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Edited 1 year, 7 months ago

Poll: Are you subject to a data cap? (475 votes)

No, I can use as much data as I want 41%
Yes, I have a data cap on my mobile device but not at home 26%
Yes, I have a data cap on my home internet but not on mobile devices 5%
Yes, both my mobile devices and home internet have data caps 26%
What's a data cap? (show the answers) 1%

The issue of data caps has been ongoing on international gaming forums and the press for years now. However the launch of the Xbox One X and domestication of 4K gaming has brought the issue to the forefront once again, due to the ensuing large game download sizes.

As a result, I became interested in how much of the GB community is effected by data caps. Are your connections capped, how drastically and how much do the caps effect your behavior?

As a northern European, I'm lucky enough to not have data caps on my home or mobile internet. As a result I don't really pay attention to how much data I use. The one exception is using mobile data while traveling inside the EU, in which case I only have 10 GB of free data per trip. But for the sake of this thread, let's constrict the issue of data caps to domestic restrictions only.

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#1 Posted by Captain_Insano (3513 posts) -

Yes for both because I live in Australia.

1TB per month for my Internet (I only recently upgraded from 500GB). Phone is 10 Gig between my wife's phone and mine. Phone plan is about $40 AU a month. My home phone and internet is $100 per month.

I get about 16mb/s.

That's the fastest in my area.

There are no other real ISP options.


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#2 Edited by Cagliostro88 (1239 posts) -

Southern European, cap on mobile data but no cap at all on home internet (and they would probably bleed me dry if they ever put one). But hey, all phone companies in my country (fucking cartel) decided unilaterally last year to change billing from monthly to a 28 days cycle and until a proper law is passed (and it will take a long fucking time, elections are coming so now it's low priority in parliament) they get fined a ridiculously low amount for this bullshit so they are keeping it so far.

@isomeri : is the 10GB intra EU from that stuff in june that removed the roaming charges?

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#3 Posted by Bollard (8176 posts) -

In the UK, and no cap on my home internet (200Mb down) but an 8GB cap on my mobile data (which I upped recently). I have friends who have "unlimited" (to varying degrees...) mobile data, but only because they have held onto old contracts. Most mobile carriers are reluctant to offer them, and if they do they have small print limiting it to 30-50GB a month as "fair usage".

Some of the cheaper broadband packages here in the UK have caps, but if you pay for anything decent (more than the most basic, non-fibre package) you won't likely have one.

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#4 Posted by forteexe21 (2029 posts) -

Home internet in the philippines gets 10 gb daily cap, after which the speed gets throttled to 10%. Mobile is 1gb daily and gets throttled to 256kbps.

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#5 Posted by isomeri (3122 posts) -

@cagliostro88: Yes, the intra EU data is a result of the lifting of roaming charges this summer. I was able to use it for the first time a couple of months ago in Romania, and being able to watch Giant Bomb videos etc. on a night train coming in from Moldova was pretty damn nice.

@forteexe21: Can you save your daily caps? Let's say you want to download a 50GB game a week from now, can you elect to use less data in the days leading up to be able to download the whole thing at once?

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#6 Posted by forteexe21 (2029 posts) -

@isomeri: nope. it resets at midnight. (which is what they say but it sometimes take at least an hour to reset so its all terrible). Also, when you reach 80% cap, itll cut all network usage to redirect you to some confirmation page so you know you used 80%. In the middle of a game? Get fucked.

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#7 Posted by Fezrock (731 posts) -

Located outside of DC in the US. I have no data cap on my home internet, and have never encountered any apparent throttling.

I do have a 2GB limit on my phone though. I could upgrade it, but I have a super cheap grandfathered plan; so even if I break the cap the overage charges have always been less than it would cost to upgrade the plan. But I don't use much phone data anyway; almost always on WiFi.

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#8 Edited by ThatOneDudeNick (1570 posts) -

I'm paying extra to AT&T for unlimited data on a family plan.

I have CenturyLink gigabit fiber at home which doesn't have a data cap (yet).

Las Vegas, NV, USA

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#9 Edited by frytup (1316 posts) -

Standard Comcast 1TB monthly cap at home. This is starting to look like it's going to be a problem since I dumped cable and moved my sports habit to Youtube TV. In addition to game downloads and various other streaming services. Haven't been hit with an overage yet, but I see it coming.

I have a mobile cap (AT&T), but have no idea what it is. I'm a very light phone data user.

