Do you have a data cap?

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Posted by nasher27 (356 posts) 1 month, 7 days ago

Poll: Do you have a data cap? (242 votes)

Yes 29%
No 71%

With all the talk about Stadia, xCloud and other game-streaming services, there's obviously a lot of talk about the terrible ISP options available to a lot of people in the US. When Stadia's Jack Buser was on the E3 show last night, he did not seem particularly concerned when Jeff brought up the data caps that are problematic for many people, and seems to be getting a lot of flak for his response.

Jeff's position of "data caps are terrible, but personally I don't have one" got me wondering, how many GB users are actually affected by data caps? I'm interested to see if the backlash to Stadia is due to people actually having data caps and/or bandwidth issues that would prevent them from using it.

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#1 Posted by Fear_the_Booboo (1088 posts) -

Yeah and most people living in my Province (Canada) do. It’s generous enough that I can download multiples 50gb games and watch Netflix as much as I want, but seeing the 4k streaming estimates Stadia would definitely be crossing the line for me.

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#2 Edited by nutter (2195 posts) -

No, but I pay blood money to not have a cap.

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#3 Posted by ichthy (1369 posts) -

Yes, but I'm in Canada and pay for cheap internet.

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#4 Posted by Marino (7544 posts) -

If I go over 1TB, they start charging $10 for 50GB chunks.

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#5 Posted by Ares42 (4362 posts) -

No, but I live in a "socialist" country, where telecoms is run by a government owned company.

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#6 Edited by frytup (1327 posts) -

Jeff's position was not, "I don't have a data cap."
Jeff's position was, "I pay those assholes an extra $50/mo so I don't have to worry about it."

Kinda already discussed in this thread.

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#7 Posted by nasher27 (356 posts) -

@frytup said:

Jeff's position was not, "I don't have a data cap."

Jeff's position was, "I pay those assholes an extra $50/mo so I don't have to worry about it."

Kinda already discussed in this thread.

I'm aware that's what he said, and that was exactly why I found it interesting. My thinking is that communities like this (more hardcore/niche) will be more likely to go out of their way to avoid data caps, even if it means paying an extra $50 a month.

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#8 Edited by Brackstone (925 posts) -

I'm in Canada, and since I go with a smaller provider, I'm lucky enough to have no data cap, but I don't have great internet either. About 20 down, 1 up. So stadia is just barely viable if I was the only one on the connection, but I'm not, so it all falls apart right there.

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#9 Posted by Captain_Insano (3524 posts) -

Not anymore, but my internet speed is also like 15mb/s down (at best) so...

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#10 Posted by soimadeanaccount (623 posts) -

Standard Comcast shit. I believe there's a cap, but for the time being it is pretty ok for what I need it to do, I don't really have Netflix nor that big on streaming.

I could easily see the 1tb being a real issue if I do decide to start partaking in downloading/streaming activities.

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#11 Posted by rocketraccooncmro (125 posts) -

No data cap here, it's all I can download on my blazing 1.36 Megabit connection.

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#12 Posted by msouza1991 (71 posts) -

I get 250mb/s down with a 1TB data cap. Stadia or any game streaming service is a non starter for me.

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#13 Posted by imhungry (1131 posts) -

Nope, but then again I live in a country with actually well-regulated telecoms. And also a country where Stadia isn't going to be available at launch so go figure.

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#14 Posted by saispag (137 posts) -

I hate that this always comes up in these discussions. The angle always turns into "oh we're not ready for this tech yet, the infrastructure isn't there yet, data caps, blah" but that's such an insular view.

I know in the US it's a hot button topic because the ISPs literally rule your country and nickle and dime you for shit, but it's not like that everywhere. The majority of Europe has great broadband speeds (9 of the top 10 highest average speeds in 2018 according got the BBC) and more importantly no caps, we're ready, bring Stadia and xCloud here.

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#15 Posted by FrodoBaggins (2086 posts) -

I live in the U.K. I don't have a cap (or at least I don't think so). I pay 43 quid a month for internet.

