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ISPs: Suspend Data Caps as Telecommuting and Tele-Learning Chew Through Allowances

Phillip Dampier March 11, 2020 Data Caps, Editorial & Site News, Online Video, Public Policy & Gov't 3 Comments

Stop the Cap! is calling on all internet service providers to suspend data caps to do their part to help manage the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis.

“As a growing number of businesses are asking employees to work from home and students begin video streaming their classes online, no family should have to face the unnecessary and added expense of an even bigger internet bill because they exceeded a provider’s arbitrary data allowance,” said Phillip M. Dampier, Stop the Cap! president. “We are calling on all providers to suspend data caps, speed throttles, and overlimit fees immediately.”

Education Week reports that over 500 schools with more than 360,000 students are temporarily stopping in-person classes because of the virus. Most are adopting video conferencing software that will stream classes to students at home. Stop the Cap! has learned that many of these video streaming applications can consume a lot of data, chewing through customer data allowances, especially in homes with more than one student.

“Some schools are generously supplying students with hotspots, tablets, and even Chromebooks to help facilitate in-home learning,” Damper noted. “But greedy cable and phone companies with completely unjustified data caps are getting ready to cash in on this crisis by charging unwitting customers overlimit fees that usually start at $10, and quickly can add up to over $100 a month in some cases. At a time when many are being asked to work, learn, and stay at home, it is time for Comcast, Cox, AT&T, Cable ONE/Sparklight, and other providers to do their part and get rid of their data caps and overlimit fees.”

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Milo
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Milo

AT&T has temporarily suspended data caps. https://9to5mac.com/2020/03/12/att-overage-fees-data-caps/

Ian L
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Add Comcast to the list for wireline providers, and maybe Cox?

T-Mobile and Sprint have suspended caps on their mobile service, for folks who even had a cap in the first place, and are giving everyone an extra 20GB of mobile hotspot per month. If they find their networks can support the extra load, I’m betting that allotment will get bumped as this crisis wears on.

James R Curry
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James R Curry

Most of the ISPs have now done this. AT&T and Comcast are the biggest offenders and have.

So, the ISPs argued that data caps were necessary because otherwise they couldn’t keep up with the flood of data.

And now everybody is at home and using massive quantities of data, the data caps are waived.

Is this not a tacit admission that this was *never* about network management?

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