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Your 4K Netflix Streaming Is On a Collision Course With Your ISP’s Data Caps

Household bandwidth consumption is soaring thanks to video streaming, new data suggests, and American consumers are about to run face-first into broadband usage limits and overage fees that critics say are unnecessary and anti-competitive. Motherboard reports: Cisco’s 2018 Visual Networking Index (VNI) — an annual study that tracks overall internet bandwidth consumption to identify future trends — predicts that global IP traffic is expected to reach 396 exabytes per month by 2022. Cisco’s report claims that’s more traffic than has crossed global networks throughout the entire history of the internet thus far. The majority of this data growth is video; Cisco found that 75 percent of global internet traffic was video last year, up from 63 percent just two years earlier. Cisco says this number could climb to 82 percent in 2022, with 22 percent of overall video consumption coming from bandwidth-intensive 4K streaming. The problem: As monthly household bandwidth consumption soars courtesy of 4K Netflix streaming and other new services, many broadband users are likely to run into usage caps and overage fees that jack up their monthly rates. The report mentions Comcast imposes a terabyte usage cap on all of its service areas except the Northeast, but users can pay an additional $50 per month to avoid such limits.

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