Netflix, Google, and other tech giants are taking their battle to Netflix to the big river.Here's what's next for the streaming giant as it continues its push to make big bandwidth decisions.1.Google Fiber to bring more fiber to homesThe company is looking to bring gigabit Internet to a few dozen US cities and states.That's not all it's looking to do, though, with plans to also build gigabit servi...
With the rise of the gigabit internet, millions of people have been forced to spend extra money on calling plans, and for the first time in nearly a decade, a call rise benefit will be available to all.
The call rise benefits are aimed at people who have a high number of calls or texts, as well as people who can’t afford the full-price phone plan that comes with a gigabit connection.
But with the internet so fast and so expensive, and people finding themselves scrambling to get on with their lives, many people are being asked to pay more for internet services than ever before.
A recent survey from the Pew Research Center found that Americans pay an average of $4,788 for a gigabyte of internet service.
That’s up 6 percent since the start of the year.
In recent months, people have begun to complain that their service providers are not offering them as much data or data speed as they’d like.
That has prompted a number of high-profile complaints from telecom companies, including AT&T and Verizon, which have been under fire for slow speeds and inconsistent data speeds.
For the first three quarters of this year, the top three ISPs that offer gigabit speeds to their customers, AT&am, Verizon and Comcast, have averaged more than 6 gigabits per second of download speed per customer.
The survey of 1,001 U.S. adults found that those numbers dropped to 1.9 gigabets per second in Q4, but have remained at or near the same level since the middle of January.
And while some consumers may be willing to pay an extra $1,000 or more for the extra gigabit speed, a large number of consumers are not.
The top five most common reasons that consumers are paying more than $1 per megabyte of data speed for gigabit services were: “I can’t use my data for calling and texting,” “I’m not getting enough data for my calling and text,” “It’s just not working” and “I don’t want to be charged more for this.”
The survey found that these reasons account for a third of the time consumers were asked why they were paying more for gigabyte data services.
The other top five reasons for data speed increases were: a lack of time to call or text because I have work, a need to get to my job quickly, and a need for quick access to other important data such as music and video.
“It’s hard to know what to make of these numbers, but they are not new and are indicative of the increasing cost of service and slow speed,” said David T. Miller, senior vice president of research at The Century Foundation.
“It is disappointing that the industry is failing to keep up with the speed of the internet, especially in areas where most people still have access to a phone plan.”
The Pew Research survey found a similar trend for data speeds in the top five areas that people most frequently use gigabit data services, including Florida, Nevada, Illinois and Texas.
In Florida, where more than two-thirds of the population lives, consumers spent an average $5,872 per month on a gigabytes of data, compared to $4.2 million in Nevada, where a smaller share of the state’s population lives.
In Nevada, nearly a quarter of all consumers spent $1 a month on gigabit service.
And consumers in Texas spent nearly $5 per month, or more than one-third of all households.
These data speeds are much higher than what some people could expect to get from other types of internet plans, said Matt Wood, the vice president and general manager of Verizon Wireless’ customer experience and technology group.
“The average customer can expect to see about 25 gigabytes per month in data speeds,” he said.
“They could be seeing up to 40,000 megabytes per year.
This is a pretty big difference.”
With data speeds as high as they are, Wood said the high cost of gigabit connections and the lack of options to increase data speeds will be a major concern for people who are trying to get online and on their phones.
“We’re going to see more of this sort of behavior and people getting frustrated, and the next step is going to be that more people are going to start paying more and more for data,” he added.
Some analysts have been warning for years that the internet is reaching a saturation point in which people who want to have a good connection will have to buy more data to keep going.
A number of major carriers have been taking a wait-and-see approach to data speeds and other aspects of internet speeds, including a recent announcement from AT&s that they will allow customers to pay $5 for each gigabyte they download.
Some of those customers have complained that AT&ams new policy has made them wait until they’ve already purchased the most expensive data plan before they can pay