How Bad Do We Really Have it? Bandwidth Caps Around the World



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Hey, I have Comcast Business Class. I pay about 10-15 USD more than a regular customer for unrestricted bandwidth connection. My first two months I did over 7TB of download and upload (anime and Japanese music mostly) and I got no calls. I do about 800GB to 1.5TB a month and it can go as low as 300-400GB as well. So Comcast Business Class is by far the best choice for those who don't want limits. Oh, two more things - all ports are open on the business class (yay gamers!) and the connection is on a business wired shared line with no burst-speeds. It's a constant, powerful connection that doesn't drop.

One other perk I get with this is if I give them a call they come out the same day, even on Sundays (it happened twice) or next day - I didn't use 'business day' :P.

So there you go. I'm really happy with Comcast, the bill is a tiny high and you get locked into a contract but the speeds are insane fast and I like unlimited bandwidth!



Some sections of the great white north have access to tech savvy (a company that rents out bells lines). So I have 27 down 11 up with unlimited usage, not bad I'd say.




We chose to live in rural America rather than the city. But oh the price we pay for bandwidth is insane! We get 7500mb Yea, I said Megabytes per 30 days. (It's a rolling 30 days so your previous 31st day drops of the total.) Go over that and they bump you down to dial up speeds. Go over that amount three times in 90 days and they'll kick you off the service completly. All that costs us 50 dollars a month. Say nothing of the 600 dollar installation fee we paid several years ago. This is some of the worst bandwidth limitations ever right along with HughsNet! The price we rural Americans pay for so called hi speed internet access.



Well proving Japanese culture is better once again! Like going into a Nucler Plant to save other workers from going? Comcast,Att,etc want to fuk the US public to push shares & corporate bonus out of control! The big Telacom would set you mother on fire, and push her down the stairs if their shares would go up,and they would get a bonus! When are we going to as a people force FCC to get telacom off trying to put their foot on public's neck!! They pushed to make it illegal for small  local gov/towns from putting in t1,fiber optics in local towns. Guess monoply is only for Telacom of Comcast/Att,etc. Heaven forbid poor get free web access or cheap internet! If people could afford t1-t3 for $150-300 they would, but it's out of controlfor the money, and how much these companies make from hidden scams,late fees, etc.



Ditto on Korea, I use KT and for 30 bucks a month I have fiber ( generally gives me around 90 both ways).  No limits  (my router tells me that in the last 50 days I've used over 5.5TB, yes I mean terrabyte, u/d combined... maybe a couple torrents).  Same deals with our phones, only a little more expensive at around 50/mo for unlimited data (speedtest says about 1 down and 500k up, 3G) and more minutes/sms than I can ever use.



I love how everyone leaves out rural US residents, who have to deal with 17GB down/6GB up caps. Per month. For $75/month. Yeah.


Some of my neighbors still have that (better than dial-up). Luckily, I live on top of a hill, and was able to obtain 802.11b-based wireless cable internet (VERY FAST to us, but would be VERY, VERY slow to all of you)...



BT total broadband in the UK is a joke. The actual hard cap for 'unlimited' is 250Gb a month. But that's not all. They throttle my internet to a standstill when I so much as turn on uTorrent. The 20-megabit download speed is really a massive lie, the only time I can get a speed to even slightly near half of that is at 3:45am. At all other times it crawls at 150-50kbps max download, upload is too hilariously bad to mention, no BS. It's also because I live in a rural area with an outdated information exchange, so they shouldn't advertise 20 megabit internet to us, paying full price for a service we aren't getting.



Where I live on the east coast Canada, Rogers is the only ISP that has a data cap. Bell-Alliant and Eastlink offers DSL, cable, or Fiber with no caps with speeds up to 15Mbps. I just signed up for a 7.0Mbps service for $29, no cap. I just left Rogers who had me capped at 60GB ($40). The speeds were good, I got burst speeds of almost 20Mbps occasionally, but after streaming some hockey games, youtube, and Steam games, the $2/GB overage charge was a bit much.

I feel sorry for my fellow Canadians west of me.



