The following is a guest post from Noisecast Alum, Michael Pitts. He’s our resident pissed off Geek Guy so here’s his rant on Data Caps
Today Verizon reintroduced their Unlimited Data plan for their wireless customers. They also snuck in an asterisk for a little thing called a Data Caps, naturally we asked Michael to share his thoughts on Verizon’s return to unlimited.
Verizon Wireless, a company known for finding new and interesting ways to fuck over its customers, has announced that it is bringing back the Unlimited* plan. See that asterisk? That’s because it’s only unlimited until you hit the hilariously arbitrary soft cap of 22GB. After that, you “may be throttled”. Which you probably read as “Hey, ‘member 56k modems? I ‘member!” if you’ve ever used a throttled mobile network.
If your company is offering an unlimited plan that requires quotation marks or asterisks, you need a new name for that plan. To paraphrase Joe Rogan, you need to make a new sound with your mouth that means whatever the fuck that is, because it ain’t unlimited. And if you, the consumer, want to defend this by saying something to the effect of “All of the other providers are doing something similar” or even worse “That’s what unlimited means these days,” I want you to punch yourself in the genitals until it’s impossible for you to reproduce. The last thing we need is more of your brand of stupid fucking up the already too-goddamn-shallow gene pool.
The amount of data those people are using is completely irrelevant.
Data caps have fuck all to do with improving network congestion, as mobile providers would like us to believe. Network congestion happens when a lot of people are using the network at the same time. The amount of data those people are using is completely irrelevant. Full disclosure – I’m a VZW customer. I have been since 2010, when I signed up for an unlimited plan. I’m still on that unlimited plan, and I take full advantage of it to the tune of 100GB+ a month on average. That’s how I know their 22GB limitation is rigoddamndiculous.
T-Mobile has magical Data Caps too
While I’m thinking about it, let’s talk about T-Mobile and their “Unlimited” plan. Theirs is slightly different from VZW in that they give you “Unlimited” everything. All the video and music your little heart desires. But video streams at 480p, which is going to make the QHD display on your smartphone look like ass. It’s possible to get 1080p if you pay more for it, but that has to be reactivated every day. Oh, and once you hit T-Mo’s magical arbitrary number of 28GB, you’re still going to get throttled. Even if there wasn’t an arbitrary soft cap on the data, why are video and music given free reign? Unlimited should mean exactly that, with no caveats. If I want to burn through 50GB sending gifs of little kids falling down, I should be able to do that. Data is data. The type of data should be completely transparent to the provider. A packet for a video is the same size as a packet for a picture, a gif, an audio file, or a multi-colored Comic Sans email from my grandma. I don’t care that it’s “pro consumer”. At the core, you’re still in violation of net neutrality.
Those data caps, soft or otherwise, are about one thing and one thing only – profit margins. And I’m not mad at them for trying to make money. That’s what we’re all doing in some way. C.R.E.A.M., right? What bugs the shit out of me is that they’re telling me that they’re fucking me over for my benefit. Eat bag of dicks and wash it down with a bucket of warm Santorum, Verizon. I’m not falling for your bullshit, and neither should anyone else.