Bandwidth Caps?

Reserved for modern gaming discussions.
User avatar
VideoGameCritic
Site Admin
Posts: 13831
Joined: April 1st, 2015, 7:23 pm

Bandwidth Caps?

Postby VideoGameCritic » July 27th, 2011, 5:41 pm

People who advocate the on-line model of gaming seem to operate on the premise that Internet bandwidth is ubiquitous and free.  Lately however there has been a lot of talk about ISPs putting bandwidth caps in place, and in some parts of the country it's already there.

This has largely become necessary due to the practice of "streaming" off the Internet.  This is mainly associated with movies but also with gaming.  Also, a heck of a lot more devices are taxing the Internet.  Nothing is free and in the future we may all pay a hefty price for our usage.

Recently we've seen Netflix lure people to their instant access service by making it free, and then suddenly charging for it.  Nothing is keeping the ISPs from instituting a tiered system, or creating a system that charges based on the type of traffic you are generating.

I think this ties back to the fact that there inherent advantages to having hard copies of games!  I don't want to be at the mercy of an ISP to enjoy my hobby!

Comments?


Edward1
Posts: 297
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Bandwidth Caps?

Postby Edward1 » July 27th, 2011, 10:35 pm

The problem is the internet providers, are almost always cable providers also.  Here is a list of the top ISPs in america.  http://www.isp-planet.com/research/rankings/usa.html

Most names on the list offer some sort of satellite or cable TV.   Therefore, they see Netflix as a huge threat to their TV operations.  They don't care if people have netflix, but they don't want people to replace cable or satellite with netflix   Bandwidth caps are a great way to limit the threat of Netflix, as people can only watch a couple of hours a day.   They exaggerate how much bandwidth costs. Most estimates show bandwidth is very cheap.

http://business.financialpost.com/2011/02/05/how-much-does-bandwidth-actually-cost/


Comcast has had the same bandwidth cap for nearly 3 years despite huge improvements in the network.   If someone goes over the bandwidth cap, they don't charge them more.   They simply boot you off and won't let you have their internet service for a year.   Overall, bandwidth caps are an overblown issue ISPs use for anti competitive reasons.


But we do live in a world with bandwidth caps, so you're right, this does limit the appeal of downloadable games and online gaming or streaming.   I do like boxed games better, because it limits the ability of the game publisher to deny you access to the game you just bought through DRM.   I don't want permission from a corporation when I play a game.  And I don't want some obscure loss of a license stopping me from playing a game I paid for.




0-Storm

Bandwidth Caps?

Postby 0-Storm » July 28th, 2011, 9:47 am

This reminds me of something else. Anyone who supports downloadable games should read this:

I remember the early days of vhs rentals. There were 5 small "mom & pop" rental stores in my neighborhood. They all had different selections & all had their own distinct style. They were locally owned by people in my neighborhood.

Then rolls in Blockbuster. They had a giant store that had a wider selection then all 5 of the local shops combined. Best/worst part was all rentals were only a dollar, even new movies.

It took maybe about a year for the local stores to close shop. Once they were all out of business guess what Blockbuster did? That's right. They jacked up their prices higher then what even the local shops had once tried to charge.

Moral of the story: Downloadable games are still cheap now, because they have to compete with physical games. Once everything goes downloadable only expect a huge price hike. $60 for a download plus microtransactions will be the way of the future.

User avatar
VideoGameCritic
Site Admin
Posts: 13831
Joined: April 1st, 2015, 7:23 pm

Bandwidth Caps?

Postby VideoGameCritic » July 28th, 2011, 1:47 pm

I think O-Storm hit the nail on the head.  Especially if the industry is successful in killing the used game market (which seems a high priority), there is no limit for what they could charge.  Or what restrictions they may place on the usage of the software for that matter.

Likewise the Internet providers don't tend to have a lot of competition and will charge whatever the market will bear.  Even as bandwidth gets cheaper they will not pass on the costs.  They will continue to raise them as the cost of providing "convenience" to the customer.


bluemonkey1
Posts: 2444
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Bandwidth Caps?

Postby bluemonkey1 » July 28th, 2011, 3:35 pm

I've never had a problem with my bandwidth cap personally and I download and stream tons of stuff.

If prices go up I just buy fewer games, at the end of the day I'd rather my money goes to highly skilled software developers than bricks and mortar shops.

Leo1
Posts: 2325
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Bandwidth Caps?

Postby Leo1 » July 28th, 2011, 4:06 pm

I don't think there is much to worry about with bandwidth caps. They target an extremely small percentage of users who utilize a vastly out of proportion percentage of their capacity. They're not out to get Netflex users, Xbox Live users, etc.

They're not going to strangle their business or harm their average users. And as things like downloadable gaming, HD video streaming, and such grow and become more commonplace and require more capacity, they'd surely adjust their caps upwards to reflect the new demands from their users.


Return to “Modern Gaming”