We want to limit your stinking data!

If you own any kind of mobile device, you know that service providers are trying real hard to cap data usage even when you are fine paying their exorbitant prices, and basically claim that’s needed because it affects their infrastructure negatively. While some might actually think this makes sense, hard analysis says otherwise:

I won’t argue that data caps have no positive impact on wireless networks—they can prevent the most egregious overuse of what is a limited resource. But it’s a crude tool at best, targeting monthly averages with no regard for whether the network is congested at a particular time or place.

Recent actions and statements from carriers suggest this is the case: data caps are largely a profit play, not an efficient means of preventing network problems. After Sprint offered “double the high-speed data” on its network, 20GB per month for family plans, AT&T responded by doubling data, too, through shared plans of 30GB to 100GB a month. Verizon doubled its own customers’ data, while Sprint offered yet another doubling to stay ahead of AT&T and Verizon. Suddenly, network constraints had apparently disappeared.

Where did all this extra capacity come from? The carriers’ networks didn’t double in size overnight. The capacity was always there—carriers just weren’t allowing customers to use it until one decided to boost data and the others followed. Behavior like this helps explain why federal regulators have blocked mergers that would reduce the number of nationwide carriers from four to three.

Yeah, well, big government is in bed with these monopolies, and that’s why they do this sort of shit. These caps are not about protecting the network and assuring equal access, and have everything to do with profitability without having to be competitive. In short, monopolies, and then, the kind of monopolies a big fat cat can buy from government types always ready to sell the people out to line their own pockets.F rom the article:

It probably wouldn’t be smart for carriers to promise everyone limitless data, because there are real capacity constraints in wireless networks. But the specific limits imposed on consumers are chosen not to prevent congestion but to maximize profit.

I have nothing against profits. I just want you to make them because you are selling a great product people want and beat the competition fair and square. This always benefits the consumer. I have a huge problem when you want your profitability to come at the expense of the consumer, and then, because of some shitty monopoly you bought from politicians that love the idea they get to pick winners and losers. For a fee, of course.

Comments are closed.

  1. richtaylor365

    Just out of curiosity, do you not see the irony, writing a post about a government agency cooking the books (lying to us), then following that up with another post taking what another government agency (the GAO) says as gospel?

    This administration has politicized (and tainted) the State Dept, the CIA, the Secret Service,Justice, the IRS, the DHS, the Commerce Dept, nobody can believe or take stock in anything the government tells us, any part of the government, it is too agenda driven.

    I have nothing against profits. I just want you to make them because you are selling a great product people want and beat the competition fair and square.

    And that is exactly what is happening here. AT&T found the competition offering a better deal (more data/same price) and they had to follow suit, adapt or die, free market capitalism as it’s finest. As a shareholder of both T and VZ, I expect them to do everything legally in their power to enhance shareholder value, that is their job.

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  2. InsipiD

    I expect them to do everything legally in their power to enhance shareholder value, that is their job.

    Getting called out periodically for very consumer-unfriendly policy and activity won’t do that. Getting away with it for a while might, but the visibility of these kind of things make people run away. I’ve been a Verizon customer for 10 years, and the kind of begging through mail and email that they’re doing with me makes it crystal clear that I’m not under contract anymore and they’re afraid I’ll leave. They should be.

    And that’s why the whole Comcast thing is so scary. The Obama FCC seems very comfortable with Comcast swallowing NBC and now Time-Warner. When there is nobody to run to when you’re running away, it’s a lot harder. These old media companies are finally becoming aware of how important they don’t seem when it’s become so easy to get what you need from the internet. Rather than adapting, they’re trying instead to force the internet into their ancient business model, and the Obama administration finds that acceptable. By allowing these mergers to happen, they’re allowing old media holdouts like Comcast and Verizon to control access to the new media.

    Unacceptable.

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  3. ilovecress

    Hang on… are you saying that there should be more regulation, because unfettered capitalism doesn’t always benefit the consumer? There’s nothing fair and square about the unregulated free market.

    Your problem here is the Government not regulating against monopolies. Alex calling for more Government intervention? Cats and dogs living together….

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  4. balthazar

    Cress, reading comprehension isnt your strong suit.

    READ

    His problem is the government BEING IN CAHOOTS WITH THE BIG MONOPOLIES.

    Fuck man.

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  5. ilovecress

    And what is the result of big Government being in cahoots with big business?

    Less corporate regulation on behalf of the consumer, leading to monopolies that a fat cat can buy from the Government.

    It sounds like we’re on the same side on this one – that when the corporate world can influence policy makers, the consumer loses out. The party that the policy makers belong to doesn’t matter. You could argue the equivalent with unions.

    “I have a huge problem when you want your profitability to come at the expense of the consumer” : Alex
    “It is critical that the American people, and not just their financial institutions, be represented at the negotiating table”. Elizabeth Warren.

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