Can't speak for the American ISP's but the Canadian ISP's, especially the handheld services, became evil empires ages ago. Welcome to the gulag Igor. Be prepared to sell the soul of your first born to the faceless dark ones.
(goes back to handing out his cry freedom pamphlets)
Deep breaths, deep breaths.
I hear you on the lack of transparency. It doesn't surprise me, since it's almost always stuff that would make them look bad worse if they owned up to it. I love how, for instance, AT&T denies vehemently that it throttles YouTube, and yet when I fire up the VPN to my university when YouTube is being ridiculously slow, often times the bottleneck miraculously clears up. This isn't always the case (sometimes it's just slow on YouTube's end), but it has been the case enough times that it being a coincidence is unlikely. AT&T's forums are populated by a few volunteers (don't know if they're paid or not; could just be some jerks who like rattling frustrated people's chains) who basically repeat the party line over and over again whenever the subject comes up.
I also love how, while all AT&T customers have had a bandwidth cap since sometime in 2012, they don't actually give you a way of monitoring your usage. They claim to have such a service, but the link just redirects to the hub page for the section. Supposedly, they don't actually enforce the cap on U-Verse customers, but I don't think anybody can actually access this usage monitoring service. They seem to be hoping you'll go over and not know it so you get slammed for the extra fee (I seem to recall it's something like $10 per every extra 50 GB).
One of the more anger-inducing things I've read in a long time. The US health care system is in such a crappy state. I took this Hospital Pharmacy elective this semester, and we were discussing how an acetaminophen tablet that costs 20c at your local drug store can cost you $20 (per tablet!) in a hospital. It's a truly depressing scenario.
Billybob, don't worry, it's just the NSA having a peek in your systems for terrorists. That's where the bandwidth is going. After they have cleared your company and saved your lives by not finding anything, you'll get your bandwidth back -- if your ISPs are feeling nice and gentle, that is.
I'm sure our ISPs over here aren't saints exactly, but they're at least somewhat better. A few years ago our ISPs were competing by creating ads telling us how long it would take to download DVD movies (yeah, "legal" ones). Our ISPs are always telling us about our rights as customers, and furthermore, some of them clear their logs every night to protect their customers from the big bad wolf (the bureau of anti-piracy). It's a long and complicated story, but basically, this is the gist: the bureau of anti-piracy has gotten (through hollywood paid lawyers) way too much power over here, and the ISPs over here are very much against it. In fact so much that they have formed some sort of group working against these anti-piracy people.
I think it's easier over here. None of the ISPs own the fiber infrastructure here, so while they are theoretically free to cap our traffic, we're free to change ISP to any other of the ISPs in this town that offers internet through our fiber network. It would be the death of an ISP company to cap traffic at this point in time.
They're definitely not saints, but they're better. Privacy is important here in scandinavia.
Billybob, I'll look it up, thanks. I've been following Cory Doctorow for a while, because of his quotes and talks about DRM. He's got some sane opinions on said matter.
By the way, I tested my speed at work:
I think we're supposed to have 1 GBit. Considering it was about 10:20 AM here when I tested and people are sitting and doing work, I can't really make anything out of those numbers. BTW, I pay about $45 for 100/10 at home. 100/100 was $10 more a month and 1000/1000 was about double the price. I can't find reasons for having more than 10 MBit up, so I'm satisfied with what we chose.
I think that's exactly what we pay for 12/3. Broadband really sucks around here. If I ever get a smartphone, I'll almost certainly have a faster connection on my data plan. However, if a 250 GB/mo cap on broadband sounds bad (I would venture to say that very few, if any, months have we ever broken that), with cellular providers, welcome to a world where 2 GB/mo sounds reasonable.