For many years internet users have been used to basically having as much bandwidth as they wanted. In practical terms what this means isthat people have been able to watch movies and download data, or listen to music, to their hearts' content. As more people are connected to the internet the bandwidth resources are being rapidly used up and this causes delays and slow loading times for other users.
It is also very costly for the broadband providers because it means they have to keep adding server networks to the already existing server base. They have to do this in order to handle all the information flowing through these servers on a daily basis.
Change Is Coming
When it comes to internet options there are many to choose from. Up until now, going with one of the big providers has been the best option for most people. AT&T has been providing its customers with unlimited data plans for a number of years but all this is about to change inorder to ease the congestion on the network.Not only are people accessing the internet with their computers and laptops, but they are now using their smartphones as well. Someone listening to music on Pandora all day can easily use up a large amount of bandwidth and it is the same for someone who watches television on their laptop.
There are around 5% of broadband customers who use up most of the resources, thereby causing congestion and sluggish performance for other users on the network. The big carriers are now limiting their unlimited data plans and capping them at a certain amount. Anyone going over the amount of GBs allowed will have to pay extra. This has, of course, made customers angry as the plans are meant to be unlimited. Most broadband customers will never use even a fraction of the amount of allotted data transfer capabilities they have, but the heavy users are being penalized.How this will affect data archives remains to be seen. Those who archive resources and other data on their webpages may not have enough storage capabilities to archive as broad a range as they did before. This may mean fewer visitors to their webpages because there won't be as much information available. There may be other internet options for these websites and they may be able to obtain broadband plans that do not cap data storage and transfer capabilities.
Internet users with limited data bandwidth may not visit as many websites as they did before the data caps became effective. If there is only a limited amount of data to be used for internet use, only the most relevant websites and pages will be visited. Some web archives may see a reduction in traffic because of this, but those that remain relevant with continuous updates will continue to see traffic coming to their webpages.