Understanding Internet Speeds and Data Usage

Internet Speed

Download and upload speeds can impact your Internet experience. Generally, the faster the speed, the quicker you can complete a task such as downloading or uploading a file. For some applications like high definition video streaming, you will need 5 to 10 Mbps of download speed to ensure a high quality viewing experience. If you have a Wi-Fi network with multiple Internet-connected devices attached you will also need to consider the number of devices that may be online concurrently. For example, if one member of you household is using a PC to download the latest operating system update (generally a very large file) while another member is watching a movie online via a gaming console, sufficient bandwidth must be available to enable a quality viewing experience while still supporting a fairly quick download of the software file. This issue grows exponentially with additional users in the home. In general, email and light web surfing with one or two people in the household requires significantly less bandwidth than a household with multiple users and devices in the home using more bandwidth intensive applications such as video streaming, video chat and uploading video and photos.

Data Usage

Usage: Data (or bandwidth) usage is the amount of content transferred to and from your computer through your cable modem. Usage consumption is not strictly correlated with the amount of time spent online. Although time spent surfing, streaming, downloading, uploading, etc. is a factor; the type of application used is an even more significant contributor to consumption. Different online activities require different usage amounts. For example, downloading a movie will use more of your usage allowance than sending a text email message, because the movie contains a lot more data than the email message. Video and high resolution photos typically drive the highest amounts of usage. Conversely, web surfing and email (without large attachments) consume less usage.

Click here to check your data usage using the Data Usage Tool.

Excessive Data Usage

Data usage thresholds are commonly used in the industry, and CableAmerica has established in the Company’s Internet Usage Agreement Data Usage Allowances for residential service. You can view current Data Usage Allowances by clicking here.

Customers who exceed the Data Usage Allowance established for their current level of service will be notified by CableAmerica, either via email, telephone or message on their computer, that they have exceeded their monthly threshold. Customers will have the option to continue to utilize the internet at a reduced speed for the remainder of the calendar month, upgrade to a service tier that better meets their usage requirements, or purchase additional bandwidth. CableAmerica Representatives will help identify possible causes and offer suggested ways the customer can reduce bandwidth consumption.