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Video: Why Data Caps Suck


We’ve made it painfully obvious that we hate data caps, tiered data, and any thoughts of sharing that data with someone else. In fact, most of you hate all of that as well. The day that we first jumped onto 4G LTE was something we may never forget, but we’ll also never forget the day that Verizon and AT&T told us that we could no longer use that 4G LTE connection on an unlimited basis and that we were going to be limited and capped. We knew why they were pushing this new scheme, but that doesn’t mean we have to ever agree with it.

So the video we have included above talks all about caps and how horrible they are for the industry, for innovation, and for the world of technology as a whole. It’s a worthwhile watch, even if it is 11+ minutes long. The presenter talks about misinformation when it comes to data speeds and congestion, why cable companies may be the root of it all, and why spectrum is the real issue.

Via:  Gizmodo

  • That’s cool, but not really true. The main point made in the first half of the video is that “it doesn’t matter how much data you use, congestion is purely based on the number of users”

    For starters, no. Number of packets = congestion. More data being transmitted = more packets = more congestion. But even if you ignore that bit, there’s still the other issue of the fact that it’s Time Shared. I’m not using my broadband connection every second of every day. And if I’m using less data, I’m using it less TIME as well. (Downloading a smaller file takes less time, therefore I’m using the device for less time, or I’m using wifi). End result is, if users use less data, more users can share the same network before congestion kills the speed.

    I still hate data caps, and I think they do kind of strangle out the innovation. It’s frustrating to see a company advertising how fast their service is and all the streaming media you can get, but at the same time being limited to such a small amount of capacity that you can’t actually get the benefits of the speed and media selection.

  • Derek Lockovich

    Here’s a petition: http://wh.gov/EJgq

    Please sign that and let’s get a response from the government.

  • master94

    I wont watch more TV if you cap me, I’ll just go running. Screw the idiot box. No offense to TV lovers.

  • I don’t really buy the force-them-to-watch-more-tv allegation. The rest of the video seems solid enough.

  • cole hartman

    So in a sense its what T-Mobile is doing. They have unlimited “high speed” data or they have unlimited data with 2 gigs of “high speed”. I think I found a reason why I like T-Mobile

    • Tim242

      actually, they no longer throttle.

      • I didn’t know that. What happens on the $30 online-only prepaid plan with 5gb of “4g” data? I’ve never hit the cap.

        • Tim242

          They throttle after 5GB on the prepaid $30 plan. The true unlimited was just for post paid, but they also just added it on the $70 prepaid plan.

  • Brent Cooper

    That’s a great video. However I feel the average consumer doesn’t, and won’t care. This is a complex industry and the average consumer just isn’t informed enough to know how much they are getting ripped off.

  • Prime7

    Whenever I find myself hating my carrier and/or ISP too much, I just remind myself that Monsanto and De Beers exist. Suddenly, Verizon and Time Warner don’t seem evil at all anymore.

  • ok

    Get T-Mobile if you have coverage, we’ll be lte soon , and already have unlimited data

    • nightscout13

      What makes you think T-Mobile won’t cap their LTE? They have no cap for 3G, but they haven’t said they will continue capless data into LTE.

      • JayInCA

        TMO just recently started offering their 4G Truly Unlimited plan, and are rolling out LTE starting this month. They aren’t going to just stop offering unlimited all of a sudden, much less in the foreseeable future. They want new customers and that’s their draw. And if that doesn’t make sense to you, check out the comments from the CEO John Legere from the CES show in Vegas. It’s a great time to be on, or migrate to, T-Mobile. Verizon, AT&T and Sprint can all suck it.

        • nightscout13

          Be prepared to be put into an LTE cap eventually. This will be the future of LTE. Verizon never mentioned tiered LTE prior to axing the Unlimited Data plans. They dropped the news quickly, they did not give customers much of a buffer. T-Mobile will do the same after they have built out their LTE network. You say TMo will not just stop offering Unlimited data, well AT&T + Verizon did just that, and Tmo will follow their lead in a year or 2.

  • nightscout13

    I’m sorry that these people spent so much time making a 11 minute video to tell us what we already know. Don’t tell us, tell the ISP’s!

  • Justin Kos

    Great watch, thanks for posting!

  • antjohnson

    I’m one of the “power users” Verizon is trying to strong arm out of unlimited data ! I’ve used 12 gigs with and my data cycle doesn’t start over til the 26th of this month 😀 They’re gonna have to physically come and TAKE my unlimited data from me ! SCREW YOU VERIZON. sent from my Note2 unlocked with the “suckitverizon” odin method

    • ObviousNinja2

      LOL….That’s not a power user. GET MORE POWER!!!

      • michael arazan

        I’ve used 50 gb in a month, most of it was from vacation and uploading 1080 HD videos to my drive account. HD videos eat a lot of memory like 10 mins a gb. Another reason to have more onboard storage or SD slots in devices when they have the ability to record HD

        • Jimneezy

          I’d say go for the record of 100gb a month, f#ck it leave your phone on netflicks for the whole night looping lol

  • Trevor

    Good info, but I have to say, this guy has waaaaay too much time on his hands.

    • S2556

      its because he is on the internet instead of watching TV!

  • Comcast is not owned by GE.

    • nightscout13

      I looked, and could not find this information either.

      • I’m certain of it. Makes you wonder what else is wrong. Take everything with a grain of salt people.

