Alaska could be the next US state to offer 1Gbps Internet speeds, but with a rather obnoxious catch: data caps. The Alaskan ISP, General Communications Inc (GCI) announced a few months ago they would update their lines to 1Gbps, but gave no specifics.
Ever since the announcement, GCI has been promoting the fact Fiber re:D will offer 1Gbps. Still no date on when Alaskans will get it, even though Anchorage is expected to be the first city sometime in 2015.
The 1Gbps speed will surpass 250mbps as the best in the state. Alaska has a rather low internet speed and internet adoption overall, but has been growing in the past five years at a considerable rate, unlike other states.
In an statement on data caps, GCI said:
Despite the speed increase, Landes said GCI has no plans to remove its cap to data usage. The fastest plan offered by GCI, 250 mbps, comes with a data cap of 500 gigabytes. Landes said the purpose of GCI’s data caps is to manage the strain on its network and ensure it can offer the speeds it advertises to customers.
Data caps are definitely not a good move, but GCI is the most valuable ISP in Alaska. If you want average Internet, they are the only provider in the state, meaning they get to in-act their own laws.
The 500 gigabytes data cap should be more than enough for more families, even though it still makes heavy Internet users run the risk of getting harshly billed for overusing the network.
From previous experience, we know that data caps are nothing for the 90 percent of customers in an area, but for the 10 percent who live on the Internet, it becomes a walk on a tightrope to manage data every month, to make sure you’re in line.