You know literally what unlimited means, right? No data caps. After using 100 GB of data, you won’t get a notice that you’re over your limit and now you’ve got to pay through the nose for more. But on a deeper level, what does it mean to have unlimited internet?
When you have a data cap, it’s easy to resent other household members and their internet usage. Does your son really need to stream Amazon Prime and play a video game at the same time? Does your spouse really need to back up everything to the cloud every night? Does your toddler really need to watch the same five Cocomelon songs over and over? It’s pretty hard to know how much data you’re using individually unless you have apps to measure it, and yet it’s easy to think that someone else is using more than their fair share. But when you take away that data cap, those resentments go away.
When you’re on a data cap, there’s no streaming at 4K. There might not even be streaming at regular HD. You might search how to go into your settings and make it such that Gem and Netflix automatically choose a lower resolution. Everything is blurry. Once the data cap is gone, you can forgo all that nonsense, assuming you have sufficient speed.
Internet companies stick a little notice in your browser when you’ve used 90% of your data for the pay period, and then another when you hit 100%. But not everyone on every device gets to see them. Sometimes the household member who sees the notice forgets to mention it, or other times it seems like everyone has missed it. Then you get the dreaded notice that you’ve used 120% of your data, seemingly without warning. Of course, a household with unlimited internet forgets that these notices were even a thing.
Along with your surprise notice, you can get a worse surprise: a bill. Plans with a data limit start to pay big bucks when they’re into overtime. We know of one rural family who ended up paying more than two grand after a week-long family reunion caused them to blow past their data limit. Ouch!
A lot of us have spent a lot of time on video chat these past few years, but not everyone was just in meetings. Some of us had dinners or drinks with family over video chat. Some of us had to do school or university over video chat. Some of us had birthdays, Christmases, Eids, Diwalis, Hanukahs, weddings, christenings, anniversaries, and even funerals over video chat. We’d hate to go back to that. We’d rather be there in person. But there are times when you just can’t be there, for whatever reason. And in those times, tuning in remotely, via video, is the next best thing. In those times that really count, we’d hate to be worrying about a data cap.