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My ISP...

Displaying poll results.
Does not cap my bandwidth
  7932 votes / 30%
Says they do not cap my bandwidth, but they do
  3480 votes / 13%
Has a cap that is too low
  2116 votes / 8%
Has a cap that is about right
  2164 votes / 8%
Has a cap I will never meet
  2359 votes / 9%
Fears giving me too much bandwidth
  735 votes / 2%
Effectively caps me by being terrible at what they do
  3796 votes / 14%
Probably has me on a watch list for my usage
  3355 votes / 12%
25937 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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My ISP...

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  • by root_42 (103434) on Friday August 23, 2013 @08:20AM (#44652947) Homepage

    I am using German Telekom for my mobile ISP. They cap after 300MB. Way, way too low. After that it's 64kbit/s!

    My DSL ISP is ok. No caps, but the uplink is tiny. I've got 6 MBit downlink, but only 512kbit uplink. Terrible for uploading photos or other stuff.

    • by Psyborgue (699890)
      Free Mobile in France. 3GB / month (after that it's throttled) and they don't give a shit if I tether. This costs 18 euro a month which is discounted from 20 because DSL isp is also Free. I'm outside of a major city so I only get about 15-20 MBit down and a tenth of that up. The actual box (Freebox Revolution) i'm using is capable of fiber to the house, however, and this exists in cities like Paris. Free is nice. They assign you a static IPv4 address and don't care how you use your bandwith. The Free
    • Cable, 50Mbit downlink.
      I'll see what my uplink speed is when the next opensuse level comes out and I torrent it.

    • by afidel (530433)

      Wow, for once the US is better than Europe in mobile, my wife is on Virgin Mobile USA (a Sprint MVNO) and their throttle doesn't kick in until 2.5GB and it's only $25/month for 300 minutes/"unlimited" data/unlimited sms. If they didn't want to raise our rates by $10/month when she gets a new phone I'd be sticking with them.

      • by xaxa (988988)

        Wow, for once the US is better than Europe in mobile

        Well, you've found one service that's worse... although he didn't tell you how much (or little) the service cost.

        My German's a bit patchy, but it looks like the deal is you get the data allowance on a pre-pay tariff for the next month whenever you add €9.95 credit to the account.

        It's not a very good deal. I have a German SIM for when I travel there, and €10 gives me something like 1GB data, and I didn't really look for the best deal.

      • Wow, for once the US is better than Europe in mobile, my wife is on Virgin Mobile USA (a Sprint MVNO) and their throttle doesn't kick in until 2.5GB and it's only $25/month for 300 minutes/"unlimited" data/unlimited sms. If they didn't want to raise our rates by $10/month when she gets a new phone I'd be sticking with them.

        Well, it sounds like you're almost level. My phone costs me less than euro20/month for 21Mbps with no limit, and a couple of hundred calls/SMS. And here, unlimited means really unlimited, not some weird species of "unlimited" which has a 2.5GB cap.

        FWIW, our home connection is symmetric 100/100Mbps on fiber, also unlimited (no capacity limits, no blocked ports, we can and do run a web server and a mail server, etc.). It's pricey, as it costs us euro45/month, but then we're in the countryside. A similar se

      • I've got a virgin mobile phone...where I am the network is so lousy that I cannot see anyone hitting the 2.5 GB "cap" without going insane.

      • by Splab (574204)

        As other points out, you have found one of a very few with worse service.

        In Denmark you get 1GB with the cheapest subscriptions and most get you somewhere between 3 and 10GB.

        My current provider charges 159 DKR ($28) for 1 GB data, unlimited minutes and unlimited text/SMS, 179 DKR ($32) for 5 GB data, unlimited minutes and unlimited text/SMS, 199 DKR ($35) for 10GB data unlimited etc. and finally 299 DKR ($54) for 100GB data (they call it unlimited, but it aint). (All subscriptions are on LTE where available

    • by SIGBUS (8236)

      I am using German Telekom for my mobile ISP. They cap after 300MB. Way, way too low. After that it's 64kbit/s!

