A terabyte data cap

July 5th, 2011 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Hamish Fletcher in the NZ Herald reports:

plans to offer internet users hooked into the ultra-fast network at least a terabyte of data each month.

While New Zealand may be looking forward to the 100 megabit speeds on the internet network, commentators are worried the infrastructure will not be used to its potential as will restrict the amount customers can download each month.

Slingshot and CallPlus director Malcolm Dick said his companies could offer unlimited data on the ultra-fast broadband network if more internet links out of New Zealand were built.

“A couple of years out … you’d hope that all those caps would be removed and it would be the same as in Europe and the States. Certainly in the worst case we’re looking in the terabytes [of internet use a month]. It will be up to at least a terabyte, I reckon, it has to be,” Dick said.

Having more content hosted and cached in NZ would help also, but sadly it is cheaper for major content providers to host in the US than in NZ.

A 1 TB data cap would be a lot better than the current offerings. But let us look at how quick it might still be gobbled up.

Say you are on the 30 Mb/s plan. That is equal to 3.75 MB/s. A TB is around 1 million (2^20) MBs so a 1 TB cap would last for around 280,000 seconds or 4,660 minutes which is around 78 hours.

Now a month has around 720 hours in it, but you don’t tend to spend all day on the Internet and you don’t spend all your time using the maximum speed.

So a 1 TB data limit would look to be pretty good to me.

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17 Responses to “A terabyte data cap”

  1. Michaels (1,318 comments) says:

    Which is only about 2.6 hours a day.

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  2. dog_eat_dog (781 comments) says:

    I think you’re forgetting the up-and-down aspect of data traffic, DPF.

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  3. DRHILL (121 comments) says:

    I can barely get through my 40 GB limit as it is downloading (er…I mean backing up) my various things.

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  4. MikeE (555 comments) says:

    Streaming Hi Def on demand IP TV is the sort of service that will use this. Once people move to this sort of set up as the norm (say compared to freeview etc) … we are going to see the average user chew through loads of bandwidth that will make 40gb data allowances look like 3.5″ floppies in data allowances..

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  5. PaulL (5,981 comments) says:

    So what is actually being promised here? Sounds to me like someone saying “it’d be nice if one day we could give people a 1 TB data cap.” No actual progress to that being possible though.

    I fully agree that 1 TB is goodness, and that backhaul into the US is critical. And the suggestion by Southern Cross that the prices paid by NZ providers are the same as Australian, so no issue, ignores the fact that Australia caps are also pretty crap on average.

    However, it is possible that local caching will come into vogue. If people are watching TV One on their new fibre connection, no reason for that to go near the back haul, and no reason for it to count towards your data cap. That’s my prediction of how the future will be – caps to the US, and local content for free. Watch the market change when that happens.

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  6. Nigel (515 comments) says:

    It’s tricky, I just did a few speedtest’s Phillidelphia 3Mbit, 2Mbit into NY, 5Mbit into LA, 2.5Mbit into London, Singapore 1.2Mbit, all the pacific fibre I’m guessing.

    Alot nicer Australiasia. Sydney 14Mbit, Perth 10Mbit, Wellington 14.4 ( I”m in Northland ).

    My point is simple, Australiasia is great, I can see 30-100Mbit making a difference, but globally it’d just be squirting more data down a pipe that’s already crippling ADSL1, let alone ADSL2+, VDSL2 or fibre

    In my experience those numbers are pretty consistent & I have to say the work that has gone on in NZ & NZ->Australia is impressive.

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  7. Lance (2,655 comments) says:

    My ADSL2 speed in West Auckland just went up from (consistently) 5 Mbit/s to 11 Mbit/s in the last few days. Somethings going on.

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  8. Kneel (6 comments) says:

    MikeE (539) Says:

    July 5th, 2011 at 1:45 pm
    Streaming Hi Def on demand IP TV is the sort of service that will use this.

    But Malcolm says at least a TB. You won’t be streaming Hi Def IPTV on the basic service. The committed information rate isn’t good enough. There are dedicated extra products that are designed for that. So I’m picking that’s outside his “little” cap.
    Neil

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  9. EverlastingFire (286 comments) says:

    Come September 1st it won’t worth having anymore than 40GB data cap, thanks to Simon Power and Judith Tizard.

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  10. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    It’s all piss and wind. Bit like having a blown 454 connected by a 1/4″ fuel line to the petrol tank. Motor looks the biz but all rather pointless if it can’t get enough fuel. The government promising everyone super fast broadband will blow the arse out of the system. The more that sign up the greater the strain on the system, it will all end in tears unless we install new cables.

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  11. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    The speedtest sites are getting priority to make it seem like speed has increased, it hasnt.

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  12. wreck1080 (3,917 comments) says:

    It depends, you may wish to have ‘always’ on HD video conferencing or remote security monitoring.

    Now that TV’s are being made with mini-computers and webcams, I can see HD skype becoming much more common.

    In fact, a huge touch screen may become a central information center inside a house. This may be streaming and communicating 24 / 7 to the outside world.

    Once a critical mass of population is connected to very fast internet, we will see applications galore. And, with IPv6 every high tech device/appliance can have it’s own spot on the WWW.

    I reckon, 1tb will not be enough after a while.

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  13. infused (654 comments) says:

    Pure press release bullshit. New links won’t be built for ages. Ultra fast BB, most citylink isps don’t charge for national traffic, OR international uploads.

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  14. Repton (769 comments) says:

    To be honest, I prefer a data cap to unlimited.

    Because in the US, “unlimited” plans often still have limits, the ISPs just don’t tell you what the limit is. The only way to find out is to go over it and be cut off.
    (either that or they traffic-shape you into oblivion)

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  15. AndyC (28 comments) says:

    @Lance go to http://www.telecomwholesale.co.nz > Technologies > Broadband Service Availability Tool
    You can see for yourself what speeds you can get. I last I heard, approximatly 40% of all NZ users are still on dial-up even though a DSL connection is available to 80% of that number.

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  16. James (1,338 comments) says:

    Phht! A tb wouldn’t hold the steam from a mornings porn browsing…

    :-)

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  17. badmac (136 comments) says:

    I already have an uncapped plan and in at least 2 of the 6 moths this year went beyond 1Tb in the month. It’s not hard to do with raw hd video, or even a 12 month archive of shoots for a professional photographer.

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