap — if paying a proportionate more-than-average-in-the-consumer-market price gave me a proportionate more-t

  • by hawguy (1600213) on Saturday September 07, 2013 @12:32PM (#44783957)

    I fight my carrier's bandwidth caps by only downloading compressed content. For exampe, if I dowload a zip file that contains 100MB of data, but the Zip file itself only consumes 10MB, then I've effectively downloaded 90MB of data for "free" through my ISP and bypassed their cap. Ha! Take that Comcast! Sometimes when I find a file with a really good compression ratio, I'll download it 3 or 4 times just to screw them over even more.

    It takes a little more of my time to calculate how much I've exceeded my cap, since I keep a spreadsheet of everything I've downloaded (which can get tedious when adding up all of the requested objects from a website that uses gzip compression) but the satisfaction is well worth it.

  • You agree to pay for it, and they agree to provide it. If they don't. go elsewhere. Simples.

  • Lets face it, we are not the typical ISP customer anymore.

    I learned a long time ago that business customers get treated much better than general consumers.

    Yes business accounts cost more, but you get priority services, more technical customer service, static ips, and best of all no restrictions.

    So organize an LLC, get a business bank account, and then get business internet service. Since this is probally going to be in your house, sell yourself the cost of local DSL (invoice and pay for it using person
    • by rworne (538610)

      You don't need to be a business to get a business account. At least that's the way it works with Verizon. It's just another set of tiers in their service (more expensive ones). All I needed to do was just ask for it and briefly tell them why.

      You are spot on about the benefits of a business account.

       

    • So organize an LLC, get a business bank account, and then get business internet service. Since this is probally going to be in your house

      Depending on the ISP, you may need to get your house rezoned for business use.

  • If you're an average user that mostly uses just a web browser on the Internet, install an ad-blocker of your choice if you haven't done so already. All those ad popups, flash, etc., are consuming bandwidth that count against your monthly cap. When some web site says "Oh please won't you turn off your ad-blocker" tell them to take it up with their advertisers. ISP's will listen to advertisers more than they will to the average customer scum.
    • When some web site says "Oh please won't you turn off your ad-blocker" tell them to take it up with their advertisers.

      What I did was install Flashblock. That blocks high-data-volume ads while allowing low-data-volume text ads and still image ads. Ad networks would ideally recognize that I'm not seeing SWF ads and send me still ads instead, but it amazes me how many ad networks fail to do this. That way I have a good excuse: "I'm not blocking your ads, just a file format. If I wanted Flash, I'd go to Newgrounds. Get some less-Flashy advertisers, and I might even click through."

  • by stonecypher (118140) <stonecypher&gmail,com> on Saturday September 07, 2013 @12:47PM (#44784091) Homepage Journal

    Generally speaking, if you call the host and say "I need a line without caps, can you quote me a price," they will.

    Oftentimes you'll have to call it a business line though.

  • by tuppe666 (904118) on Saturday September 07, 2013 @12:50PM (#44784107)

    In the UK at least 6 years ago when the government was all *cough* pushing the idea it was an E-Govenment. Basically a petition was sent to the Government complaining that ISPs offered unlimited data...which in practice was often seriously crippled that offered little data. The response was to pass the buck to the Advertising Agency Authority who still do little to nothing http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/07/03/government_dodges_unlimited/ [theregister.co.uk] That was in 2007. It is now 6 years later and nothing changes https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/ofcom-ban-the-fraudulent-use-of-the-term-unlimited-by-mobile-networks-and-isps [change.org] .

  • by dutchwhizzman (817898) on Saturday September 07, 2013 @12:53PM (#44784141)
    Your democratic representative should fight for uncapped internet at decent prices. If there is some form of a monopoly going on, there should be a price cap on how much an ISP is allowed to ask and what the minimal service for that price should be. That may sound communist, but monopolies have nothing to do with free market. If you want a market economy, you need the government to stimulate innovation and competition, so they should encourage your ISP to come up with ways to give you a better service and/or price if there is no "natural" competition for them.
  • Based on your reading of the relevant documents, is your ISP following or violating its terms of service? If they are following their terms of service then you shop for another service (with the same or different provider).

    If you think they are violating their terms of service, you (1) open a tech support request pointing that out. Assuming that the ISP rejects your support request, you then (2) hire a lawyer with some experience in telecommunications regulatory law to advise you. The lawyer might tell y

  • Use this ISP if you need to. Otherwise, "Google" it.
  • the website has internet only plans from 150GB per month up to a 999GB
    i'm a cord cutter and stream everything and i'm at less than 200GB most months

    WTF do some of you people do that required terabytes of data every month? if you have a family of couch potatoes go outside, read a book. same thing if you torrent 24x7. buy a dvd or blu ray. It's $100 for a 3d blu ray player. DVD's are $10 each. cheaper to buy DVD's or get netflix DVD's than pay your ISP and the electricity charges of having a computer on 24x7.

    • It's $100 for a 3d blu ray player. DVD's are $10 each. cheaper to buy DVD's or get netflix DVD's than pay your ISP and the electricity charges of having a computer on 24x7.

      A lot of video games aren't available on disc. Usually only the bigger publishers do discs anymore; the rest are download-only.

