As a 2-year-and-running cord cutter, I've been a higher than average consumer of data for awhile now. I appreciate the increased caps over the past year, but with these increases have also come increased throughput for the same streams. My family consistently streams 6-8 hours a day watching cable-over-internet, Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc; 6 months ago, we were nowhere near the caps, but over the past three months we have had to monitor usage closely because we are somehow consuming 30+ GB a day. Since this is double what we were using a year ago, I was in disbelief so I bought a network monitor and sure enough - the same streams are now coming thru at twice the data rate 7+ Mbps. This is on normal programming, much of which is not even HD. I'm also monitoring consumption per device and per application (to try and figure out what the heck changed) - I have no data "leaks" or theft.
Since this is an apparent increase in the standard throughput, I propose a couple of solutions:
1. BEST OPTION: This is a long term solution that can work under the current rates and caps... Allow an option to self-meter bandwidth. Not just on/off, but a throttle on data flow. If I could dial my throughput down to a 3 Mbps limit for normal everyday viewing, then open it up to 7+ when I really need it for a movie or the big game, that would do wonders for my average daily usage. The reality is that I don't need the higher throughput for most programming, but my devices automatically draw the data at higher rates based on factors I can't control.
2. Since HD is the standard (free OTA) and 4K is taking root, consumption rates can be expected to increase dramatically. The "700 hrs" of HD viewing quoted in your advertising is simply not true - that would be over 10 hours a day on 2 devices. Those of us with data monitors can easily see (and prove) that HD streams are currently consuming more than twice that much. The caps could (and should) be raised to remain consistent with your worry-free streaming policies. Anyone using internet to stream on 1-2 devices for 6-8 hours a day should not have to monitor data usage from week to week.
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