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#16 Edited by frytup (1327 posts) -

@saispag said:

I hate that this always comes up in these discussions. The angle always turns into "oh we're not ready for this tech yet, the infrastructure isn't there yet, data caps, blah" but that's such an insular view.

I know in the US it's a hot button topic because the ISPs literally rule your country and nickle and dime you for shit, but it's not like that everywhere. The majority of Europe has great broadband speeds (9 of the top 10 highest average speeds in 2018 according got the BBC) and more importantly no caps, we're ready, bring Stadia and xCloud here.

ISP's don't "literally" rule the country. They're just a tremendous pain in the ass.

Insular it may be, but the US is the second largest video game market after China, and certainly the largest single market for Stadia given the difficulty of breaking into China and related censorship issues. For Stadia to be a success, the US data cap problem needs to be addressed.

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#17 Edited by nasher27 (356 posts) -

@frytup said:

For Stadia to be a success, the US data cap problem needs to be addressed.

I think your statement here is the heart of what I'm trying to get at with this poll. Are people's opinions of Stadia being influenced because of their feelings towards data caps? If I was able to ask the follow-up question after this poll of "Do you think Stadia will succeed" it would not surprise me if the results were nearly opposite of what they are currently (ie, most would say it will not succeed). But there are obviously more factors at play, like region and bandwidth.

That being said, I'm sure Google (being a data collection company by nature) has better numbers than these to prove that they can succeed within the current climate.

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#18 Posted by frytup (1327 posts) -

@nasher27 said:

@frytup said:

For Stadia to be a success, the US data cap problem needs to be addressed.

I think your statement here is the heart of what I'm trying to get at with this poll. Are people's opinions of Stadia being influenced because of their feelings towards data caps? If I was able to ask the follow-up question after this poll of "Do you think Stadia will succeed" it would not surprise me if the results were nearly opposite of what they are currently (ie, most would say it will not succeed). But there are obviously more factors at play, like region and bandwidth.

Or maybe even better, "Will Stadia succeed on a time scale that will make Google happy, and how long is their rope?"

I think the basic answer is, yes, over the long term Stadia will be a viable business. The problem is Google senior management has a well-documented history of impatience.

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#19 Posted by norm9 (55 posts) -

I use my phone as a WiFi Hotspot so it's 15 GBs of "unlimited data" before I get potato speeds.

I hate day one updates. And I've been downloading ass creed 3 for close to a month. Almost done! (There's a 15 gig update after that lol)

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#20 Posted by FacelessVixen (2638 posts) -

My max is 10TB a month before my ISP starts suggesting buying a business connection.

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#21 Edited by shorap (431 posts) -

@norm9: I have to do that as well with the Days Gone patches.

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#22 Posted by doombot13 (338 posts) -

Yes, I never hit it but I stay away from things like streaming gaming and 4K streaming.

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#23 Posted by Rigas (842 posts) -

I was on 150GB/Month but recently a new company offered 850GB/Month for less. So thats what im on now.

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#24 Posted by Dave_Tacitus (2493 posts) -

No cap here but my speed is 30mb/s out in the wilds of Tyrone so I'm never going to hit the crazy limits anyway, although if I had a faster connection with the same company I still wouldn't have limits.

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#25 Edited by NTM (11850 posts) -

I don't anymore. I'm not the main person that puts money into it, but when I discovered that we reached a data cap after I installed games onto consoles, I was like 'heck no!' and so I said I'll put some money into helping with getting unlimited data (I basically just pay what it costs to have the unlimited data). As for Stadia, my issue isn't really about data caps, it's with streaming games itself and the quality that brings. From the sounds of it, going by what Digital Foundry had to say, it's exactly as I expected, which offers the chance of streaming quality to look like it's in 480 resolution. Add to the fact that they were playing in what I assume is an ideal place considering they were trying to show off what Stadia can do. If I were playing Doom Eternal and I'm having a good time with it in 1080p/4k, and all of a sudden it goes from those higher resolutions to very low 480/720 quality, I would be really flustered. A clean image when I play games is pretty much a must to me. That's not to mention the possibility of latency issues with the press of buttons.