      My DSL ISP is ok. No caps, but the uplink is tiny. I've got 6 MBit downlink, but only 512kbit uplink. Terrible for uploading photos or other stuff.

      That's interesting, since T-Mobile US, which is now partially spun off from DT, offers an unlimited data plan prepaid or postpaid at $70/month (truly unlimited for the phone itself, 500 MB tethering per month), as well as less-expensive options of 2.5 GB ($60) and 500 MB ($50), all with unlimited talk and text. There's also a prepaid $30 plan with 5 GB data/100 minutes talk (not sure about SMS), but that's only for new activations; you can't switch to it from another plan. On the plans with limits, it's at

      • Believe me, your wireless companies would like to retire the old protocols as fast as they can scrape up the capital budget, at least in the cities and medium-large suburbs, though less so out in the boonies.

        The issue isn't just selling you an iPhone N+1 to replace your iPhone N-2 or have your tablet hit your monthly bandwidth cap in 2 days instead of 5, it's mostly that the newer protocols use their radio bandwidth a lot more efficiently, so if they can migrate the 2G and 2.5G users over to LTE or at least

  • Good old Eircom, the feckers!

    No bandwidth cap (adsl line connects at 8m down and 800k up, so there are probably people here with capped connections who can actually transfer more data per month than I can)
    • 8 Mbps down is 1 MB/sec, so 86.4GB/day, so you could hit a 250 GB monthly data cap by about Wednesday the first week. (I'm running 3 Mbps DSL, but since Comcast keeps talking about data caps, and won't let you run servers at home, I've got no respect for their claims to be 10x faster...) Of course, if they're blocking The Pirate Bay, that cuts way back on their total bandwidth needs :-)

  • by Val314 (219766) on Friday August 23, 2013 @08:27AM (#44652981)

    My ISP for

    - Home
    - Mobile Phone
    - Tablet
    - Work

    Everyone has different rules.

    • Until recently, when we started doing some new cloud projects that have their own connectivity, I had two different ISP-equivalents at work. One was the Corporate IT department network, which connects to my desktop, the corporate email, internal web servers, and firewalled access to the public internet, doesn't have any bandwidth limits other than the 100 Mbps wire to my desk, but has a lot of access filtering to cut out NSFW material, including Dangerous Evil Hacker Sites (I do computer security research

  • In Europe YOU cap your ISP!

    vnstat -m reports 74.04Gib on my home Linux server for this month only. I have had months with a lot more traffic than that.

    • In Europe YOU cap your ISP!

      vnstat -m reports 74.04Gib on my home Linux server for this month only. I have had months with a lot more traffic than that.

      I dunno if it's a US-only thing, because the only place I've actually paid an ongoing monthly ISP bill is the US. I guess you're saying you're not capped, right? I'm not either, as far as I know, but my data speed is effectively a cap. I can't even achieve the advertised download rates, especially evenings and weekends when the neighbors are all online. Capping me would be pointless. If I can't get the 15Mb/sec they advertise, why bother, right?

      So maybe the poll is more meaningful for people who've got espe

      • If I can't get the 15Mb/sec they advertise, why bother, right?

        Have you tried downloading big files between midnight and 6 AM local time to narrow down where the congestion might be? Some satellite ISPs even turn the meter off during those hours to encourage customers to shift their big downloads to the wee hours when their bandwidth is underused.

      • If you're downloading a steady 1 MB/sec (so 8 Mbps, ~half of your 15 Mb/sec "official" cable speed), you'd blow through that 74 GiB in less than an 86400-second day, and hit your 250GB monthly cap in 3 days or so. At 1 Mbps (so FAR less than your 15 Mbps), you'd still hit your monthly cap (though maybe you wouldn't hit 300 GB.) You're probably not going to do that watching TV or downloading movies for yourself, unless you're really watching two full-4.7GB movies a night, but if you're running a good bitt

    • There are plenty of countries that do caps of various kinds. Just because your particular ISP in your particular country doesn't don't assume that there aren't others that do it.