        • nightscout13

          I’ve found that GE and Comcast own stakes in other companies together, but no where have i found the GE owns Comcast.

          • Comcast is 51% owner of NBC Universal with GE holding the 49% at the moment.

          • nightscout13

            That’s a joint venture, how is that GE owning Comcast? If GE owned Comcast, then NBC would be owned 100% by GE, right? There would be no splitting the rights, if one is parent.

          • I’m agreeing with you, hence why I said Comcast is not owned by GE. Comcast has the controlling stake and will be buying out GE’s remaining portion in the years to come.

  • vonny571


  • Whiny bastards!

    *Ahem* WAAAAAAAAAAA WAAAAAAAAAAA… Buncha whiny fu*king babies!

    • Yep

      A very cogent & thought-provoking missive. I, personally, will likely spend the rest of the evening in deep reflection over it. You obviously have a wonderful economy with words. I look forward to your next syllable with great eagerness.

      • Hothfox

        So.. you commented back to yourself?

      • Derp

        A very der der derpy der thought! I will spend the rest of MY night reflecting on how derpy your derp is! Ass…

      • Arthur reference!!!!! Loved it!!!!

    • nightscout13

      A troll is a troll

  • I sold my 2 Verizon unlimited lines for $300 and $350 on eBay and moved to T-Mobile which works really really well in San Diego. Not as fast as Verizon LTE, but still really fast and some things actually work better, like VOIP – not sure why that is.

    • Talktome

      You can sell your lines?

      • Yes. Once the eBay buyer pays, you call up Verizon, tell them that you are transferring your line via Assumption of Liability and you provide them buyer’s name and maybe their phone number (Verizon wasn’t consistent with this), then tell the buyer the phone number attached to the line, they call Verizon and complete the transfer, and you are done. They have to be on the right kind of account (can’t be a share everything) or have no account, and they of course have to have acceptable credit and stuff. It honestly takes about 5 minutes and the buyer can be anywhere in the country.

        • nightscout13

          Can you provide some more details? what type of account did the buyer own exactly? Does the buyer have to be out of contract?

          • Droid-Life is moderating my response… If it doesn’t show up, they axed my link to my eBay ad where I sold the line.

          • nightscout13

            luckily, i was able to snag the link before the mod-bot took it 😀 thanks!
            got it right here: goo.gl/6hVyD

          • Ha! Good! I was a little ticked that I had wasted my time.

        • I did this with a friend, except I didn’t sell the line. This friend was saving me from paying a $230 EFT with Verizon, so I switched the account into her name and gave her my GNex. I got out of my contract, she got my unlimited plan + a phone, everyone wins.

  • spunker88

    With wireless I was under the impression there is limited spectrum so limited bandwidth. So why don’t carriers throttle instead of cap, just like ISPs do. That way a single user isn’t using too much bandwidth at once bringing speeds down for others. I really only need speeds fast enough to stream music or play a low res video every now and then. 1 to 2 Mb/s would be enough for me, and for others who want faster data, they would pay more. But no matter what it would be unlimited with the trotting preventing any network overload issues.

  • sirmeili

    I’ve always hated the excuse they use of “the average customer uses less than XXXmb/month anyways..it’s only the top X% that will feel it….usually like top 1-2%. So, if that’s true, and most only use less, I’ve never understood the reason for a cap. And like he said, a cap does nothing really. The best cap (if there really is one) is one placed on peak times and not all the time. Why would it matter if I download a 1tb file at 3am? Chances are, very few around me would feel any effects of my usage.

    • Hothfox

      A lot of ISPs that cap user’s download capacity have a free for all period in the middle of the night. My parents have satelite Internet at their house and the ISP puts a 450MB cap on their download activity per 24 hours, and if they go over that, the ISP throttles their speeds to basically unusable. Between the hours of 2am and 7am, though, there’s a period where you can download as much as you want, and it won’t count towards your 24 hour quota. Theoretically, they do that so you can do “necessary”
      things like your huge Windows updates, but I would stay up late to stream movies and download big files.

      Cellular needs something similar. During peek hours, users can download as much as they want, but only up to X speeds, as determined by the usage on the tower. During off-peak times, they should be able to download as fast as they want, as allowed by the usage on the tower. That way, someone who likes to watch Netflix on their phone at 2am while they’re in bed won’t be “negatively effecting normal users’.”

      Carriers used to do something similar with calling plans – during peak hours, rates were X, during nights and weekends, rates were Y.

      • vonny571

        No. See, that would make too much sense, and there are no short-term revenue benefits.

      • Hunter

        What? Carriers doing something in the interest of the customer?….get out of here!

  • Sven Enterlein

    Wonderful! It’s almost like a conspiracy!

    • michael arazan

      Its always a conspiracy when it comes to corporate greed, always having to have growth every quarter for their shareholders and executive bonus’.

  • Destroythanet

    Yup saw this video on Gizmodo. Interesting stuff.

  • Clearly it’s for them to nickel and dime their customers to death. What they dont understand is that if they cater to enthusiasts, the masses will follow.

    • Oh, and this video is truly brilliant at showing how full of crap Verizon/ATT/etc are

      • Hunter

        I mean we know this, but its always fun to have someone else point it out.

  • Greg Morgan


    • vonny571

      Beat me to it.