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#10 Edited by ATastySlurpee (670 posts) -

I cut Comcast cable, but kept the internet (only option available in my area) and thus they put a cap on my internet.

But if I get cable, the cap would be removed....

edit: United States

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#11 Posted by riostarwind (1359 posts) -

For a few years I was stuck on a data cap from my local home provider Suddenlink. It 100% effected what I decided to watch or download while I had it. 450 GB tends to go fast when watching HD videos so I ended up watching everything in SD. Along with mostly buying games physically instead of off a online store. Now I have unlimited but it required me to upgrade my plan. Which is a bummer since everyone should have unlimited data no matter how much you pay.

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#12 Edited by dstopia (365 posts) -

I'm in British Columbia and have 100 Mbit Telus, with a data cap of 1 TB. I moved in recently from elsewhere, from a provider with no data cap. Honestly, it hasn't been an issue so far. They do offer to remove the data cap in exchange for more money, but I don't think I'd be going over it almost ever, even if I watch a lot of streaming content.

The way things are going it will probably get to that point eventually, but in the meantime I can save my 15 CAD a month.

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#13 Edited by deerokus (994 posts) -

In the UK it's really only extremely basic packages or subsidised deals aimed at pensioners that have data caps for home internet. The other way round with mobile data though, higher data caps can get expensive fast. I had a 2gb a month cap until recently, but have changed to a slightly cheaper phone (the Honor 9,a great phone at half to a third the price of other flagships) with a 12gb cap for my new contract, for slightly less than I was paying overall.

For example the 3 network here used to offers unlimited data at a very reasonable price, but it has gradually made it so prohibitively expensive that no one takes the package while still technically offering it - they have the iPhone X at an eye-watering £114 ($150)a month for unlimited data 🤣

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#14 Posted by Sinusoidal (3608 posts) -

Just on my phone, but Internet at home is spectacular in Korea. I pay about $30 USD a month for an unlimited 100Mbit connection. And I actually get close to that speed download and upload. My phone, I've got a plan on the cheap that gives me 1.5 gb a month and I never come close to that since I mostly use wifi at home.

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#15 Posted by davequirky (24 posts) -

Wow some of you in the states have some pretty rough deals, do companies have monopolies in certain cities or something? couldn't imagine paying that much for just Internet and then still having to worry about a cap.

my experience in ireland: i'm on 360mbps down totally unlimited + my TV as well, for 85 euros which is just under 100 dollars (I was getting it for 45 euros for the first couple of months as part of a promotion). Then my Phone is only 20 euro a month (24 dollars) for free texts, free weekend calls and totally unlimited data (think it might have a fair use policy, but i've never hit it)

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#16 Edited by TwoLines (3654 posts) -

Unlimited for both. And pretty snappy, too. Paying 15 bucks for the phone, paying 40 bucks for home internet+TV (250 Mbit), living in Poland.

Pretty good deal.

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#17 Edited by cloudymusic (2129 posts) -

We have a 1TB monthly cap. Even with watching lots of streaming video every day, livestreaming to Twitch, and downloading some games here and there, I hardly ever even go above 350GB. I don't really have to think about it. But then, I usually don't try to watch stuff in 1080p60 or whatever because I like to ensure I get absolutely zero buffering.

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#18 Posted by Darkaileron (188 posts) -

I pay extra not to have a cap.... makes my internet way expensive. Just the extra's around 40$.

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#19 Posted by OurSin_360 (6177 posts) -

Illinois, caps on everything.....

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#20 Edited by zombievac (492 posts) -

@deerokus said:

In the UK it's really only extremely basic packages or subsidised deals aimed at pensioners that have data caps for home internet. The other way round with mobile data though, higher data caps can get expensive fast. I had a 2gb a month cap until recently, but have changed to a slightly cheaper phone (the Honor 9,a great phone at half to a third the price of other flagships) with a 12gb cap for my new contract, for slightly less than I was paying overall.

For example the 3 network here used to offers unlimited data at a very reasonable price, but it has gradually made it so prohibitively expensive that no one takes the package while still technically offering it - they have the iPhone X at an eye-watering £114 ($150)a month for unlimited data 🤣

If it's TRULY unlimited data and not throttled after a certain point (like all unlimited plans in the US, basically), that's actually a great deal. You'd pay out the ass REAL QUICK if you tried to use more than your 22GB "unlimited (?!)" cap with, for example, AT&T in the US... or otherwise are throttled down to "not usable" in many cases.