  • by SuperCharlie (1068072) on Saturday September 07, 2013 @01:09PM (#44784231)
    We had nobody but satellite a while back and got 12G/mo rolling. Try streaming Netflix on that.
  • Lead with your left.
    His gaurd is weak on that side.
    And he's got a glass jaw, so one good pop there, and down he'll go.

    (actually you know, i think this would have been funnier with the other trope, "The Fix Is In" ... )

  • I'd shamefully abide if I could figure out how to come anywhere NEAR the usage cap. What on earth are you doing? I consume a lot of streaming media -- Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Xfinity, Youtube, Pandora -- on a Roku, two laptops, a couple of Android and iOS devices, and various family members rotate in and out with whatever toys they bring. I'm using about a quarter of my limit. Hitting the usage cap is probably nature's way of telling you to go outside and look at the real world.

  • The way to fight usage caps is to not use the service. Don't pay for it either, of course. Instead find another provider and give them your money. May the market forces be with you.

  • Switch providers, tell friends about new provider, watch as old provider's revenues slowly crash over the next three years, while new one enjoys a nice bump.

  • Am I the only one who first read the title as if it were "fighting caps usage", ... and then only to find that the submitter is SGT CAPSLOCK?!

  • My ISP had a bandwidth limit and a data cap, but you also got a shell account.
    So I used SSH port forwarding to redirect and compress my connection to usenet servers, that way I used less bandwidth and my downspeed was higher.

  • by Joe_Dragon (2206452) on Saturday September 07, 2013 @01:30PM (#44784381)

    not only can meter accuracy be off they can.

    round up

    bill you for overhead data and APR traffic.

    Bill you when your modem is off (well the system is trying to send data to you so we bill for it)

    http://www.dslreports.com/nsearch?q=cogeco&old=Search&cat=news [dslreports.com]

  • I use netflix and amazon VOD and vudu as well as Steam and the multitude of other pay services around the web.
    I still use well over 300GB per month.

    I'd imagine some ISPs are enforcing their caps.

    Comcast decided to counter the flood of online services like netflix by setting up their own netflix CDN. Just can't get SuperHD or 3D yet.

  • Remember that the reason they're your ISP, is that you gave power to the government, who made a deal with them to forcefully prevent competitors, grant easements, and other favors that most people don't get, and that no business would never have in a free market.

    The terms of that deal are negotiable. Since we now know that some ISPs have caps, "no caps" should be in all future terms.

  • For gas, electricity and water I pay for what I use plus a monthly fee. Electricity is metered so I pay less at off peak times. For garbage , recycling and bio we have plastic bins we pay for as part of property tax. If I need a bigger bin I can upgrade and pay more tax. If I have a one time issue,I can buy 'bag tags' and put the tags on the extra garbage. For internet I have a tier speed and a free allotment per month. If I need more I can buy more at reasonable rates. For land line we have unlimited loc

    • by Todd Knarr (15451)

      With electricity, water and such, you control how much you use. You can reduce your usage if you can't afford the higher bills.

      On the Web, the web site controls how much I use. If they include an ad on their site that streams video, I can't stop them from doing it short of not visiting that site at all. And of course I don't know what they'll do until after I'm already on the site and the usage has occurred, so how exactly do I control my usage? Also, in too many cases the caps don't take into account norma

  • I don't fight usage caps, rather I spend my money on an ISP that has reasonable caps.

    Data ain't free. The ISP has to spend money to send your data down the tubes and it's usually not an unlimited option for them either. My last ISP gave me 300 GB/mth with unlimited between 1am and 6am. I feel that's fair even without the unlimited overnights.

    There's only a fight if ALL the ISPs in your area are gouging in regards to caps. Such is the case here in my new home of Whitehorse, Yukon. The local telco just recent

  • Comcast just updated their usage limits [comcast.com] and they seem pretty reasonable.

    XFINITY Internet Package New Data Usage Allowance
    Economy 300 GB
    Economy Plus 300 GB
    Internet Essentials 300 GB
    Performance Starter 300 GB
    Performance 300 GB
    Blast! 350 GB
    Extreme 50 450 GB
    Extreme 105 600 GB

    If you go over, they charge you $10 per 50GB. I've got the 50/10 Mb plan and I'd have to be running at 50Mb for 16 hours. This is assuming that I'm downloading from a site/torrent

  • by Animats (122034) on Saturday September 07, 2013 @02:40PM (#44784811) Homepage

    Sonic.net does not have data transfer caps. You buy a bandwidth range, and you can use it all 24/7 if you want. Here's what Sonic's CEO says [sonic.net]: "My opinion is that caps make little technical sense, and I believe that the fundamental reason for capping is to prevent disruption of the television entertainment business model that feeds the TV screens in most households."

    Sonic is one of the few remaining independent US ISPs. They have to lease local circuits from AT&T, but they buy their own upstream bandwidth. In a few areas they have their own fiber to the home, and there they offer gigabit connections for $70 a month.

  • I was able to get business-class internet through my employer. It's cheaper than consumer-grade internet, and doesn't force me to buy crap like a TV subscription. If you work for a large company, it might be available through your employee discount program.

    I don't know what my cap is, but if I have one, it's much higher than I will ever hit. We use most of our bandwidth for streaming video.

C makes it easy for you to shoot yourself in the foot. C++ makes that harder, but when you do, it blows away your whole leg. -- Bjarne Stroustrup

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