The tech blogs across the internet are exploding with talk of carriers restricting data, capping data plans or worse yet, tiering their data plans for users. While this is an easy way for the carriers to make a few extra dollars off business users, it won’t eliminate the biggest abusers.
Currently, the largest abusers of the “soft-caps” that the $30-60 unlimited data plans put in place are individuals that use their devices as modems to replace home internet service or ones that access torrent sites directly through their device.
While these “rebel” users only account for about 1% of carriers subscribers, the data they consume is about 25% of the carriers monthly bandwidth. The average Android or Windows Phone user consumes about 1GB in a month with the average BlackBerry user coming in at about a third of that. The home-internet quitting, movie-torrenting, file sharing users are proudly touting numbers as high as 250GB and more for their monthly usage.
What needs to happen before this drama ends is not tiered pricing, capping bandwidth or even throttling speeds. What needs to happen is the carriers need to start restricting the practices that they highlight in their terms of service. No torrenting. No file sharing. No using your device as a primary internet connection.
While it may seem like Verizon, AT&T or Sprint are being hard on the end user, remember, they are only trying to deliver a low-cost service for as many people as possible. The ones that are really screaming about data caps, speed throttling and tiered data pricing are mostly ones that abuse the system to start with.
Bottom line on this one, if you use your phone as a phone, great, you won’t go over your data limit. If you use it for your home internet service, maybe you need to pay another $50 a month more than the rest of us.