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#21 Posted by User_Undefined (309 posts) -

I live in Texas. The phone plan has 10GB a month between four family members, but home internet is uncapped at 20mb down, 1mb up. Both my brother and I were very clear to our parents when we moved that we would rather have a slower connection if there was no data cap.

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#22 Posted by HatKing (7451 posts) -

Yes to both, but I almost never come close to either. Only come close to hitting my mobile data cap when I'm on a trip, really. Most of the time I'm in town, I'm connected to wifi, and when I'm not I'm usually listening to podcasts that were downloaded while I was. I'll listen to streaming music while on a run or long walk, occasionally, but not enough to ever come close to whatever the limit is.

My home limit is similarly beyond my reach. The only month I passed it was the month I bought a 6TB external drive for my Xbox One, and I downloaded every single game I own. I knew they gave at least one grace month where they wouldn't charge me for overages, so I took advantage that month. I haven't gotten so much as an email saying "you're getting close to your monthly limit" since.

I mostly just stream music or movies, download whatever games are on Games with Gold and PS+ that month, and maybe an additional one or two that I bought. I rarely download anything else.

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#23 Posted by hurlhammer (4 posts) -

Im in south eastern british columbia and i have both in my area. 2 gig monthly limit on mobile, i could get 4 gigs for another 60$ but im lucky to get a single bar where im at so not worth it. And a 2 gig daily limit on sat internet as well as a 16 gig cap a month. My sat internet is going to be discontinued december 31 after which i will have nothing, about 4 years ago we were promised fiber to the home and 3 weeks ago the surveyor showed up so maybe ill get something better in the next year.

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#24 Posted by ajamafalous (13817 posts) -

Austin; yes for both (AT&T)

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#25 Edited by fledeye (260 posts) -

I have unlimted data on my phone with a 30gb hotspot. My husband and our eldest son have the same so we just use our hotspots at home which caps our home internet at 90gb a month. We’ve only found we want more than that occasionally, but the size of some game downloads makes me think we’ll need more in the not so distant future. It also does mean it’s not the quickest or most stable connection, but I do almost everything on my tablet and my phone, so it’s never bothered me, it’s just the teenager and his console that would make us consider a different plan.

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#26 Posted by JasonMasters (292 posts) -

I have a 1TB limit for home internet and 2gig monthly for phone. I have yet to go over either.

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#27 Posted by jlarss (7 posts) -

I live in Sweden and I pay 45ish dollars a month for 250 Mbit/s

I don't think that there is any operator with a datacap for home internet in Sweden.

I do have a 6gb cap on my phone though, unlimited calls and texts. 30ish dollars a month

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#28 Posted by Goboard (293 posts) -

I currently have a 250gb data cap through Suddenlink. The plan says we have 50mb/s download, but over wired it's never higher than 40mb/s and over wireless I get between 32mb/s and 37mb/s. Upload is between 3-4mb/s. We didn't originally have a cap and they've increased the speed of the plan twice, however for the first three years at around 10-10:30pm everynight the internet would go to shit and the go off all together requiring a router reset. Called Suddenlink and they looked into it only to find nothing was wrong. In the last 6 months it's stopped, but the fact that they couldn't figure it out on their end and wouldn't send a tech to come check out our end was really annoying. Instead we now just get peaks and valleys in speed starting at around 8pm for several hours. This is in a rural area where the only other option for internet is AT&T and their site says we could get a blistering 756kb/s through them so we have zero alternatives at the moment. I checked what upgrade options we had the other day and two of them would be unlimited data with one at 75mb/s and the other at 150mb/s both at a $20 increase to our bill which is already at $150 a month (we also have the second cheapest TV plan).

I've had to be way more selective in what I download from steam now since games are consistently in the 15-50gb range and many of them have regular updates that can get pretty large. I already watch everything at low or 480p because of how quickly I can burn through data at anything higher. In the past I rarely bought physical copies, but I just picked up Wolfenstein II for ps4 as a physical copy because 50gb is too big a portion of the data cap and I've had to talk myself out of picking up games like Nier until a month or more after or even not at all. Although that 50gb is misleading because that's the install size and not the download size. I really wish developer would start listing both in system reqs. Will Smith said on the last Bombcast he was on that Destiny 2 for PC is 60gb, but the download is 30 something and the install size at around 38gb so the number is often misleading meaning people might wait on picking something up if they think it will eat up more data than it actually will. With the push for 4k , HD now the standard for streaming video, and game sizes and updates ballooning we are fast approaching a wall where there will be big consumer push back against even a 1tb data cap, especially when the standard increase in data after that point is a measly 50gb at $10 each.

