The large ISPs are running scared and the users are going to end up losing in the long run. Netflix now accounts for almost 30% of prime time downstream traffic in North America and estimates show that it may be 55-60% by the end of the year. ISPs don't like this, especially the larger conglomerates like Comcast, Time Warner and AT&T where Netflix is competing against their own Pay Per View offerings. Instead of developing a competing model, ISPs take the easy way out by imposing usage caps designed to limit the amount of bandwidth a user can use each month. Some of these caps are draconian. In Canada, the caps are so low that Netflix has changed the streaming model to low resolution formats so users don't go over their caps. Rogers, for example, has usage caps ranging from 2GB to 175GB per month depending on the speed of service you have. AT&T recently changed their caps to 150GB on their DSL service and 250GB on the U-Verse service. Most of these providers will tell you that they just don't have the infrastructure to handle unlimited traffic for all users. What they're really saying is it's bad enough they have to compete with other companies for Internet service, but they're terrified of Netflix and refuse to play on a level playing field when it comes to pricing. So, what do they do? They impose usage caps in the hopes that you'll use THEIR service which won't count towards your Internet usage (and is more expensive!). Unfortunately, the government isn't going to step up to the plate anytime soon and level the playing field. The FCC has made a couple of attempts, one of which was smacked down by the courts and the second attempt will most likely be killed by the partisan politics in Washington. In both cases, the consumer loses. ISPs are fighting tooth and nail to prevent any rules that would force them to straighten up. They'll claim that usage caps are the norm in the rest of the world (it's not), or they'll try to claim that a few bandwidth hogs who are using P2P are ruining it for everyone else (again, false false false). Nobody has taken them to task to prove their claims with numbers, and of course the media (controlled by the same companies who provide your Internet service), perpetuate the lies. In Canada, the CRTC has traditionally given free reign to the providers to do what they want. The laws that prohibit foreign firms from starting companies there have enabled the ISP providers to create a stranglehold on the entire country. There are rumors that the new Conservative government may work on killing those laws, which may provide the relief that Canadian users so desperately need. In the US, the FCC has been hamstrung by the courts and Congress. And while there have been legitimate complaints about the agency, they also have been caught in the crossfire because they don't have the authority to do what needs to be done. Every time they make noises about net neutrality, Congress gets its back up and threatens to neuter the agency even further. Unfortunately, until users get off their ass and tell their providers that this is unacceptable, we will continue to see lower caps that will try to force the competition out. Although if past history is any example, the apathy that most residents display when it comes to things like this will doom us all.