  • by NIK282000 (737852) on Friday August 23, 2013 @08:51AM (#44653105) Homepage Journal

    Bell makes sure that I will never reach their 30gb cap by having so much down time that it's just not possible. Between that and the 1/2km of untwisted, unshielded, 60 year old phone lines between my house and their nearest switch I never have to worry about going over my cap.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 23, 2013 @09:02AM (#44653209)

    But the fastest one so far is called "NETGEAR", I'm not sure which apartment it belongs to either...

    • For a few years I tended to use "linksys" as my mobile data ISP, and from my apartment I can usually see 5-10 other wifi nodes, so if my DSL was down or my wifi router was hosed, I could borrow from a neighbor, and vice versa. But when 802.11g came out, and especially by the time 802.11n came out, most of the wifi modems started strongly encouraging users to set up authentication; I don't think I can connect to any of my neighbors' networks any more. (And I eventually had to get 802.11n because the signal

  • DSL, I live far enough out that I can't get faster than 1.5 megabit. But at least it's unlimited.

  • by wisnoskij (1206448) on Friday August 23, 2013 @01:32PM (#44657125) Homepage

    "4. Has a cap that is about right"

    I think we have some corporate shill infiltrators.

    • I have a cap, but I have never hit it. Since none of the other options were any good, I went with 4.
    • by sjwest (948274)

      I was on unlimited but for a free speed upgrade we got a cap as part of the 'deal'. It was cheaper than the slow 512k thing and i kept our ip config. I have usage records and very rarely do we go over what the cap was adjusted down to.

      Saved money, i can increase the limit but paying for wasted stuff appears pointless.

      I would recommend my isp, they are local, i don't have issues with them, and i have a choice of other isp's.

    • It is perfectly possible to have a reasonable cap. If you find that you use a reasonable amount of your bandwidth cap, but still have a good bit left over, that is just about right. It isn't more than you could ever use, but it is more than you do use under normal usage, with some space for unexpected overages.

    • by jamesh (87723)

      "4. Has a cap that is about right"

      I think we have some corporate shill infiltrators.

      That was my vote. I pay for a 50GB cap, which is the plan I selected because it is about right. I think i've hit the 50GB once in the school holidays when all 4 kids were downloading stuff, but that was within a few days of the end of the billing period anyway so I didn't worry about it.

      The only time I would vote for "too low" is if I needed more bandwidth but the higher cap was more expensive than I could afford, but if that was the case I'd go for an ISP that can give me Unlimited* Bandwidth at a low low

      • I don't really know what i'd do with that much bandwidth anyway... apart from maybe download movies and games that I hadn't paid for

        Or for streaming high-definition movies that you have paid for. Or for downloading Blu-ray-sized PS3 games from PlayStation Store.

        • by jamesh (87723)

          I don't really know what i'd do with that much bandwidth anyway... apart from maybe download movies and games that I hadn't paid for

          Or for streaming high-definition movies that you have paid for. Or for downloading Blu-ray-sized PS3 games from PlayStation Store.

          They don't count towards the monthly total.

          • Since when does traffic from Netflix, Amazon, or foreign counterparts not count toward the monthly total? Or are you referring to subscribing to cable TV in addition to Internet and then using video on demand through your cable box? And since when does traffic from the PlayStation Store not count toward the monthly total? Perhaps I've never heard of your ISP or its policies, or perhaps you live in the southern hemisphere (NZAU) and the ISP meters only international traffic. Please explain further.
            • Some ISPs have made deals with major services like Netflix where traffic to their servers is not counted against quota, in exchange for the service paying a shedload of cash.

              These types of deals are one reason for the concern over net neutrality, as they give a big advantage to established players with the benefits of good business relations, effectively making it impossible for newcomers to compete fairly.

  • SaskTel sells you tiered bandwidth over DSL. Period. No bullshit caps.

  • by Cimexus (1355033) on Friday August 23, 2013 @02:55PM (#44658027)

    This is a poorly phrased question, given that 'bandwidth' in a networking context usually refers to speed (i.e. quantity of data able to be downloaded or uploaded per second on the connection, in kbps or Mbps etc.). Obviously ~every~ connection to the Internet has some maximum speed it can attain. This maximum is either a hard limitation of the technology being used (e.g. ADSL2+ tops out at 24 Mbps), or an artificial cap imposed by the ISP (a 3 Mbps DSL connection on a line physically capable of faster speeds).