I"m rolling with Bell up here in the (chilly?) white North. Something like 50 bucks a month for a supposed 8 down, 3 up DSL service and 40 gigs of bandwidth. My actual speeds are something like 7.28 down, .68 up, and because of media stream, I pay for the 'bandwidth insurance' of 10 bucks extra per month, but that 'increases' my bandwidth to 60 gigs.

I'm paying more or less a buck a gigabyte for bandwidth. And they do NOT like it when you go over the bandwidth limit.



I have Charter here in Michigan.  I currently get 30Mb/s down by 5Mb/s up, with unlimited usage, for $19.99 per month.  I've heard horror stories around the country from people getting capped, and I hope it doesn't creep it's way into my territory.....



In Lebanon our top internet speed is 2MBps by HDSL and costs 250$ per month and you only have 8GB of download and 8GB of upload per month any additional 1GB costs 15$ and you can only use that additional GB through out that month only , if you renew your monthly subscribtion the GB which you purchased and didn't use will be removed. normal people use 256Kbps ADSL from ISP like IDM<Sodetel<Cyberia<Teranet<Ogero its 30$ per month and you got only 3GB of download and 3GB of upload per month (NO I AM NOT KIDDING) and we only have 1 ISP which provides unlimited traffic but if you download more then an hour they will reduce your speed. i got 128K Sodetel ADSL with unlimited traffic and i pay 30$ per month and they only send 102k of 128k and somtimes 64k from 128k (and this is GOOD).and don't get me started with cable :P

most cable ISP-s are unlimited but they promise you 512k but instead you get only 200k. and for example your provided with a broadband username ...they give a few people the same username as you do to earn more money, and also the way they distribute is that they got only 1 branch from another ISP and they destribute that same branch to about 500/1000 people through switchhubs and the wireing is crappy too , they put a switch hub infront of your building and throw a wire from the 5th floor (or even more)

as for downloads and pings??? PFFFFFFFFFFFT!! xD 

lets say your downloading a file thats  60 MB....first of all if your using 128k your download speed will be with BYTES!!! NOT KB ...B!!! furthermore when you download the file which takes hours and hours suddenly your connection will drop and if you only downloaded 40mb of that 60mb file the browser will recognise it as a completed download and consider it completed.

they promissed us a year ago that they were gonna upgrade Lebanons internet connection but instead they jst raised the prices NOT THE SPEEDS

and last but not least....

we do NOTTT repeat DO NOTTTT have 3G (and no we don't have 4G either xD) we're still living on 2G internet and they have no mind in upgrading it :S

so you people should be very greatfull that at least you have 250GB of quota per month



Oh man you left out the best part of the whole article. South Korea blows all of this out of the water, including japan by well over a mile...

I kid you not, there were things i downloaded from Korea where the write speed of my hard drive was the bottle neck. I tried so hard to bog down my connection where I was working at, at the time, and the only thing that came close was a raid 10 system with a 10gbps fiber nic cards in a server we had built.

The only way I can even compare with the internet there, is that it has more through put than most home networks from users here, but all over Seoul in a true roaming wireless network. You can function perfectly with a smart phone with using a wifi connection and some free 3rd party voip service and have essentially a free cell phone. Insane is only the beginning.

The internet is so fast, everywhere you are at, and so saturated through several over lapping layers of wireless, that if you life depended on always being connected, no matter where you are at, you would easly not have to worry about dying about 10 times over.

American ISP's are simply just seeing how far their customers will take until they all snap, and throw a fit, then call that the "new" standard. Such a fucked up business model. ISP's get tax breaks of 100's of billions of dollars every year for the past 20 years, to beef up the internet infrastructure, yet they dont........ And use this excuse to explain why the current model is the way it is... It's like, the government is giving ISP's every reason to rebuild the failing copper lines, and the ISP's are doing everything they can not to, and gimp the service every chance they get. Totally back ass wards.

Support your local indie ISP!!! i promise you that it will be cheaper, and with less bullshit.




Except America is waaaaay bigger than Korea, we have a larger land mass and a larger population.  In addition to that, we have a far more diverse population than Korea does.

