Hitting the wall

Looks like it might actually happen. With my nephew staying with us while he goes to college, his additional gaming and Netflix bandwidth has pushed our internet usage up over 210MB this month, with still a third of a month to go.

To get comparable internet speeds from Comcast Business (which is not, reportedly, subject to bandwidth caps), I would have to pay triple my current monthly internet bill. I was unable to get comparable numbers from CenturyLink Business (the only other viable internet service provider in my area) without providing my home address and phone number.

My nephew is off spending the Thanksgiving holiday with his immediate family, and I've told my wife we need to use our shiny plastic (and completely unrestricted) discs for home entertainment, so we have a chance of making it through the month under the cap; but now, it's clear that the bandwidth cap is making a clear impact on our internet usage.

It's interesting to note that Microsoft has announced that they are going to be bringing even more streaming video content to the Xbox in the coming months, including (but not limited to) YouTube, UFC shows, and various cable providers' on-demand content (which would be delivered over capped internet, rather than the limitless pipe that carries regular cable content).

Internet use and services are going up (and Comcast even occasionally increases its speeds to deliver more of that content faster), but the cap doesn't move. How many people are going to find themselves over the cap soon? When will Comcast realize "generous" is becoming "too restrictive"? And, most importantly, when will I see a viable option that gives me reliable connection and speed, and the ability to actually use it to its potential?

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