    The prevalence of artificial speed caps in a market largely depends on the pricing model. In some countries, ISPs generally distinguish the various plans they offer by their speed - e.g. AT&T has 768 kbps/1.5/3.0/6.0 Mbps speed tiers for their DSL product, with prices increasing as you increase speed. Most cable companies and FiOS also have speed-based tiers. In some other places, plans are usually distinguished instead by the quantity of data you are permitted to transfer in a month (traffic caps or transfer limits). So an ISP will offer plans allowing 30/60/100/200/500/etc. GB per month transfer, with prices increasing as you go, but do not distinguish the plans by speed. The speed you get (regardless of the download limit you choose) will generally be 'as fast as the technology will allow' (for xDSL, this means people with short lines in good condition will get better speed than others).

    In some ways you could argue that the two type of caps are comparable (because an artificially capped speed will also, obviously, limit the amount you can download in a month). However few people use their connection in a way that saturates the available bandwidth 24/7, so from the end-user's perspective the two are quite different.

    I assume this question is referring to traffic caps, not caps on speed. In which case my situation is as follows (I have homes in the US and Australia so have two quite different situations actually):


    Home connection: Cable (Charter), 30 Mbps downstream/4 Mbps upstream; a 300 GB/month transfer cap (but apparently not enforced unless you exceed it by a large amount on a regular basis, and does not attract additional fees)
    Mobile connection: LTE, 'fast as the tech will allow'; a 5 GB/month transfer cap (enforced, with extra fees if you exceed it)


    Home connection: VDSL2 (TransACT), 60 Mbps downstream/15 Mbps upstream; a 200 GB/month transfer cap (enforced, connection will be slowed to 256 kbps once you exceed the cap, however no extra fees are incurred)
    Mobile connection: 3G/DC-HSDPA (which is sold as '4G in the US, but isn't), 'fast as the tech will allow', 2 GB/month transfer cap (enforced, with extra fees if you exceed it)

    I typically only use 80-100 GB per month on my home connection so neither the 300 GB cap on my US plan or the 200 GB cap on my Australian plan worry me. The Australian plan is slightly cheaper than the US one (and twice the speed). Also, if I were a heavy user I would have options in Australia, as the same ISP offers 400 GB and 1 TB plans I could move to. In the US though my cable provider is the only option available and I'm on their top tier plan already. So if I needed more data then I'd just have to hope they didn't enforce the cap.

    The Australian mobile plan is obviously slower and with a lower limit than the US plan. But it's WAY cheaper ($20/month vs $70+), and still meets my needs.

    • by jamesh (87723)
      I made that comment once a while back, and was corrected by someone who pointed out that "volume per second" is just as valid a measure of bandwidth as "volume per month", which I couldn't really argue with apart from as a tech, it didn't sit right. Monthly allowance sounds much better (or cap, but that term gets misused too, at least by telco's in Australia)
      • by Cimexus (1355033)

        Yeah generally the word 'cap' isn't used by Australian ISPs to refer to the amount you can download in a month. They tend to use "download limit" "download allowance" etc. "Cap" is a word which, as you say, is misused by (mostly) mobile phone companies and refers to an amount of money (e.g. $39 cap plan ... which is a horrid misuse of the term as $39 is the minimum you can pay, not the maximum!)

  • Here in Anchorage Alaska, we have basically two options:

    1. DSL for about 10Mbps *if* you live in one of the few parts of Anchorage that supports it, or 3.5Mbps for everyone else. There are still entire blocks of the city that can't get higher than 768kbps through this service. Oh, and it's about $100 a month. No cap though.
    2. Cable for up to 22Mbps with a 200 GB monthly cap. It's about $115 a month. That's just the internet, and doesn't include actual TV service or anything.