I'm not disagreeing that Korea is technologically ahead of the US: free WiFi, high-speed internet...but factor in the cost of implementing a high-speed infrastructure in a place like Korea versus the US.  The cost is astronomical.  That and Korea has benefited from advancements in technology, seeing that the US has had internet for the better part of 30 years whereas Korea probably began ramping up in the 90's some time (not fact, mostly conjecture, do your own research).

Everyone wants to peg American ISP's as evil corporations, but the cost of implementing a national high speed network needs to be justified - whether it's through a bandwidth cap or higher prices.  Something has to give, it's just plain ole economics.




You are absolutely wrong. the american ISPs just have horrible business models.

Comcast charges $200 for installation of a 100Mbps(13MBps) line and $100 a month for the internet. So they are basically making you pay for the installation, at no cost to them, and also making you pay extremely large amounts of money for bandwidth(in case you didn't know, BANDWITDH IS VERY VERY CHEAP). They have recently added download limits(nothing to do with the infrastructure) as a way to suck more money out of the consumers. In a quote from another article: 

"Time Warner Cable brought in $1.13 billion in revenue from broadband customers in the first three months of 2011, while spending only $36 million for bandwidth — a mere 3 percent of the revenue."

So, they don't pay for installing a highspeed internet infrastructure and they also charge large amounts of money for cheap goods. Sonic, a local californian IPS that i recently switched to, offers:  20Mbps + home phone for $40  and 40Mbps + homephone for  $80  They are offering a 1Gbps connection + homephone for $80 to more and more homes as they expand upon their network and connect more homes with fiberoptics. All of this speed and no download caps for a low price. And it IS as sustainable business model. The national ISPs are evil, greedy corporations that care about nothing but profit.  You should do your research.



Romania, a small city:

Symetric 100Mb up and down, 25$ / month (includes a phone line with minutes, cable, mobile 3g modem)

Both the home internet and the 3g modem have no caps. Actually the 3g modem has a cap so that if you go over 1gb (or was it 4) the speed drops. It doesn't actually but they say it does and probably if you insist they will drop it.



I live in Alberta, Shaw provides my internet, i pay $40 for 7.5 down and .60 up, a cap of 70 gb per month, On speed test, i get 15 down, .90 up and i usally do about 100 gb per moth even though i have a cap, i have never been charged extra or sent any notices, its like they dont care.


No caps in Canada, yet

(at least where i live) 



" a cap of 70 gb per month...No caps in Canada, yet "


You've just contradicted yourself; I too live in Alberta, but no matter where you live (or who your internet provider is), we're all being cheated out of bandwidth that costs next to nothing for the big telecoms to provide and we're being bled dry.



My buddy lives in Australian. His connection speeds are abysmall, I mean they are where America was at in 1998. There are still rolling out true fiber optic technology over there as we speak, but have covered a healthy chunk of their population so far.

Most countries are in a similar situation like that and they contact Comcast and other fiber optic companies as "hire" them as consultants. It's pretty cool to actually find articles and read about this.

I say it all the time, Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, they aren't as bad as people paint them to be. Comcast supports user data privacy and has since won court cases including the State Supreme Court case in Kansas a year ago, Verizon offers affordable DSL and good quality fiber optic connections if you can get it and pay the large cost, and AT&T has the worst/best situation, they have a ton of wireless users so they make money, but wireless technology is having trouble keeping up with user data usage. Sure they can do better, but it's not like the infrastructure is under threat of collapse (unlike America's electrical infrastructure).

It's easy to point to Korea and Japan as having such heavenly services (despite speed throttling which is ridiculous, and is not on the whole practiced here by any company worth mentioning except Teen Mobile which is gone). But Japan and Korea have it easy. Two things make data infrastructure difficult, population of users and their location or population densities. Japan and Korea essentially have one big are of population density that would equal out to maybe something along of lines of the PA, NJ, DE Tristate area. Places like America, Canada, Australia, and even the UK have to deal with a large user base and wildly varying population densities that make maintaining, upgrading, and support fiber optical (and especially wireless) infrastructures very difficult.

