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Reader Comments (25)

Posted: Oct 22nd 2008 12:29PM UndeadAreGo said

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Fascinating article. I live in the US and have yet to travel abroad, so I just assumed that all ISPs gave access to unlimited bandwidth. I am curious though, can you tell us which countries are the "four or five" you mentioned?

Posted: Oct 22nd 2008 12:57PM Gemi said

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I knew that capped internet access with extra payment for usage over the cap is pretty common, but you are saying that there are only 4 or 5 countries where this isn't basically the only option? Most interesting. I'd really like to have some real info on that matter.

Here in Finland we only have uncapped internet services (with good speeds and pretty low monthly costs too :P). Then there is the US of course, and I would bet that Sweden and Germany have the same as we here in Finland. And I'm pretty sure there are other countries that have uncapped access available.

Anyone has solid information on this?

Posted: Oct 22nd 2008 1:40PM Tristik said

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~~
Very interesting. I've never even HEARD of capped home access. I thought that just counted for wireless plans through cell phone companies and the like.

If my ISP started using capped access, I'd have to seriously start re-evaluating my gaming style.
~~

Posted: Oct 22nd 2008 2:10PM Ninevah said

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Actually, ISPs in the US are starting to implement this. Comcast is the largest to start doing it. They only set a 250GB limit, which is pretty big, but that could just be the start. Here's an article on it:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-10028992-2.html

Posted: Oct 23rd 2008 4:29PM (Unverified) said

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250gb isn't that much really ... When you are used to uncapped, totally unlimited, totally nonfiltered access.

With my 24Mbps downstream, 250gb is spent on oh 35½hours on full speed, and considering i have almsot 24/7 atleast 1mbps on use... My personal average is maybe 4mbps 24/7, so that amounts to about 380k/s constant, means about 8days to spend 250gb allowance if there was such.

Then again, i might not be the Joe Average, using second life with upto 2 regular viewers, 3 bots simultaneously listening to internet radio. My regular day. SL uses about 600kbps average per viewer i'd say, my bots propably keeps bounding the limit i set 750kbps at constantly, they teleport sim to sim constantly.
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Posted: Oct 22nd 2008 2:26PM (Unverified) said

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Where I live the speeds are around 1MB/sec with no limit on traffic for about 30 Euro. Not the worst deal in the world.

Posted: Oct 23rd 2008 3:26AM (Unverified) said

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With the introduction of modern wireless broadband (GSM 3G which is the widest spread standard outside certain technology islands like Japan or I believe Singapore which can support their own standard) the cost of wireless internet has dropped about tenfold. The market has mostly stabilized now. Whereas most of the world was paying insane prices when SMS was the dominant digital exchange by mobile now it costs a lot less.

However in most countries wireless broadband is still insanely expensive for gaming due to metered costs. Amongst countries that meter and cap bandwidth on adsl and cable it's currently averaging about 10% of the cost of mobile broadband (and that gap is shrinking).

We've come a long way from the ninties when a $140USD home isdn line in the US cost $AU110,000 in australia (annually) but we're winding back that way globally. Caps make fiscal sense for providers.

Most capped internet isn't a problem for folk with todays internet habits but will become so in future. It is an added cost and concern when downloading a dvd size game on steam (even though you would get a months worth of playtime out of such a download). It's certainly more of a concern should you wish to download dvd quality video, which is consumed in a few hours, yet may take a significant proportion of ones monthly allotment.

We don't hear a lot of squawking about capped internet yet, but we will in future, and games I'm sure will feature highly in the bandwidth consuming downloads that eat it up.

Posted: Oct 22nd 2008 9:08PM (Unverified) said

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Uncapped internet? In all honesty, never heard of anything like it.

I don't know whether any other Aussies are floating around, but I've never heard of an uncapped plan in my life. The only thing we seem to have close are so called "Unlimited" Plans which can cost between AUD$120/month to AUD$250/month (offering 250gig and 500gig respectively.)

As for wireless plans, we still seem to be behind the eight ball. The most competitive pricing where I live is $50/month for a single gig of data.

In reguards to MMO's, maybe I haven't played them with enough zeal over the past few months, but I'm on a 20gig cap and never broke that cap even after redownloading the entirety of Guild Wars. Honestly it isn't that much of an issue as the article seems to make out.

Posted: Oct 23rd 2008 2:26AM (Unverified) said

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"Luckily" I live in Finland where we have uncapped connections, albeit not very fast ones, 24/1 ADSL costs about 50€ per month, it translates to roughly 64.22 US dollars. I just download...

Posted: Oct 23rd 2008 4:12AM (Unverified) said

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Here's one for you. ADSL home connection in South Africa = 384kb/s download bandwidth + 3GB Monthly
transfer cap. This great deal for approx. 35 Euro per month. Keep in mind that the 3GB cap is made up of both uploading and downloading local and international data.
MMO's in SA is a massive battle!

Posted: Oct 23rd 2008 5:29AM (Unverified) said

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Here in New Zealand NZ$20 (about US$50) will get you full speed downstream + 256Kb/s Upstream ADSL capped at 3GB per month. It goes up from there.