    • by nashv (1479253)

      Erm. It's Alaska? It's not that bad even - in the Sahara you have to point a tiny antenna towards the open blue sky and hope you get a ping back in about an hour.

      • by dacarr (562277)
        That's nothing. Here on Mars, I have to wait for the window, and latency is two hours if I'm lucky!
  • Virgin in the UK have a 300GB/month soft limit. If you hit it they start sending you letters literally begging you to use less bandwidth. They can't drop you or have any kind of hard cap because they want to advertise as being "unlimited". All they do is halve your speed after a certain amount downloaded during peak times (which are most of the day and evening).

    I asked them to stop sending letters and they did.

  • No cap.

    120Mbps down / 37 Mbps up

    $45 / month

  • I'm not a gamer or p1r4t3 [snicker!] so I'd say I use 10gb of the 150gb I get on USWest/Qwest/CenturyLink/whatever:

    My issue is this: 1.5gb down is $45 a month, 7gb down is $50 a month, but since I'm using that "price for life" plan grandfathered from Qwest ($25 a month) it does NOT pencil for me to bump up my plan where a new customer would benefit.

  • For my mobile internet, I use Three, and I have 15gb/mo. Plenty for my usage pattern on the mobile. I can also tether on the work BB but that's a little frowned upon..

    At home I have a Magnet DSL connection, with the line rental bundled. It's fiber to the estate I live in, and have 4Mb down/ 1Mb up. It's a grandfathered connection in the current offerings - i.e. not available. I was chatting with the techs in the company as I know a few of them personally, and they don't have any metering in place on that o

  • And that probably applies to most of the people who answered "Does not cap my bandwidth".

    • by nashv (1479253)

      Not in Germany. In Europe , they are required by law to keep connections advertised as "Unlimited" to actually be "unlimited".

  • assuming you get near-perfect coverage (I do), is easily the best mobile ISP in England at the minute. I use a tethered phone and get 24/7 3G through which I pull down at least 300GB/mo. For that, I pay £15. On top of which, I get 3,000 texts (which I hardly ever use) and 300 call minutes (which I never use). I called Three a couple years ago after the local tower fried itself, they fixed it within 24 hours and while I was on the call I asked them what might cause a tower to fry. They told me it woul

    • Addendum: if you're considering a high-traffic mobile connection, Three still offer PAYG voice SIMs, those are what you want. Stick it in a phone, tether it to your computer and when you top up, get the All-In-One 15 package.

  • I don't have any video service. I stream/torrent everything.

    I had comcast. They had a usage meter and said the limit was 250gig. I used to blow that out of the water every month. Normally 600gigs+ a month.

    After my promotion was up I switched to ATT uverse(DSL). They say its also 250gigs a month but they do not have a meter at all. Its slower but I know ive been doing more then 250 a month. The line is saturated when I am at work or sleeping. Its at 50% when I'm home surfing.

    They have never said anything abo

  • by Misagon (1135) on Friday August 23, 2013 @10:32PM (#44661667)

    ... but the router I got from them does.

    It is a standard Ethernet router. No malice here. It is just crappy, and I am too cheap and lazy to buy a new one. I don't do anything where I would need over 40 Mb/s anyway.

  • Comcrap used to cap my account at 250 gigs. They even put me on probation for 6 months for going over. "Can I pay more money to move more data?" "NO!!!" Morons. I wanted to buy what they had to sell and they wouldn't sell it to me. Morons is too good. Idiots. So I consistently ran up 245-249 gigs per month every month. I'd torrent linux distributions to make sure I hit the mark. Then this note popped up on my account: "Note: Enforcement of the 250GB data consumption threshold is currently suspend

    • by Nemyst (1383049)
      I've seen similar odd choices. My ISP offers a 200/30 plan with I think a 200gb cap. That's just stupid. HOWEVER, they have an optional 10/mo add-on which gives you unlimited. Since I switched to that (with 30/10 internet, I don't need 200 down...), I've been easily topping 400-500gb/mo and they've not said a thing. Couldn't be happier.
  • I have a cap that's pretty low - about 50gb. However, as I live in Western Australia, my internet is so damn slow (about 4mbit - just a few km from our capital city), it's something of a moot point.

