Bandwidth caps could make Video Relay Service calls much more expensive for deaf consumers.

“…it will not bode well for their Deaf customers who depend on VRS (Video Relay Service) to make their phone calls. All of sudden, it gets a lot more expensive for Deaf people to have internet at home.

…At only 5 gigabytes/month that is equivalent to only 3.5 hours of VRS call a month!! And that doesn’t even include your other Internet activities such as watching vlogs, e-mail, reading news, or checking weather, etc.”

[Jared’s Rambling Thoughts] (Thanks, Jeff!)


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  1. GiselleBeardchen says:


  2. karmaghost says:

    I hope to God or whoever that this doesn’t catch on.

  3. insomniac8400 says:

    I love it, use the power of the Americans with Disabilities Act to stop bandwidth caps on unlimited services.

  4. pylon83 says:

    How is 3.5hrs of video 5gb? What kind of quality are you talking about? Full screen, high resolution video? Give me a break. I worked for an Cable company that did this, and our “Average” customers use less than 1gb per month. We had a 6gb limit, and only something like 1% of our customers exceeded it. Caps are a good way to keep costs down for those who don’t need 200gb/month. Otherwise, they raise prices for everyone.

  5. PølάrβǽЯ says:

    Considering that they’ve made it apparent that higher tiers will have higher caps, simply do what everyone else who wants to download more will have to do: pay more.

    My wife and my mother both are disabled, but we still have to pay for our water by the gallon and our electricity by the kilowatt-hour. Why should a utility company provide special exemptions for a disabled person?

  6. JollyJumjuck says:

    @aaron8301: Depending where you live, you may not *have* the choice of paying by-the-gigabyte. Your bit cap is your bit cap, and offering to pay more won’t get that increased. When you live in an area with a virtual monopoly on high speed internet, your choices are “take it or leave it.”

  7. bayboy says:

    nowadays with web pages having video ads playing automatically, flash banners and all the junk email we have to sift through

    that 5GB limit will be reached rather fast

    I alone go through about 500-700MB in a couple hours or so.

  8. bobert says:

    Apple and Netflix (and soon others, no doubt) are offering video-on-demand over the Internet, which will boost the Internet usage of their customers. It’s not going to just be BitTorrent “pirates” who have huge downloads. Anything anyone used to think about average bandwidth usage will go right out the window in the next year or two.

    The cable companies and other ISPs are going to have to adapt or someone will come along with cheap, all-you-can-eat-buffet service at a competitive price and hammer them. I keep waiting for WiMax to show up in my area.

  9. jawacg says:

    Some disabilities are worse than others. That being said, there are always the regular old relay services or TTY/TTD. No one says you have to use video relay, it’s just more convenient. I think the bigger issue in general is that the “pipeline” owners are doing whatever they can to make more money and in turn slow down the spread of high speed internet. I am curious what will happen if the internet over power lines concept becomes viable enough that it is a serious challenger to cable/satellite/WiMax/other. The power companies already have their own “pipes” to everyone and with what little I have read that would be high speed as well. And for anyone that is wondering, I am not deaf but my son is hearing impaired enough to be considered deaf.

  10. jawacg says:


    BTW, don’t you ever have anything GOOD to say?????

  11. ludwigk says:

    um, why is VRS service 24 mbit/sec? That’s like 1.3x the bitrate of broadcast 1080i mpeg2 HDTV. Really with a better codec, you should ne able to make do with 1 Mbps.

  12. SacraBos says:

    Actually, 5Gb isn’t much. I can pull the latest Fedora DVD distribution, and that’s 3.8G. If I want source iso’s, too, there goes my 5Gb/mo limit in an afternoon.

    A DVD generally holds up to 4.3G, so that’s 1 movie/month assuming no additional compression.

  13. pylon83 says:

    It’s not much for you, but I also doubt you’re the “Average” user.

  14. Buran says:

    @aaron8301: Good press.

  15. Trai_Dep says:

    “Comcast silences Hellen Keller, laughs maniacally. Poor Helen unaware of this since they cleverly cut her service off before the guffaws began.”

    Love it!

  16. powerjhb says:

    Your wrong here. If you have need for medical equipment that uses power (my daughter has a feeding pump and pulse-ox monitor at night) you can get assistance with your power bill whereby they keep you on lower tier rates for longer time.

  17. MickeyMoo says:

    @aaron8301: Not trying to be overly harsh here (my sympathies to your wife and mother and other disabled folks) But by your logic why should my tax dollars pay for curb cuts so wheelchair users have it easier? (and bikes, strollers, the mobility impaired) Why should handicapped people have special parking places (often meterless) Why? because it’s the right thing to do. It’s a case of the needs of the few outweighing the slight inconvenience of the many who have it way better off. It’s a sign of civilized society. I don’t think people will be running to jab a sharp pokey thing through their eardrums so they can get cheaper internet service.

    That said, there would seem to be far less bandwidth intensive ways of doing video than the VRS service @ 24 mbit/sec cited above. (I know nothing of VRS and I’m too lazy to Google it) Is it some kind of proprietary hardware that’s stuck with an outdated and inefficient codec? 3FPS on Yahoo chat won’t cut it to read sign in a small window i’m sure – but there must be some kind of alternative.

  18. powerjhb says:

    That speed might just be based on what the average download/upload speeds are for cable. I actually checked some websites and they say VRS requires 128 Kbps. The higher the upload speed and download speed, the better the quality of VRS. Also, remember since this is two way communication, upload speed and limits probably also come into effect.

  19. Mr. Gunn says:

    pylon83: This is the argument they’re wanting people to buy into, but it doesn’t hold up.

    First of all, the 1% the companies refer to so dismissively are the companies biggest fans. Yes, they’re using services to a greater degree than other people, but they’re also much more knowledgeable and enthusiastic about those services than other people. The companies should reach out to them and make them even more enthusiastic and make their use it worth it in terms of the goodwill they spread.

    Second of all, bandwidth usage is only going to grow. Video on demand is starting up, the wireless carriers are building faster and faster networks and offering more data-intensive services, and device manufacturers like Nokia are building more and more capable devices. My phone (Nokia N75 3G) can stream videos from Youtube and download podcasts. It has an ActiveSync client that syncs with my Exchange server and downloads attachments, a version of mobile Office, a PDF viewer and a mobile photoblogging application that automatically uploads pictures to Flickr. I could hit 5 GB in a week without even really trying all that hard, and the functionality for all this came pre-installed on the phone.

    I understand the desire to try to cut costs, but restricting the use of the very things you’re trying to promote (and crapping on the people most likely to promote them and show them off to their friends) just doesn’t make any kind of sense.

  20. cerbie says:

    I can blow through 1GB a day just by web browsing. Several forums I visit are nearly 1MB/page now, and just pricing a machine up at Newegg can eat a few hundred MBs. Some Myspace* main pages alone are dozens of MBs!

    5GB per month is nothing.

    If they want to keep us from using so much of available bandwidth, they need to add more Mbps. I never asked Newegg to move away from their old gray tables that loaded really fast. I never asked Microsoft to require hundreds of MB of patches on a new box. I…OK, Youtube is pretty damn cool.

    The problem is they want to punish heavy users, without offering a way out. Then, they typically keep the total secret, rather than cutting you down and offering you a higher-priced service. It’d be one thing if they had the $15-20 service be 5GB, the $50 be 40GB, and so on. But, that would mean actually serving customers based on their desired use of the services offered.

    They’re out of their minds. Nothing new.

    * may that site rot in the deepest depth of Hell