With the average user gobbling up more data, it’s becoming easier to blow past their data caps.
Historically, data caps have been put in place to ensure people don’t abuse their service by going overboard on data consumption, and are usually set above what a company thinks usage should be. But a new report from broadband management services provider Open Vault paints a drastically different picture.
Data usage is set to surpass 700 GB by the end of 2024, and by 2028, exceed 1 TB, according to Open Vault’s Broadband Insights Report for the fourth quarter of 2023.
The average monthly data limit set by internet providers is usually around the 1 TB range. For example, T-Mobile recently placed a 1.2 TB monthly limit on its 5G home internet plans before potentially slowing you down. Comcast also offers customers 1.2 TB per month.
With the potential for more users to hit their data caps, broadband providers may have to adjust current data limits, or lift them altogether. Earlier this month, internet provider WOW! removed data caps from select plans.
At the time of publication, Spectrum had no data caps in place, but that may change in the future. Last May, the company’s deal with the Federal Communications Commission to not impose data limits expired.
The surges reported by Open Vault reflect a rapidly growing reliance on the internet in our daily lives from communication, entertainment, careers, and education. Cord cutters in particular rely on that internet connection for all of their streaming services, which can add up if you have multiple TVs and family members watching in the home. The report also said the rise was due to a growing group of “extreme power users” that consume more than 5 TB every month.
The climbing numbers could also mean more customers abandoning traditional cable providers for 5G alternatives. The booming popularity of 5G has already resulted in cable internet providers changing up their offerings in order to remain competitive and profitable while drawing in customers and keeping existing ones. But even with 5G, there remains questions about whether these services can handle the huge expected leap in usage.
The report was spotted earlier by Light Reading.