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A cable company that prided itself on no data caps says you’re getting data caps because pizza

A cable company that prided itself on no data caps says you’re getting data caps because pizza
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A cable company that prided itself on no data caps says you’re getting data caps because pizza

A cable company that prided itself on no data caps says you’re getting data caps because pizza

Web data caps are not like pizza — the place taking a slice might imply fewer slices for everybody else. I don’t suppose Verge readers have bother understanding this idea? It’s been well-established that ISPs have no bother delivering limitless data, even throughout — say — a world pandemic when huge throngs of the inhabitants have all of the sudden discovered themselves working from dwelling.

This, nonetheless, did not cease WideOpenWest (aka WOW!) from utilizing pizza to justify brand-new, possibly-never-before-seen data caps for its cable web subscribers, beginning June 1st, 2021, as Ars Technica experiences.

Right here’s a portion of the e-mail subscribers are receiving:

What’s a month-to-month data utilization plan? Allow us to illustrate …

Think about that the WOW! community is a pizza. Piping sizzling. Toppings galore. Each WOW! buyer will get their very own slice of pizza, however the measurement of their slice relies on their Web service plan. Whereas prospects who subscribe to 1 Gig get the most important slices, these with Web 500 get a barely smaller piece, and so on. However, it’s all the identical scrumptious, high-speed pizza that you recognize and love.

Now, say you’re not full after your slice and also you seize one other. That further slice is sort of a data overage. Don’t fear—we bought further pizza… umm, data… simply in case. Should you exceed your data allowance, we’ll routinely apply increments of 50GB for $10 to your account for the rest of the present calendar month. Complete overage fees won’t exceed $50 per billing assertion no matter how a lot data you employ. Even higher—the primary time you expertise a data overage, we’ll proactively waive charges.

To clarify how nonsensical that is, right here’s a paragraph from a narrative I wrote late final yr which I believe you would possibly take pleasure in studying as nicely:

Overlook for a second that Comcast itself was caught red-handed explaining that data caps don’t have anything to do with community congestion. Overlook that the CEOs of a number of smaller ISPs have admitted that web capability is something however scarce. Overlook that Comcast disabled its personal congestion administration system because it discovered it was pointless. Overlook even that Comcast is a wildly worthwhile company whose cable division spends solely a tenth of its yearly revenues on maintaining that community robust. The proof that data caps are a swindle is one thing you most likely witnessed your self earlier this yr: Comcast, AT&T, and T-Cellular all suspended their data caps when the pandemic hit, and the web saved on working with out a hitch.

The kicker right here is that WOW is aware of full nicely its community is nothing like pizza — because for years, together with through the pandemic, the company proudly marketed its lack of data caps. It was the motive to choose WOW over Comcast, one subscriber instructed Ars Technica.

Some proof:

wow press release

A part of a bigger press launch (PDF).

To which I say: wow.

What would trigger WOW to desert its values for revenue? I can’t say for positive, however I’d hazard a guess it might need been emboldened by Comcast’s current determination to make data caps the norm throughout the US beginning March July someday subsequent yr. Because that’s the state of web “competitors” in the US: so few actual selections that when one ISP turns up the income, it’s most likely secure for neighboring ISPs to do identical. If you’re locked into only one or two dangerous selections the place you reside, I’d suggest telling the FCC.


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