Topic

internet freedom

42 petitions

Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to Comcast, AT&T

The Lie of Comcast Data Caps

In an increasingly cloud connected and IoT world, we are faced with a conundrum. Many of the population of the U.S.A live in an area where the is either a functional duopoly or monopoly on internet connections or has limited access to internet at all. In my area in West Michigan we have two choices, AT&T (which is VERY slow ~15mbps AND has data caps) or Comcast (which has data caps). So Comcast is the only real option for a true high-speed connection. In a world where games no longer come on disks, but are available ONLY as downloads, this 1024 GB usage limit is a reverse in modernization of our ISPs and a clear money grab by a company that does NOT care about the customer, but only their bottom line. To put 1024 GB into perspective, Gears of War 4, has a download size of over 100GB, so you could use up 10% of your available data on ONE game. When the rest of your family is streaming music, Netflix in 4K, Youtube, Hulu, downloading/uploading images, or as a photography professional, uploading RAW images which could range in 30-50MB EACH, you can see where this begins to be a problem.  To be clear, I am 100% pro capitalism, but this is how capitalism works, they have a choice to make ridiculous and anti-consumer decisions in their policies, and we have a choice to fight it or leave. In this case there is no real option to leave, so we will have to fight it! Comcast claims, arbitrarily, "A terabyte of data is enough to power 12,000 hours of online gaming in a month." This is a vast overstatement, and a total misdirection for the average consumer. This data is a number that THEY came up with, does not include voice chat over services like Teamspeak, Mumble, Discord, etc, and does not include streaming to Twitch. It also does not include ANY other use of the internet, including updating those games that you are playing, which require frequent updates to even start up, or any other usage or streaming on the internet by anyone else in the house. Another claim by Comcast is that this is about "fairness" and that "you use more, you'll pay more, you use less, you'll pay less" but again, this is at best a misdirection, and at worst a total lie. Those who use less are not paying less, they are paying the same that we all already have been paying, and are only increasing the cost for those of us who utilize their internet connections everyday. Also, the amount of data you are using does not affect Comcast in anyway and does not increase costs to Comcast at all. This is completely and unequivocally a money grab. In conclusion, as more and more things become internet connected, video becomes higher quality, games get larger, and more people have more than 1 device connected at a time, this data cap sets a dangerous precedent for everyone, and not just "the 1% of users use more than 1TB of data" as our worlds become increasingly connected. This can turn into what the cellphone industry turned into, paying for different amount of data access, and no one wants that, except money hungry Comcast!  

Anthony Punt
336 supporters
Update posted 3 weeks ago

Petition to Sharon S. Truxillo, Steve Sawyer, Andrea Katsenes, Cox Communications, Ajit Pai

