Will you be capped?
Broadband caps are getting ugly. Stacey Higginbotham for Gigaom brings the issue up to date with news of Frontier Communications decision to dip a toe into the murky waters where AT&T, Comcast and others have gone before. Depending on the carrier, the tiers range from 5 GB up to 250 GB a month in the US. But do you even know how much you use? IDC recently commissioned a survey from Zeugma Systems that found 83 percent of Internet users had no idea what their bandwidth consumption was. Gamers who play World of Warcraft and similar resource-intensive games use 10-30 Mb an hour. A standard definition feature film is about 500 Mb, not counting any home videos you send to family members. Add to that any online backup services you use, like Mozy or Carbonite. Downloading 200 decent fidelity songs adds up to nearly 1 GB. Maybe you have a subscription to a streaming music service like Rhapsody, too. Then there’s Hulu, FunnyOrDie, YouTube, AOL TV, ESPN360, and whatever else you have bookmarked. Maybe you’re interested in Netflix delivering digitally instead of on shiny plastic discs. It already adds up pretty quickly, and that’s in a world where we’re just starting to realize the potential uses of broadband.