I pay NZ$90/mnth and get ADSL at 3Mb/s downstream + 128Kb/s upstream, capped at 20GB. Thats total. Upstream + downstream, regardless of geographic source.

Blizzard's use of Bittorrent for patches is one of the reasons I gave WoW up. Large content patches looks like it could be one of the reasons I give up AoC and go back to GW.

I have a copy of WAR sitting beside me, but have not bothered installing it because it looks set for the next while at least, to run the same massive patches and I'm spending that bandwidth on 1GB+ AoC updates (2 so far, with another coming soon) plus quite a few minor patches around 200-500MB in size.

While you're actually playing, the games might not consume bandwidth. But they definitely account for a large chunk of my monthly usage, and I'm lucky if I get to play 3 hours a week anymore.

Posted: Oct 23rd 2008 5:31AM (Unverified) said

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Oops. NZ$20 is about US$12 sorry. Tis what you get when someone is talking behind you I guess.
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Posted: Oct 23rd 2008 5:47AM (Unverified) said

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Im another Aussie here and live on a capped plan. To be honest, this looks to be written by someone who is used to uncapped plans and has no idea what its like being on a capped plan.

I have 20GB a month.

I never wait till next month to play my games (and I play WoW, EVE and EQ2).
I torrent frequently.

The difference for us on caps is we don't download 30 movies a month, just 7 or 8.... more than enough.

And the point of MMO's using more and more data is completely irrelevant, as caps keep rising and rising. I was on 10GB then 15GB then 20GB all for the same price.

The more traffic on the net the cheaper each GB gets (Gigs being worth money is something thats hard to wrap your head around if you have no caps).

Get a clue.

Posted: Oct 23rd 2008 3:26PM (Unverified) said

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Living in Sweden and paying 120SEK (~ $16) for a 100/100mbit connection, uncapped ofcourse.
Acctually never heard of ANY ISP in Sweden that capps.

Posted: Oct 23rd 2008 5:59AM (Unverified) said

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I live in Belgium, and I have cable with a speed of 15Mbit down/512kb up, which is pretty fast. Downside: I have a limit of 20GB/month (upload + download). Traffic between midnight and 10am counts half though, so I can download about 40GB/month this way. Oh yeah, and I pay ~43 euros per month for this. If I use more than this limit, I can buy extra volume for 1Eur per Gb, up to 95Gb extra. If I don't do this, my connection is squeezed shut and I can hardly read my email.

There are other providers that have somewhat slower speeds (ADSL) and a FUP, but they're not available in a whole lot of places (like mine).

So basically, we in Belgium are quite fucked, since Holland has lower prices, higher speeds and no limits...

Posted: Oct 23rd 2008 7:20AM (Unverified) said

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Ok here is situation in Belgium
I got a professional level DSL for my work (meaning fixed ip)
3mb downstream speed (2 in my case as i m too far in the loop to get 3 reliably ) 512k upstream.
Cap is at 60G per month
pricing is 72euros a month excluding VAT (so 87 ,12 with VAT)

You also have to rent the copper for the line, which runs between 8-15 euros a months excluding VAT

reminder, this is a pro level line, with fixed ip, you d pay less for a dynamic ip one, but u ll also get a lower cap if my memory is correct

Posted: Oct 23rd 2008 7:55AM (Unverified) said

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I'm based in Italy.

I think most DSL plans are about uncapped connections here; you usually pay 20-30 € monthly, with download speed being between 1 and 20 Mbit/s.

I'd say this sounds good if compared to Australia, not so good if compared to North Europe countries.

However you often can't really achieve maximum speed and many providers give unstable/unreliable service.

Posted: Oct 23rd 2008 10:15AM (Unverified) said

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It is really sad to see MSO's and ISP's put in bandwidth caps like this. Really the simple solution would be for them to peer with game and content companies and solve a huge problem, but the reality is that they want to double bill, they want the game company to pay them to deliver content to their eyeballs and they want the eyeballs to pay them to get to the content. It is simple greed nothing more than that.

Posted: Oct 23rd 2008 2:30PM (Unverified) said

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If you live in the US and have uncapped internet then you best start downloading the universe, more and more ISP's are going to a capped system. I live in the middle of nowhere and have to use Verizon Wireless broadband and I went from unlimited to 5G/m with no change in cost. Most cable services have gone to a cap but at least it is pretty high (up to 250G/m). The main idea here is Greed, it would eat profits to increase the Bandwidth capabilities so they just cut it down, squeeze in more paying customers and make more profits.

Posted: Oct 23rd 2008 2:45PM (Unverified) said

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If you live in South Africa, as I do, the situation is a lot more dire.

20GB cap? That's a bloody miracle in this country.
For a 9GB cap and 512KB line, you pay around $150 a month. and $10 per GB after that.

So it looks like we'll be taking the biggest hit with this increased bandwidth and its demand for it.

Life isn't so bad with 20GB cap, but it's nigh impossible for a MMO fan with a 9GB cap.

Regards
Michael.

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