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ISPs itching to bring data-cap racket to home broadband services

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 8:30PM EST

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As much as consumers hate having their mobile data capped, there’s no question that caps on wireline broadband services have the potential to be a far greater burden than mobile caps. Well, guess what: New Scientist reports that unless ISPs either make large investments in bringing fiber to the home or improvements to switching technology to ensure faster traffic routing, that’s exactly what users can expect in the near future.

Indeed, New Scientist writes that ISPs including AT&T (T), Comcast (CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable (TWC) have already started rolling out bandwidth caps on some of their wireline services to cope with the large amount of data consumed by video streaming and online gaming, noting that Netflix (NFLX) alone accounted for one-third of all downstream Internet traffic in the United States last year.

In other words, U.S. broadband users had better hope that Google’s fiber network lights a fire under ISPs’ behinds and gets them to invest more in upgrading network performance lest home broadband caps become a standard rather than an anomaly.


Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.