I like this article and how you took the time to look at the situation in a more objective manner rather than immediately demonizing the American networking infrastructure.



Just because there is something worse in the world doesn't mean that what you have is good.

Let's say you are mugged in america, then you find out that somewhere in africa a person was beaten to a bloody pulp. Would you think that because someone else is worse off, being mugged is not considered immoral?

my reply to DJSPIN80 explains why American ISPs are as evil as many believe them to be.

It is true that building a data infrastructure in rural areas costs a decent amount of money, but by that logic, we should have internet service of korean or japanese quality in the areas of great internet useage.

If we were to progress at the same rate as the japanese or koreans, then we should have high speed connections at a price comparable to those oriental countries in california and along the east coast(both areas are giant technological hubs and should have a high quality of service considering the ISPs aren't evil).



In Ukraine you can get full duplex 50 megabit internet for about $20, up and down same speed. And it is 100 megabit withing Ukraninan domains. Makes me think which one is more developed country.

Oh, yes, and there is no cap at all. Fully unlimitied.



As others have said, there are indie ISPs in Canada that offer much much better rates.

The big companies are (of course) trying to get rid of them.



" As others have said, there are indie ISPs in Canada that offer much much better rates. "


Have you taken a glance at the independant ISP's, their download speeds are pretty pathetic vs. going with one of the big telecoms.

I'm not here to standup for any of those money-grubbing corporations, but (at the same time), I'm not willing to take a hit on my download speeds just to save a few bucks.

By the way; with the federal government stepping to put the kaibosh on the outrageous caps that Shaw (and the others) wanted, even the independant ISP's have caps now.



Im with Shaw in Canada. I have their 100mbps down and 5 up connection which is unlimited for just over $100 good news is end of summer this turns into 250mbps down and 15 Up without no price change and still unlimited data. Pretty good. Shaw is the most lenient out of the big 3 in Canada, no overage charges at all.





Up until now I've been stuck with Hughesnet. You've probably seen the commercials.

Let me tell you, it is the WORST.

For $80 (that's an eighty) a month, we would get slightly-better-than-dial-up speeds with 10x worse latency (no good at ALL for gaming, ever tried playing Counter Strike with 4 second lag?) and caps of 425 MB (that's MEGABYTES) per day.

Multiply that by 30, and that's 12 gigabytes of data usage per month.

Twelve. Comcast and AT&T users in America get more than ten times that, way better speed and latency, for less than half the cost...

Now I know that since I "chose" to live in a rural area, I shouldn't be complaing. In reality, I'm still a minor, and don't get to choose where I live, so Hughesnet was our only option. Up until now anyway. Now, we have a nice, UNLIMITED cellular plan from a small company called BroadbandQ, and I'm loving it. Works fine for gaming, streaming video, and everything else you could want.

Not sure if it's really unlimited or not, but they sure seem to think it is, and that's good enough for me!



great article only problem is it doesnt show the indy isp's stats tho. i know it would take a hell of a long time to get all them. but i cant really complain about my service for a 5Mbps/800Kbps service with unlimited (and i mean unlimited) cap with a static ip i only pay $61.30CAD a month for my net. and honestly its the best everywhere else i look people re paying like 60-80 bucks for a 40-50 gig cap with speeds of like 1Mbps/512Kbps. yah sure my upload speed isnt fast but idc i dont upload anything hardly ever anyways so its no big deal to me.



I'm on Shaw and they are simlar to Comcast in that they will warn you when you go excessively over your cap.  Tho I did just get a TOS update that might change that.  Shaw seems to be trying at least a little bit to increase service levels - they recently bumped me up from 10 mbit to 15 to 25 for the same price, within the last year.  Also their customer service is pretty good from my POV, but I've heard stories from others who haven't had such a good experience.


I also noted the lack of countries like South Korea or Sweden from your roundup.  If you want high bandwidth at low cost those seem to be the places to go.  It would be interesting to see what (if any) cap structures are in place.