    We have this NBN nonsense rolling out atm, promising 100mbit speeds but if I look on the plan, nearly all of Perth's surrounding suburbs (including mine) are not listed *at all* up to the end of 2017.

    So if we ever get the thing, which is incredibly unlikely, it will be obsolete by the time we get it.

  • " being terrible at what they do"

    This is the best poll option EVER. I would click on it repeatedly for days if I weren't so neurotypical.
  • I was on Rogers in Canada. I was under some kind of grandfathered-in middle-of-the-road high speed connection capped at 95 GB/month, for a little over $60/month. Just started going over that and getting charged for it, so we switched to TekSavvy (local provider), and it's much faster, the "cap" is 300 GB for under $50/month, and if you go over, it they charge you $0.50 or $0.25/GB over, but then *that* caps out at under $70/month total. Then you're automatically on their unlimited plan. Rogers called us
  • I run a Tor relay at home with our Verizon FIOS service and so far no throttling or bandwidth capping. The one issue I've run into is my daughter can't access Hulu via our FIOS connection as they have detected that our IP address has been used for Tor. It likely was because I ran as an exit relay for a month or two, but decided to configure as a plain non-exit relay after getting a semi-threatening email from Verizon.
  • by jamesh (87723)

    My ISP used to have an actual capped plan. You could elect to go for 500MB of monthly download for $50/month or whatever it was back at the dawn of widespread ADSL availability in Australia, and if you went over that you got charged an additional $something/MB, but it was capped at $100. An actual unlimited plan cost $75/month. (I'm probably way off with those figures as it was a long time ago, but you get the idea)

    These days my mobile provider sells me a plan with a ~$70 cap, but instead of the cap referri

  • No caps. For real. No BS. No filtering either.

  • by LoRdTAW (99712) on Sunday August 25, 2013 @12:12PM (#44669721)

    Imagine if the power companies decided to cap its users. "Sorry but only 200kw/hr per month. Any higher and we either turn you off or throttle your usage by opening a circuit breaker if you use more than 2kw." People would form lynch mobs. And its no secret that power grids are already taxed in many parts of the US. How about if gas companies told you: you have 1000 cubic feet of gas for this month. its either heat your home or cook or have hot water, you cant have all three. The ISP's can happily cry about how their infrastructure is overloaded by file sharing and Netflix yet do nothing to actually invest in more capacity. They instead pander to the share holders to make sure this quarters profits are up, customer be dammed. Yes people can happily survive without the internet but people could also survive without gas and electric and have done so for thousands of years. We have gotten to a point where the internet is starting to become very important in our lives and one day it may be difficult to live without it.

    Just a tidbit about power throttling:
    Back in high school shop class (I took commercial/residential electrical installation). there was this metal collar that fit onto a meter pan between the pan and meter. It had two 20 amp circuit breakers sticking out of it (the push to reset type). The idea was if someone was on a social assistance program and couldn't afford power, this collar was installed and gave just enough power to run some lights, TV, refrigerator, a fan and *maybe* a single AC unit. This way the person received free subsidized power that they couldn't abuse without modifying any building wiring. If they used too much and tripped the breaker all they needed to do was go to the meter and reset the breaker.

    • by LoRdTAW (99712)

      Now that I think about it, I believe the power throttle collar was for people who had their power cut and couldn't afford to have it turned back on yet depended on electric for medical conditions. e.g. if they were diabetic, insulin must be kept refrigerated so it was enough for a refrigerator. Maybe it was for both. I forget.

  • Support your local 'independent' ISPs if you have one. Start one if you haven't.

    Hi, Dane.

  • Luckily for me my ISP, as of mid June, dropped their caps (which were pitiful by modern standards), so I'm now unlimited.
    It hasn't been long enough for me to assume that's really going to stay that way.

    Was on 18/2m cable modem but only had 50 GB usage (and both directions counted). I was supplementing it with an additional 100 GB of usage for an additional $25/month.

    Will be saving a good chunk of money yearly now with this new plan.

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