Bandwidth caps are bad for consumers, plain and simple. It’s simply a way to squeeze more money out of consumers while the cable company’s costs are largely fixed. Granted, they’re only expanding to a few select markets (including Rochester, NY), but they’ll be crazy to do this in any market where they actually have competition like Verizon FiOS. As for Verizon, they’re not doing bandwidth caps because they need to gain market share against the cable companies, not because they’re the good guy. Verizon is spending a lot of money building out fiber networks and are heavily dependent on subscriber growth. They need to be taking customers away from cable companies and see this is a competitive advantage. Trust me, if Verizon FiOS were very well established, they’d be considering bandwidth caps too.
These bandwidth caps make me glad I switched away from TWC. But if Verizon ever decides to do something stupid for customers, there’s no other company to turn too. This is why more competition is needed. In many areas, there are virtual monopolies where only 1 company provides broadband service. Having 2 competitors is much better but then it’s still a duopoly and instead of duking it out they can decide to simply cooperate and jack up prices. That really has to change, especially given the poor state of broadband in the U.S. If I had broadband caps, my bill would be astronomical especially since aside from cable TV, I have a separate IPTV service that chews up bandwidth.
TWC’s new proposal is to offer “virtually” unlimited usage at $150 along with several other lower tiers. The highest tier plan isn’t even really unlimited – it’s really $75/month and the overage charges max out at $75. Yes, I know I don’t live in Rochester but hypothetically, I’d have to pay $150 per month as opposed to $41.95 per month which I was paying before. That’s just ridiculous.