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#26 Posted by Jnorton2724 (2 posts) -

No cap, I'm using Spectrum in southern California with 200mbps down/20mbps up. Even with no cap and decent download speeds, I'd prefer to use a dedicated device for gaming like a console or PC.

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#27 Edited by Onemanarmyy (4443 posts) -

Feel free to educate me because i'm not well versed on this, but when we talk about 1080P / 60 & 4K/60 quality, is that enough information to know what the output will look like? My gut tells me that streaming video can still be output at a wide array of bitrates and look way different than a local machine running the game at those same specs. Could it be that we're not getting the whole message from these streaming services and still have to figure out what kind of bitrates are achieved at those resolutions? Or does the stated framerate only get hit if the bitrate is sufficient enough?

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#28 Posted by ll_Exile_ll (3017 posts) -

Feel free to educate me because i'm not well versed on this, but when we talk about 1080P / 60 & 4K/60 quality, is that enough information to know what the output will look like? My gut tells me that streaming video can still be output at a wide array of bitrates and look way different than a local machine running the game at those same specs. Could it be that we're not getting the whole message from these streaming services and still have to figure out what kind of bitrates are achieved at those resolutions? Or does the stated framerate only get hit if the bitrate is sufficient enough?

Honestly, knowing the resolution and frame rate is not much help at all in determining the quality, the bitrate is going to be the number 1 deciding factor in visual quality. In fact, the higher your resolution and frame rate, the higher your bitrate needs to be to have acceptable image quality. Youtube recommends videos at 4K/60 be rendered at a bitrate of 50-70 Mbps, whereas for 1080p/60 they only recommend 12 mbps.

So to answer your question, yes bitrate is going to be very important. If stadia isn't streaming that 4K/60 video at a massive bitrate, it's going to look like trash and probably way worse than even 1080p running locally on your own machine.

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#29 Posted by Mikemcn (8594 posts) -

No but if i started chewing through data i have no doubt xfinity would throttle me.

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#30 Posted by PhilipDuck (748 posts) -

No data caps i'm aware of in England... providers all show unlimited on fibre

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#31 Posted by stabfreely (55 posts) -

Gigabit Fios here, No Data Cap...Which is good because my wife is ill and literally streams from one source another almost 24/7. We just have internet @$80 a month no phone, no tv included but also no contract and the Wifi router is included for 3 years.

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#32 Posted by SgtSphynx (2619 posts) -

@nutter said:

No, but I pay blood money to not have a cap.

This is true for me as well

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#33 Posted by MightyDuck (2046 posts) -

Yep, have a 1 TB cap.

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#34 Posted by schizogony (1010 posts) -
No Caption Provided

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#35 Edited by Yokijirou (5 posts) -

I'm in the same boat as Jeff. Currently on Comcast with gigabit speeds but once I hit the 1TB cap I'll have to pay for overage (I believe it's like 15 bucks per 100GB?) or pay the 50 bucks a month to have it become unlimited.

They even have a terrible video on what you can do with that 1TB!

Sneak Edit: Forgot to mention that cap includes download AND UPLOAD transfers.

Loading Video...
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#36 Posted by halim51 (108 posts) -

I don't, but I'm in a weird situation with my apartment where internet (along with all of my utilities) are, because of weird construction business, factored into my rent. This basically means I pay an extra $25 a month and they're contractually obligated to deal with it if I go crazy during a given month. Occasionally I get a sternly worded letter from management, but I've been ignoring them for years.

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#37 Posted by ll_Exile_ll (3017 posts) -

@yokijirou: The like/dislike ratio on that video is the most extreme I think I've ever seen. 484 likes to 70,000 dislikes. 99.3% dislikes.

