So Comcast is implementing a 250GB monthly bandwidth cap starting next month. While some consumers are up in arms about the true meaning of “unlimited” internet access, others have focused on how these caps will affect the innovation of web-based services, particularly video streaming and downloading.
“It really doesn’t give me a lot of concern. It’s unfortunate that the limitless possibilities are being capped by an ISP, but it has no direct business impact on us.”
Roku’s users aren’t coming close to using 250GB of bandwidth per month and Twerdhal points out that video compression technology is constantly improving — shrinking file sizes, while maintaining visual quality. The thing about Roku, however, is that, although the box is HD-ready, the streaming Netflix movies are only in standard definition at the moment. So bandwidth isn’t as much of an issue right now.
That’s for Comcast’s cap, though. As far as bandwidth caps go, Comcast’s is (and I hate to say this) almost generous. Time Warner is toying with a 40GB cap and the thought of using a wireless data card for anything serious is a no-go thanks to an industry-wide 5GB cap. I’d also expect that DSL and satellite internet providers are seriously looking into capping monthly bandwidth if they haven’t already.
Your thoughts? Would monthly data caps on your internet usage dissuade you from using certain streaming video services? How low would the cap have to get before you cut back on big downloads and video streaming?