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#29 Edited by jay_ray (1569 posts) -

Up here in Canada I get 50 Mb/s down and about 10Mb/s up. This is the "good" internet for most users here. There is a 500GB cap but if you fork over $20 more you get unlimited data. Fibre is coming more prevalent in my city (still not in most neighborhoods) but that still only gets you 150Mb/s up and down which is a nice jump up from my service for a $5/month difference but still pretty slow/average compared to world standards.

Mobile is utter shit in Canada, bad service, over priced, and there is basically no difference between the providers. I have a 1 GB cap on mobile which is low but I try to keep my mobile bill low so I have a "cheap" plan. Most standard plans have 2-4 GB caps which is just outrageous.

In USD I pay around $90 for home internet and $55 for mobile

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#30 Posted by l4wd0g (2390 posts) -

I have comcast (i don't have a choice, as it's the only ISP). So, yes, I have a bandwidth cap... and i refuse to pay them blood money ($50/month) for unlimited.

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#31 Posted by Jesus_Phish (3885 posts) -

No cap on mobile or at home in Ireland.

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#32 Edited by Nodima (2614 posts) -

I'm on a family plan with my mom and sister and we have, I think, a 20GB data cap that we never come close to hitting. The only mobile data I consume is podcasts which is inconsequential, and my mom doesn't really do anything with her phone other than text. My sister has gotten us close a few times with Youtube and forgetting to turn wi-fi on.

My home internet apparently has a 1TB data cap but I was completely unaware of that fact until I logged in to my account to see if I did. I've used 350GB of that data halfway through my monthly rate so I suppose a data cap would be something that could affect me if it were to ever go down but right now, a TB is a lot of bytes.

I will say the value for my internet is terrible, though. I pay about $90/mo for 50 down but only get about 26. This plan used to cost about $60 when I first started my account almost ten years ago. I keep thinking I may a well downgrade to a lower package but I suppose I worry I will just get less speed anyway even though my current speed is as much as the lower tier advertises.

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#33 Edited by Sogeman (1039 posts) -

30€ a month for LTE at home (50/10) but I'm switching to cable (same price, bit better speed) next year because too many people got LTE for their home internet now and it started sucking at certain times. No cap though.

Pretty sure there aren't any caps here on home internet anymore. (Austria)

I have 2GB on my phone with 4GB as a buffer. Anything I don't use adds to that. It's full now and will never empty because I never use the 2gigs to begin with but it's nice to have. 4,9€ a month for that. Unlimited data would cost me 25€ but it's also basically a prepaid card not a contract. No idea what the price for unlimited would be with a contract.

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#34 Posted by Ravelle (3306 posts) -

No not for quite a while anymore, my ISP removed the datacap a long time ago and is only improving the speeds we get so that they're ready to provide UHD television.

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#35 Posted by DarlingDixie (120 posts) -

Unlimited 1GB home Internet here :D 5GB cap on my LTE.

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#36 Posted by vinone (327 posts) -

Unlimited data at home. Unlimited data on my phone but it becomes noticeable throttled when I hit a point.

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#37 Posted by hippie_genocide (2440 posts) -

Nope. I have Consolidated Communications 100Mbps plan bundled with TV for around $150/mo. My mobile has a cap but I don't know what it is and have never reached it.

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#38 Posted by yagami (850 posts) -

No cap. If I can't have my dose of Giant Bomb, I get angry. I've watched like 99% of everything on Giant Bomb and been a member since day one. No caps for me.

Apply directly to forehead.

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#39 Posted by Shindig (4944 posts) -

No cap. I don't know of any bog-standard consumer UK internet that does that. Unfortunately, the price for that UNLIMITED ANIME is piss poor upload speed. Mind you, I'm not on fibre.

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#40 Posted by Zella (1275 posts) -

I have a cap on my phone, 3gb and I don't even really notice it. At home it would normally be capped at 500gb but we pay an extra charge (15/month I believe) to just have unlimited. Just upgraded to a 4k TV and am very happy I don't have to worry about a data cap with the huge 4k streams. I'm in Canada so our options for mobile and home internet are pretty restricted so kind of have to just hope you can get on a good deal.

