Sunday, June 2, 2013

Mamas don't let your babies give up cable Internet.

I have a data problem that a resident of the USA should not have.  I'm buying bandwidth by the gigabyte.

I convinced myself from my cell phone data usage that I could marginally increase my data plan (giving up my grandfathered unlimited data plan on 3G) and discontinue home Internet altogether.  My home Internet was $99USD/month, the maximum plan with Time Warner.

My usage on my unlimted plan was just over 2GB/month.  I failed to appreciate how much of the actual traffic I was sending over the device was done while connected to wifi (and not using my data plan).  I should have checked this out.  This is where my "expertise" blinded me.

For a $15/month savings, I could get a 8GB/month data plan to share with all my devices!  They threw in a free MiFi (mobile hotspot) device!  What a wise consumer I am!  I'm playing the system and #Winning! If I could give up Time Warner I could save a cool Benjamin monthly!

Plus, 4G LTE in NYC is fast!  I was getting better throughput than I got with the maximum level with cable service from Time Warner!

I made the classic mistake of mistaking the cover for the book.  Speed is not really the issue, in fact, the increased speed just makes it easier to use more bandwidth.  I should watch myself when I use a lot of exclamation points to write about something....

16GB might not be enough this month, and that's after a real trim-back on what I stream online over the data plan.  For what I've had to pay in additional fees to Verizon for my data plan I could have the basic level Time Warner cable service.  I'm not saving money, and the service is far inferior.


Score:  Verizon 1, Time Warner 1, Me 0.

In hindsight, I should have just converted to the basic level of cable Internet, and honestly, I should have done that in the beginning.  Throughput/Bandwidth is the Internet Service Provider equivalent of the SUV.  Yeah, it's big, it's comfortable, and it encourages habits that ultimately lead to greater consumption of metered resources.

No thanks, I don't need any help with consumption of anything.  I do quite well enough on my own.

Having the MiFi is helpful, but I need to buy unmetered Internet access for home.  This will cost me about $30/month in NYC right now (because Time Warner wants me back), and now I see that I can save that much money directly by reducing my data plan at Verizon to pre-experimental levels.

So, here's the lesson.  Occam's razor.  Giving Time Warner Cable more money for greater throughput is not as good a thing for me as it is for them.  Surprise!

I am vaguely aware that people pay for metered Internet in Europe.  If my European readers would comment on such via the G+ post, I would appreciate it.  I'm curious.  Using metered Internet has really had an interesting effect on my practices, but my term under such conditions was self-imposed, and I didn't like it.  Is that a problem elsewhere?