Thursday, December 8, 2011

Data Usage

This is somewhat shocking to me. I was reading about ATT’s decision to throttle some high bandwidth users, and there was this quote in the article:

“But as business rises, so does data usage. J.P. Morgan estimates that the average iPhone user will consume around 800MB of data per month. That's not far off from the average non-iPhone user projected to grab around 825MB each month.”

Huh? Much of what has been reported implies, or says, that the iPhone is the culprit for data usage growing so quickly. Perhaps that’s true, but if the non-iPhone users are using more (825MB v 800MB, average) that implies that other platforms are using more data. I’d assume this means Android, but I suppose that Blackberry might be implicated with the constant email traffic, and potential links in those emails driving people to view other data.

I use about 250MB/month, so I’m not worried about the throttling. As much as I wouldn’t like it, it does make some sense to me. The people that are using 2GB a month are impacting others, and unlimited data, while it’s something I think should be there, I don’t think it should be unlimited MB AND speed. That’s unsustainable for any company as usage grows. Sure the bandwidth will increase, but there are a few people that abuse the plans and impact others.

Slowing down the top 5%, or even asking for a surcharge seems like the fair thing to me for the good of the digital network. I think we ought to have net neutrality on the Internet, but I also think that for the outliers we ought to institute something. On the high end, I can see some throttling done, even across all kinds of traffic.

On the low end, I wonder if we ought to have some type of national infrastructure growth like we had for the POTS lines to try and ensure that we can help the entire country access the Internet.

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