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#38 Posted by Yokijirou (5 posts) -

@ll_exile_ll: I was livid when I saw this video when they first announced the data cap. I spoke to about 4 different "management" people and they all told me that they too were "gamers"and understood. I couldn't do much more than roll my eyes and fork over the extra 50 bucks. We had about 8 people living in the house so the cap hit rather quickly.

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#39 Posted by clagnaught (2136 posts) -

I have fiber with no bandwidth caps. It's "pretty great".

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#40 Posted by isomeri (3124 posts) -

No data caps on my broadband or phone internet in Finland. Both around 200/50 Mbps for about 25 euros each a month.

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#41 Posted by redcream (903 posts) -

No data caps but according to Google's Speedtest my speed clocks around 0.494 Mbps so that's amazingly poor for Stadia.

Stadia is so weird to me. I cannot imagine playing through a video feed without it feeling cheap but I can't tell exactly why. I guess I just have to see it to believe it.

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#42 Posted by Forrester90 (1003 posts) -

I literally just switched from AT&T to Xfinity and have gone from downloading at a maximum of 700KB/s to 22.5MB/s. I've got a data cap but I'll probably be upgrading out of that once my 2 months of cap free internet are done.

Perfect!

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#43 Posted by Junkerman (536 posts) -

200gb/month for like 150 bucks a month, pretty gross.. but I live in the Arctic and there is only one choice of provider and they run a monopoly of evil. They also charge you like 2 bucks a gig over the limit too so if you accidently download something you're out potentially hundreds of dollars.

When PS4s first came out with their auto update, a friend didn't know about it and it auto installed Destiny when he was right at his cap... it was like a 400 dollar bill when all was said and done. Feels criminal for something that doesn't cost them nearly that much to maintain.

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#44 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (7612 posts) -

I pay $83 a month for Xfinity Performance...they never hit the up & down promised speeds. There is likley come "# of GB" a month limit in teh fine print, but I never hit it. Same with my smartphone I get 5 GB a month and nearly never hit the limit unless I screw up my phone. I have the data limit reminders so I never have overages. I am REALLY lucky to live in a town where there is a lot of free Internet even on public transportation.

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#45 Edited by niko_of_death (233 posts) -

I'm lucky to be in an area with good cable providers (going to be getting fiber soon too). I do think the hostility around the streaming stuff in relation to people having data caps is weird though. Like, yeah, some people won't be able to use these services, those people can just continue to use traditional methods? If you start seeing epic-style exclusives (i.e. exclusivity bought after the fact, not a game commissioned to be for stadia) then I'd get the complaint.

Also, theoretically a service like this being successful would actually be beneficial in the end as there would be more pressure on ISPs to loosen or eliminate these restrictions (especially with a company like Google behind it). Hell, IIRC the whole idea of Google Fiber was to function more as a way to pressure ISPs to improve their infrastructure (which benefits Google of course), rather than to function as a business venture unto itself.

It's like complaining about the WWE Network existing, if it's not accessible for you for whatever reason the traditional PPV availability didn't change at all, and if it is accessible to you you have a new option.

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#46 Posted by Skywarpgold (190 posts) -

I live in an area where Comcast and Verizon compete (northern Virginia), and since FIOS doesn't have data caps, Comcast doesn't impose their 1TB cap here. So basically, competition is key.

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#47 Posted by cornfed40 (619 posts) -

Running Google Fiber with no data cap, and once I replaced their garbage built in router, the wi-fi in our house is frequently very close to a gig. Ive been pretty happy with it

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#48 Posted by besighyawn (18 posts) -

1TB cap with comcast. The speeds are pretty good, but the cap is enough for me to hesitate on stadia and other cloud streaming services.

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#49 Posted by MrGreenMan (222 posts) -

I don't have a data cap because the best internet I can get out here is Satellite or dial-up coasting somewhere around $150 a month that forces you to have a phone and or cable package, so I watch everything on my phone and I am lucky enough to not have a data cap there.

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#50 Posted by jamesyfx (153 posts) -

No data cap, and no throttling with mine.