Is your ‘unlimited’ internet really unlimited? In this guest post, TalkTalk’s chief technology officer Gary Steen argues that usage caps should be shown the door as our appetite for data goes large.
According to the famous proverb, the only certainties in life are death and taxes.
There’s one more fact to add to that list of dead certs: that our dependence on the internet is going only one way – and that is up.
As our lives become more entwined with the benefits of being connected, our hunger for data – the packets of digital information that are the lifeblood of the internet – is growing by the day.
The amount of it we use, powering everything from movie downloads to music streaming and gaming, has rocketed.
Downloading more than ever
A recent YouGov survey for TalkTalk showed that we now have twice as many connected devices in our homes as we did just five years ago.
Almost half of us think internet access is as important as running water and electricity, while a quarter couldn’t live without broadband at home for even one day.
Among TalkTalk customers, downloads have increased by more than 50% in the past year alone and Ofcom says the average UK household uses 58GB per month – much more than the 10-40GB monthly limit offered with the broadband packages of some major internet providers.
I predict it will be considerably more the next time they report. Especially when more and more people are streaming videos – for example streaming just three episodes of Game of Thrones and some Facebook browsing would take you close to a 10GB limit.
Broadband traffic management
The huge appetite for the internet is great news for providers making millions from customers on capped packages who pay an average £11.30 a month after going over their limits.
As more of our appliances and gadgets connect us to things we need and love, the practice of limiting broadband is outdated, which is why we only offer uncapped broadband packages and why we are investing in ultrafast broadband for the future.
Unlimited broadband, both in terms of capacity and speed, really is the Holy Grail for TalkTalk, with the potential to improve all our lives both in the home and the workplace.
I’m looking forward to a future where our obsession with the flow of data – how much there is and how fast it travels – barely warrant a mention and it’s what we do with the incredible gift of connectivity that generates the most discussion.
This is a guest post by Gary Steen, chief technology officer at TalkTalk. All opinions expressed here are Gary’s own and not necessarily those of Which?