I need some sort of icon or whatever for “while I don’t necessarily like what you’re doing, I like the way you’re doing it.” Last week, that went to Speakeasy for giving excellent notice on its unfortunate decision to block certain phone numbers. This week, my “Tip of My Hat While Wagging My Finger” (yes, the reference Stephen Colbert is obvious) goes Cox Cable and their decision to increase the size of their bandwidth caps (new terms of service here).
I am not happy with bandwidth caps, but don’t have a position yet on regulating them unless they are so obviously limited that they appear designed to protect video revenues and fall into the antitrust/competition zone. I recognize there are advantages and disadvantages to metered pricing. In the short term, it can help bridge the gap where demand for capacity rapidly outpaces available capacity. In the longer term, it works to reduce use and innovation which has negative implications for our economy and overall digital future. It’s also not that clear that there is a good linkage to bandwidth caps and actual capacity limits, and whether bandwidth caps discourage investment in capacity by making it easier and cheaper to cap use rather than build capacity.
Still, if one must have bandwidth caps, then they need periodic review and should get upgraded as “average” use grows and as network operators make needed upgrades. So while I’m not thrilled that Cox has bandwidth caps in the first place, I’m pleased they have now upgraded them. Hopefully Comcast, which has had the same bandwidth capacity cap for a year now, will soon follow suite and upgrade its 250 GB cap.
Stay tuned . . . .