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#41 Posted by CreepingDeath0 (420 posts) -

In the UK here and thankfully data caps are quite rare.

My parents though, that live in Ireland, are subject to a 1GB monthly cap. Of course, their internet speed is never more than 50KB/s down, so it's rarely an issue for them.

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#42 Posted by Amducious (422 posts) -

UK 200mbs download speed, no data cap and it's pretty nifty most of the time, but the speed drops off during peak times. It's fine for gaming, but if I want to download a game it takes a while. Off peak it's fast, downloaded 13 games while I was at work for 3 hours, one being Quantum break at over 80 gigs.

I don't use data on my phone as I hate having to have a phone for work and can barely stomach using as a phone let alone as a screen for internet. (The phone is fine, I just hate screen zombies)

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#43 Posted by GERALTITUDE (5990 posts) -

I have 1 gb cap on my phone.

Break it almost every month.

No cap at home.

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#44 Posted by troll93 (534 posts) -

Yes to both (Australia). At the moment I get 1TB a month on a 100 down/4 up HFC connection through Telstra for my home internet for $130 a month (if I remember correctly) and for my mobile I get 8GB for $39 a month. The data caps never really impact because at home because a TB is a lot of data, and you get 3 chances a year to reset your monthly data usage. On mobile it can restrict me, but it's mostly at the end of the month occasionally I will have to not use mobile data to stream videos for a day or two.

Here is Australia the situation is a right mess at the moment. The government is in the process rolling out a new internet for the whole country and are doing a miserable job of it. The original plan was to roll out a FTTP network to 93% of all Australians as part of a stimulus package that helped Australia avoid falling into the GFC hole too hard. Under this plan, unlimited plans with 100+ speeds were going to be more or less the base standard for people that have any interest in using the internet at all, with slower/capped/cheaper plan being there for old people who look at one or two website a day/week and that's it. It was trucking along at a rate that was not great, but to be expected for a project of this scale in the time frame it had, then our Conservative party won the federal election and have spent the entire time since the election turning it into a clusterfuck. They migrated from a new FTTP rollout to buying all the old networks from the ISP's, most of which are falling apart at the seams, trying to retrofit these networks from the early 50's to be something useful and demanding that the network turn a profit as soon as possible, resulting in them charging way to much, introducing crazy caps and throttles and generally trying to squeeze every dollar out of the pile of shit they are left with. Combine this with the fact they have given the network they are building a legal monopoly on landline connections so when they finally get around to rolling out the network in your area, you have no choice but to sign up to the spectacular mess that they have built.

Long story short, internet in Australia had/has for the time being pockets of it being ok, but the conservative/"free market" government is doing their very best to crush it from both sides, they will not let the free market attempt to deliver good internet to people that want it and they refuse to provide it as a government utility (alongside water/sewage/power ect).

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#45 Posted by CrazyBagMan (1660 posts) -

Self imposed cap on mobile since I don't want to pay for unlimited. Home internet is uncapped.

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#46 Posted by MagicFlounder (46 posts) -

Comcast 1 TB cap at home and Verizon 2 GB on mobile. Neither have been a hassle.

In the past I had a 300 GB cap from Comcast, this got pretty bad with 4 people streaming movies and 1 person (me) downloading games like Wolfenstein the New Order at the time.

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#47 Posted by deactivated-5aa7cc9892e50 (15 posts) -

Only a Data Cap for my internet, it isn't too bad I don't personally hit anywhere close to the limit even before I got this full time job recently. However, it is a certain someone in my house that usually is the one hitting the cap. My phone doesn't have a cap which honestly I am thinking of reverting it back to have a cheaper bill on my phone it isn't as much of an issue with my new job to have to use data.

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#48 Edited by BaneFireLord (3568 posts) -

Only for my phone. My law school's apartments have capless internet. When I'm at home, I live in very small pocket of the East Coast that Comcast has not imposed data caps on for whatever reason.

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#49 Posted by Strangestories (424 posts) -

Pay $40 for 30mb down with a 1TB cap in a major American city. It's pretty sad.

My ISP is offering 100 down fiber in my area for $50 so I might jump on that.

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#50 Posted by acertaindeath (42 posts) -

Home internet: 30mbps down and 1.5mbps up with a 500GB cap. Not a fan of $100/month for this..

I usually get acceptable service from my cell phone but can't beat $35/month for 4GB around Missouri so I'm happy.