Thoughts on data caps

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Hi, I've been doing a lot of reading and research about the broadband industry in general, and I have come across some information that strikes to the heart of some broadband providers, they're "business model"! I am not trying to cause any dissension among subscribers, but given the topics and concerns in this section of the forums, there should be some type of civil discussion about it, because when you really think about it in a world of physical laws that govern the universe, how is it possible the amount of data I draw in a month affects other subscribers? And that being said, then why would I be able to purchase "more" data for that month, conceivably I could purchase as much as I want as long as I pay for it, right? According to the data allowance policy, wouldn't I still be causing congestion? I would probably be more apt to believe data cap policy, if you didn't offer more gigs at all, but anyways, this is some info I want to share with others and please read it and discuss it, but above all educate your self and learn about what you are really paying for thanks (please don't delete this, as it is informative and relavent...thanks

It only took the better part of a decade, but the broadband industry has apparently realized they can no longer pretend that caps are really about congestion. Speaking at a meeting this week, former FCC boss turned top cable lobbyist Michael Powell finally acknowledged caps weren't about congestion, though he did continue pushing the myth that caps are about

"fairness":quote:
National Cable and Telecommunications Association president Michael Powell told a Minority Media and Telecommunications Association audience that cable's interest in usage-based pricing was not principally about network congestion, but instead about pricing fairness...Asked by MMTC president David Honig to weigh in on data caps, Powell said that while a lot of people had tried to label the cable industry's interest in the issue as about congestion management. "That's wrong," he said. "Our principal purpose is how to fairly monetize a high fixed cost."

Except the argument that usaged pricing is about fairness has been just as repeatedly debunked. If usage caps were about "fairness," carriers would offer the nation's grandmothers a $5-$15 a month tier that accurately reflected her twice weekly, several megabyte browsing of the Weather Channel website. Instead, what we most often see are low caps and high overages layered on top of already high existing flat rate pricing, raising rates for all users. Does raising rates on a product that already sees 90% profit margins sound like "fairness" to you?

For reference click link >>>>>>>> http://www.techhive.com/article/20555...

http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/Ca...
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Roadrunn3rr50

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Posted 6 years ago

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Exede Elizabeth

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Roadrunn3rr50,

I think this is a good discussion topic. Thanks for posting!

This is my personal take:

On a satellite, there is a limited and set amount of bandwidth available. From a business perspective, a provider must research the market and create packages that are going to be functional for the majority of it's potential customer base and set a price that will be affordable enough, but still creates profit. They must offer some variance and options for the spectrum of users from light - moderate-heavy (10,15,25GB-- with option to utilize LNFZ for major downloading needs). The profit margin is important for investing in the future, growing the business, improving service (and putting up new satellites)!!

I think of the available bandwidth and then divide it by how many customers could be supported at an average data allotment. If the company is going to give up the space that could be offered to another monthly subscriber, with a guaranteed monthly payment for someone to buy a little more data, the data has to be more expensive to compensate for that, right? because it is not guaranteed. It is on an "as needed" basis. In other words, for the "buy more" option to be available, ViaSat is sacrificing some monthly subscriber spots on the beams.

What is exciting to me is imagining what the future holds for this company and this technology. As new satellites go up, I envision so many possibilities for offering options that may entice a broader segment of the market. Sweeeet!

Take care and thanks again for posting. I hope we see some responses from others in the community!
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Exede Elizabeth

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One more little comment... In the last paragraph, you mentioned that data limits are less about fairness... I don't know if the stakes are any where near the same when comparing a cable internet service provider and a satellite provider.

I feel that providing bandwidth in this way is a necessity at this point in the building of the satellite industry because a dominant percentage of the current and potential customer base at this time are rural folks.

If our beams fill up to quickly with gamers using hundreds of GB per month, maybe too many other people would be turned away with NO other option for usable, high speed internet. One of our main missions is to provide the best quality service to as many folks who really need it as possible!

Just a thought :)
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Starring Matter

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Roadrunn3rr50,

About a year or so ago, exede was having some issues with the meter (*cough*cough*) and it was turned off for a number of months. It didn't take long for people to realize they were unlimited. Not long after that, the average/typical user was VERY happy to see the meters turned back on. All it takes is a few "data whores" to ruin it for everyone. Caps are unfortunate, but, on a limited service such as satellite, completely necessary.
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Steve Frederick-VS1/Beam314, Champion

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I remember that time period well. During that time, while some were downloading giga GBs of data continuously, the download speeds were typically 3 or 4 mbs, sometimes even slower in the evenings. I for one was very glad that the meter was put back in service. Satellites do have a limited throughput, and cannot provide everyone all the data they want at the same time. Anyone who thinks they need more than 25 GB per month should find a provider with land based service, even if it means moving to an area served by cable.
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Alex, Viasat Corporate Communications

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Chiming in here, it's interesting to think of data from the perspective of a household where everyone's trying to take a hot shower at the same time -- it just doesn't work. Your water heater has a set capacity, typically the size it takes to serve average need (versus, say, a hotel that needs a much bigger tank). Set capacity is a genuine issue with satellites and cell towers, but not as much of a factor for, say, cable or DSL where the pipe is connected more to an ocean than a lake. That said, our ViaSat-1 satellite has a lot more capacity than our older WildBlue birds, and we were able to offer higher speeds and more data at lower costs. When ViaSat-2 is launched in 2016, it will expand our capacity even more, and we will have the ability to offer a wider variety of plans. Exact details are a bit in the future at this point.
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Starring Matter

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a little too much pumpkin spice wine?
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Roadrunn3rr50

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Roadrunn3rr50 chuckles to himself, then whispers, "HE HEE HE, you have no idea!!!"

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