Remember when dial-up Internet was really catching on in the 1990s? Have you ever encountered someone who had left their dial-up connection on overnight?
Per-minute billing for early dial-up connections resulted in plenty of panic, but fortunately, times have changed. When shopping for an Internet Service Provider (ISP) today, it’s essential to determine whether data caps are a part of the plans you’re considering. Many service providers — including CL Tel — have done away with data caps.
Data Cap Dive
Suppose data caps factor into the plans you’re looking at. In that case, you’ll save money by understanding what they are and what happens if you exceed them. There are several outcomes if you go over a data limit, so let’s break them down and highlight the questions you should ask before buying a plan.
First, what is a data cap or data usage limit? Simply put, a data cap is a limit some providers place on how much data their customers can use per month.
How do you know when you reach your data limit, and how do ISPs enforce it?
Don’t Get Throttled
One of the first signs is a noticeable slowdown in your Internet speed. This practice is called throttling — a provider dials back your speed to a lower data transfer rate until the billing cycle ends. You’ll notice uploading and downloading processes slow significantly, so activities like streaming, online gaming, video calls, and browsing begin to buffer or lag. Throttling reduces congestion on the network, and companies do it to encourage you to stay within your data limits. If your ISP uses throttling, you shouldn’t be kept in the dark as you approach your limit. Look for your provider’s text notifications as you reach your cap.
Look out for Extra Fees
You should also look for additional charges when exceeding your data limit. For instance, some companies charge $10 for each additional 50GB of data you use. Fortunately, that’s a large chunk of data, so overage charges usually won’t break the bank. But suppose you do find yourself exceeding data limits regularly. In that case, you can explore options for purchasing additional data or upgrading plans.
Certain activities use more data than others. For example, you’re more likely to exceed your limit if you’re streaming lots of TV shows and movies. Uploading large files to cloud services or sharing them with others can also eat up data quickly, as can online gaming and virtual reality activities.
CL Tel doesn’t charge overage fees.
Know your Data Limit
If you’re concerned about exceeding data limits, you can do a few things. The first step is simple — know your data limit. It’s something your ISP should be upfront about before you purchase a plan, and if it doesn’t come up in the decision stage, put it on your list of things to ask about.
Some providers also give you access to an online data dashboard showing just how much data you’ve used for the month. Check it regularly, and you’ll know how close you are to your limit, so you can make any necessary adjustments to your online activities.
Now that you know more about data limits, you should be able to move confidently forward into a data plan that fits your life. This may include searching for a plan with zero data caps or limits!
To learn about your CL Tel plan and limits, download the CL Tel app from the Apple App Store or Google Play or call 641-357-2111. And remember.