Unlimited data works – much in the same way as an all you can eat buffet. The restaurant knows that you can only eat a limited amount of food in one sitting. Just like most internet providers know that an average household only needs a limited amount of data. Still, we continue to feast at buffets, simply because we can. Being opposed to limits is human nature, but is the ongoing expense worth the odd indulgence? Let’s take a look at both options to find out which one is for you.
Most unlimited data providers build their pricing off the fact that an average consumer will only use a reasonable amount of data. This is based on the consumer’s current needs and the time they have available. With an option of unlimited data, you’re bound to have customers that exploit the system. When this happens many internet providers stifle the supply, slowing usage but still allowing unlimited access. This is understandably frustrating for the consumers who do misuse bandwidth, but overall it allows for a better user experience for everyone else. This is something you’ll want to ask your potential new internet provider about, especially if consistently fast internet is important to you.
When an internet provider offers a certain amount of bandwidth for a specific price, it’s called data capping, and can mean reducing your monthly bills. The caveat is, of course, facing possible penalties if you surpass your bandwidth allotment. Internet providers put the responsibility on consumers to monitor their usage so they can control the amount and prevent penalties. Making customers responsible for their data does eliminate the concern of misuse; simply put – you’re not paying for other customers exploitation of bandwidth. However if you feel you can’t consistently monitor your usage, this capping your data could become an expensive option for you.
Overage fees are what internet providers label as a Fair Access Policy. It allows you to go over your monthly limit and not experience a restriction on speed like you would with an unlimited plan. The fees prevent customers from exploiting the network, which ensures the best experience for everyone.
At this point in time, taking our lifestyle here in Chatham into consideration – data consumption is very high. Almost all electronic devices and gadgets require some bandwidth. Since the beginning of COVID-19 people are spending more time, even working at home; this has caused our data usage to shift considerably. The best advice is to look back at the last several months of data you consumed… If you’re currently using unlimited data, how much have you used each month? Have you experienced any excessively slow periods? If your usage is currently capped, have you paid any overages? It’s definitely worth the time investigating your usage, even to check in once a year. It can save you money on your monthly payments, or it could end up preventing you from seeing the buffering circle too often.