I was speaking to a colleague today in Australia – he was upset that Telstra increased his data plan to 50 GB without changing the price. His point was that he only uses 4 GB per month, but Telstra gave no option for him to reduce his cost by reducing his cap – the next step down was a tiny 2 GB per month.
That’s clever pricing by Telstra, but it is also opening them up to any competition, offering, say, 20 GB plans for $20 less per month.
On the other hand I see it as a good thing. Almost everyone downunder uses the internet with one eye on the usage meter, which constrains our activity. With a much larger cap we can begin to use other services that until now are out of reach.
Three examples that come to mind are:
Dropbox lets you sync your files across computers and devices. I use it, but not as much as I should. I’m pretty sure it added at least 5 GB per month to my use, and at a time when I was mainly using data sticks and tethering.
I only synced a few files – but I have 60GB of songs and about 23 GB of core business files that I’d like to have backed up on the cloud and synced with all devices. I cannot see a way to do so with data caps and the relatively slow speeds we have.
Back to my Mac lets you control your mac computer at home from afar. It’s a wonderful feature, but useless on ADSL which has slow upload rates, and with low data caps. I would like to run light computers when I travel and have the big kahuna and server back at home, but for now I carry the home computer with me almost everywhere.
Flickr (and others)
I have a flickr account, but use it almost exclusively for uploading pictures for this blog. I’d really like to have the rest of my phot collecton online, synced and available to all of my devices. I’d make most of the photos private, but thousands would be public.
Sadly I have 71,794 photos and 1,298 movies on iPhoto, which is 120 GB of files. That’s a ludicrously large amount of data to be syncing in a world of ADSL and data caps.
Facebook is making a good case for storing my photos and videos as well, as is YouTube for videos.
What other data intensive services are we missing out on? I’d really like to read your answers to this.
One answer is of course ‘the future.’ YouTube only turned up in 2005, and we have no idea what the big data applications will be in 2020. We certainly won’t be developing any downunder unless we are able to fully enjoy unconstrained, uncapped and unfiltered internet.