On Internet Speeds and Data Caps

As a first post I’d like to share my thoughts on an editorial from Super Bunnyhop (one of my favourite Youtube personalities):


The video is more like an introduction because it touches on too many different issues. The costs in Europe aren’t that low, you have to consider ping, throttling, reliability and so on. I’d say you can get a decent service for around 20 dollars but a lot of these deals are only for new customers while old customers are stuck with more expensive, slower plans and have to argue with the ISP to get a better deal.

To offer some perspective from a long time UPC customer (the Czech Republic):

New customers can get a 120/12Mbps connection for 42 USD per month (32 if signed for 12 months ahead) while old customers have 120/10Mbps connection for 50 USD. Or new customers can get 40/4Mbps for 32 USD (22 if you sign 12 months ahead) while old have 60/6Mbps for 32 USD.

While we rarely have any caps we do have FUPs (Fair User Policy) which often allow the ISP to throttle the connection if they think you’re transferring too much data. In general I’m actually absolutely for soft caps (not hard caps, mind you). Now more than ever we need the access to internet services with lower overhead costs but tiered additional cost for power users. You have a household of four power users? Don’t expect to pay the same amount as a household of one light user.

Please, start thinking about what you download, what you watch and how often. Sure the price needs to be more adequate than 10 dollars per 50 GB but this could be a good thing too because it should evolve into possible tiers for extreme power users like big Youtube personalities. The soft cap isn’t the villain here, it’s the market share and political pull ISPs like Comcast have, it’s the size of America and how worse the availability of ISPs and therefore the competition is than in Europe.

Are there no alternatives in your area? Then you have a huge market opportunity right there. You could look into the cost of setting up a similar internet service exactly where you live and then get actual information whether someone could put Comcast out of business. Also the difference between America and Europe is largely due to minimum and average wage, cost of living and general value of money. That’s why as a European I don’t like it when American online based businesses complain about their costs.

Either way, an interesting video (as always, Super Bunnyhop does great editorials), just don’t forget to consider the broader implications.