Here in Sweden we have no caps. Yet... =/



You might want to go back to the UK section and fix the speeds.  I don't think that they really have a 20 to 40 megabyte download speed.  Conforming to the rest of the speeds in the artical that would be between 160Mb/s and 320Mb/s.



Typo!  That's mega-BIT.  not byte.  Thanks for the heads-up.  :D



I live in Japan, and I use NTT.  My ISP is Sunny Net, and I have to tell you the customer service in Japan is amazing.  They have english-speaking local tech support, they always get right back to me, and they email me at least a week in advance for outages, upgrades, and maintainance.

I have T1 Fiber Optic, and it's disgustingly fast with no data caps.  It's only around 65 USD a month, depending on the the exchange rate.  The only thing holding my network back was my old Wireless G router.  Now I have a dual-band Wireless N, and like Keanu Reeves said, "Whoa..."

Now the downside, I can't get Netflix or any other IP based service.  I can't download certain games from STEAM or D2D.  But we all know there are ways around it or we wouldn't be on this site, right?  I can do it, but it's still a hassle.  Now if I can just get my 360 to use a US IP.



Ditto, and that's what VPN's are for.  Although, I hate to pay for VPN services, so I usually use the really slow free offerings or sign up for trial versions when I can.  Helpful hint, you only need to be connected to the VPN for the 1st 1% and last % of the download.  In between you can easily (but be quick) switch the connection back to download at regular blazing speeds.



I'm signed up with Shaw and aside from them doing maintenance without telling anyone (oh and that they're sites tells you opera isn't supported lulz), I do like their service. 25 down, 2.5 up with 250GB per month. Easy to remember and hard to break. I used to only get close to their 100GB at the end of the month, and even then only when there were a bunch of new releases on steam. I'm OK with a cap that is reasonable and they start at 100 or more, depending on your speed. There should not be a single cap lower than that.



I don't think the bandwidth is that much of an issue. I'll still download the same linux distros, surf the same sites, watch the same youtube videos whether I have little or lots of bandwidth - I'm still below Comcast's limit. It doesn't matter whether the connection is slow, I'll still do the same things. Except that I might view 360p or 480p youtube videos instead of 720p (my monitor can't display 1080p). It still would be nice if they didn't do this in the first place though. At least they aren't ATNT or Verizon.



I'm on the computer on the net and trading stocks and currency a lot of the day and night.  How do you know or find out how much bandwidth you're using every day, week or month?

Where do you look it up?  Somewhere on your own hard drive, online with your ISP?





I use a simple program called NetMeter. As well as seeing your actual down/upload speeds, it can log your daily/weekly/monthly usage. You can also set a warning if you are nearing your monthly cap. I've been using it for well over a year now. It might not match precisely what your ISP has on record but I would bet it's perfectly accurate. Useful if you ever need to argue with your ISP.


Mighty BOB!

In addition to what tke said, some routers have bandwidth meters.  I have a Netgear and I use its meter to see how much bandwidth I use every month.



It depends on who your provider is.

I have comcast, for me to see my usage I log into and under users /settings it tells you your usage. 

for att, I think you login at and there should be a meter in there somewhere



"If what AT&T and Comcast say is true, in that very few of its users will ever reach the 250GB monthly download limits, then we’d rather spend our paychecks kicking up our speeds."

Yeah, and the first computer I owned had a 20MB hard drive in.  Oh my god, I'll never fill that up.  Why should any company bother to develop a 30MB or 40MB hard drive?

The main issue here isn't who costs what or which data cap they have.

The issue is that these companies can stall out on offering faster speeds and start limiting their customer's data usage because they have no real competition.  They can lean back in their chairs, tweak their spreadsheets to increase their profits, and not do diddly to continue building out their network.  That is the real issue: captured market, stalled engineering and investment, and maximum profits due to reduced services.

I notice South Korea is missing from your lineup.  Why?



Use BE unlimited in the UK. It's brilliant, the speeds are consistently high and, of course, no data cap.



An AT&T rep confirmed to me that it is 150 GB/month for downloads AND uploads.



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