Covid 19 Will Be The End Of Data Caps Forever
Spectrum Internet/Time Warner Internet has never had a data cap in my service area, which includes many major southeastern cities. On the other hand Comcast/Xfinity has. Many broadband cable internet providers have been selling Internet access much the same way that phone companies used to sell long distance service and getting away with it because their customers never said “WTF is this about?”
These caps have been arbitrary. If the second biggest cable company in the US has been able to offer high speed internet with no caps all of this time why does the biggest one?
The answer is pretty simple. We as a people rationalize and are not likely to show up at a corporate office with pitchforks and riffles demanding the end to data caps. So we allow ourselves to be placated by explanations from corporate heads who are more concerned with increasing the stock price than serving customers. It would not be a better world if people rioted over Internet access. But there has been no in-between when it comes to people being taken advantage of on this front. Lack of choice has led to people complaining on Facebook but not cancelling services, because then what?
But now that people are working from home and self isolating all of these companies are making moves to be more community focussed. Here is what the result will be. The internet will finally be acknowledged for what it is. It is part of the public airwaves and a vital part of normal daily life. We use it as much as we do running water or electricity. It is not a shiny new toy. Whether people have a 2000 iPhone with Verizon or a 60 dollar android phone on Cricket we all use the internet for work, job hunting and communication. And now that we are in a national emergency people are using it for important information.
When this is all over data caps will be a casualty. If not an end to data caps, we will at least see a minimal public internet level that is regulated by the government. Most people do not need 200 mbps much less fiber internet. But the need to provide 30 mbps so that people can stay connected, download forms, watch a little tv and keep in touch with people will be seen as a necessity and not a commodity.