Stop data caps from impacting users personal lives

Recently I was notified about changes to the cox data plans. There will be a cap on all residential plans to 1,024GB = 1 TB of data per month. Any overage will be charged at a rate of $10 per every 50GB over. To a normal everyday person this might not mean anything to you, you don't understand it, or you feel it doesn't impact you. It is hard to break down in some ways but cox doesn't explain it either. They just put out articles that talk about the cap and then explain that most people won't be affected. "Cox said the plan provides enough data to watch 140 two-hour high-definition movies, 300 30-minute standard-definition TV shows, 1,500 three-minute videos, surf the Web for 3,000 hours and listen to 30,000 songs that are four minutes long in one month." This is from the Cox Cable Director Steve Sawyer. So now we have to schedule our time on the internet, social media, emails, security camera, etc. Looking at the average movie length of the ten highest-grossing movies of each year for the past decade, Hollywood blockbuster's have gone from just under two hours to more than 130 minutes in length. Most TV shows are in HD and not 30 mins but 45 mins to an hour. Online funny videos are an average for 5 to 10 minutes sometimes more and when is the last time you listened to a song that was 4 mins or under in length? Usage Key Web Surfing 18 MB = Average usage per hourStreaming Music 6.5 MB = Average 4-minute audio fileEmailing .02 MB = Average size email without attachments Uploading/Downloading Photos 5 MB = Average size photo fileSocial Networking 51 MB = Average usage per hourVideo Chatting 0.34 GB = Average usage per hourStreaming Video 0.75 GB = Average 60-minute standard definition (SD) file2GB = Average 60-minute high definition (HD) fileOnline Gaming 20 MB = Average usage per hour Above you can see how this might affect you as a person or as a family. I am a mother of 5 and we are a gaming family. We enjoy spending time with each other online in different worlds exploring and having a great time. We bond by gaming, love of music and funny videos. My children connect with friends and family via social media and online gaming communities. I understand the dangers of the online world as do they. They are safe and smart because we educated them about the dangers and we monitor their online usage. Also downloading games or updates will crush the data. Back in the 90s games were in the MBs range. Now an update could be 20GBs and if 5 people play the same game that's 100GBs in 5mins. I also work from home on occasions as well and my husband and I work in the computer industry. I have a good idea about how this all works. The director also states, "Consumers going over the data cap can re-evaluate their usage or pay more." Basically I need to change my personal life, not only myself but my family, to conform to their data cap. I don't know about everyone else but I know think I like a cable company telling me I need to conform to anything. Cable is dying, everyone knows that and streaming is taking over. ISPs like Cox are trying to stop the streaming services by putting data caps on all packages no matter the speed. They want you to move back to paying an arm and a leg for cable packages that they make money off of. Not you paying $9 a month for a streaming package that you can use unlimited. Netflix and Hulu state, "Some online services fear that the caps are intended to thwart consumers' ability to cut the cord and switch from traditional cable TV to online video streaming providers like Netflix. The caps have largely been set at high levels that won't impact online video watchers yet, but once the regime is in place, cable companies could easily lower the caps. They could also wait a few years until super high definition 4K video becomes the norm, meaning online video watchers will be consuming a lot more data. Or they could follow the strategy of some wireless carriers of favoring their own online video services by exempting them from counting against the caps." link http://fortune.com/2017/06/28/cox-data-caps-overage-fee/  This starts with something small, like Cox imposing that you have to have a small turner box to get basic cable in your home. Also trying to throttle your speed when you view Netflix or other streaming services that aren't theirs. This has happened before and when Cox was asked about it they said that didn't do any of that and they aren't the only ones. That was in 2014: http://geekslop.com/2014/isp-throttle-netflix-streaming-video-service-fix-overcome-net-neutrality-problems  Once they get a data cap in place they will be able to change in to whatever that want. First it's 1TB next it will be 500GB limit and their will be nothing that can be done. People may not be impacted now but if the limit changes or the quality of the movie/show improves you will see other people hit the limit. Cox runs on a Hybrid Fiber coax network, both the tv and internet run on the same lines. There is no congestion problem being alleviated here. This is a violation of net neutrality plain and simple you are imposing a limit on our service and then providing exemptions to your own products. "Jim Hood of Consumer Affairs, which provides consumer news, warned that as more and more customers cut the cord on cable service and use programs like Sling TV, Hulu Live and Vue to watch programs, they could start hitting data caps. "Most of these companies make money now selling internet service as well as cable service," he said. Because of the declining number of cable subscribers, they're now squeezing internet customers in an attempt to generate more revenue."  http://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/business/article_a3824394-5c2b-11e7-8db0-576453b91493.html I'm not doing this because I don't want to pay anymore for data services but because I feel there is not enough on this topic in the media. People just look at it push it aside because it "doesn't impact" them. I don't now but it can and will soon. I urge you to do your own research on this and also sign and pass along the petition. So maybe Cox and other providers will see that this in not going to help them in business but hurt them in the long run. This is a complete violation of the net neutrality laws and some people will not have a choice in picking a different option because they only have one service provider in the area. They say only the top 2% will be impacted but so far there has been more than 44% of people impacted. They only say 2% because they ran a test trial in one area of the US and in that one area it showed 2% impacted. Please pass this along and let's fight this together.

Muzette Claunch
239 supporters