Browse Definitions :
Definition

data cap (broadband cap)

A data cap (bandwidth cap) is a service provider-imposed limit on the amount of data transferred by a user account at a specified level of throughput over a given time period, for a specified fee. The term applies to both home Internet service and mobile data plans.

Data caps are usually imposed as a maximum allowed amount of data in a month for an agreed-upon charge. As a rule, when the user exceeds that limit, they are charged at a higher rate for further data use. However, the provider may not charge overage but instead throttle the users’ transfer rate per second beyond the limit. For example, a mobile user paying for a 4G plan may be downgraded to 3G for mobile data beyond their data cap.

An ISP might impose a data cap when a customer shares access with many users, employs file-sharing software or otherwise breaks terms of use. Service providers also sometimes impose data caps when they have a monopoly in a given area.

Data caps result in lower rates of access to online materials, especially multimedia and streaming content, which is a problem for content creators and their advertisers. T-Mobile reported recently that users with capped or throttled data used 20-30 times less data and 37 percent of subscribers avoided streaming media because they were afraid to exceed their limits.

Data caps are also uniformly unpopular with customers. As a result, service providers often refer to data caps by other names such as fair usage or fair access policies, usage based billing or vaguely as band caps.

Broadbandnow.com lists 58 United States home ISPs using data caps.

This was last updated in June 2016

Continue Reading About data cap (broadband cap)

Networking
  • SD-WAN security

    SD-WAN security refers to the practices, protocols and technologies protecting data and resources transmitted across ...

  • net neutrality

    Net neutrality is the concept of an open, equal internet for everyone, regardless of content consumed or the device, application ...

  • network scanning

    Network scanning is a procedure for identifying active devices on a network by employing a feature or features in the network ...

Security
CIO
  • strategic management

    Strategic management is the ongoing planning, monitoring, analysis and assessment of all necessities an organization needs to ...

  • IT budget

    IT budget is the amount of money spent on an organization's information technology systems and services. It includes compensation...

  • project scope

    Project scope is the part of project planning that involves determining and documenting a list of specific project goals, ...

HRSoftware
  • director of employee engagement

    Director of employee engagement is one of the job titles for a human resources (HR) manager who is responsible for an ...

  • digital HR

    Digital HR is the digital transformation of HR services and processes through the use of social, mobile, analytics and cloud (...

  • employee onboarding and offboarding

    Employee onboarding involves all the steps needed to get a new employee successfully deployed and productive, while offboarding ...

Customer Experience
  • chatbot

    A chatbot is a software or computer program that simulates human conversation or "chatter" through text or voice interactions.

  • martech (marketing technology)

    Martech (marketing technology) refers to the integration of software tools, platforms, and applications designed to streamline ...

  • transactional marketing

    Transactional marketing is a business strategy that focuses on single, point-of-sale transactions.

Close