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Most Still Have no Idea What a Gigabyte is
Which Makes Billing Them for Usage Increasingly Confusing
by Karl Bode 08:39AM Thursday May 31 2012
A few years back a study that found about 86% of the public didn't know what a gigabyte even was -- a serious problem given the relentless push by both wireless and wireline ISPs to bill by the byte. The New York Times (via Techdirt) recently asked a smattering of people to define a megabyte, and similarly ran into a wall of cluelessness -- with even those understanding it was a measure of bandwidth measurement not really capable of understanding the unit. The Times correctly notes that things are about to get more confusing, as carriers like AT&T and Verizon implement belated pooled family data plans:
And soon your personal data plan may not be the only one you will have to worry about. Verizon and AT&T have said they are working on data plans that can be shared among multiple devices, similar to family plans for cellphones. That means parents will not only have to keep an eye on the number of text messages and phone calls their children are burning through, but also the amount of video, music and games they are streaming over the cellular network.
What the Times fails to note is that in addition to customer confusion about usage caps and overages, ISPs nationwide (particularly on the landline side) have struggled to measure usage accurately -- and there’s not a regulator in North America doing anything about it.

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Blame the Consumer

It's not the responsibility of the carrier to make sure the customer knows what a Gigabyte is. It is the responsibility of the customer.

I get so tired of the "woe is me" attitude people have anymore. The carrier is not there to hold your hand. They are there to provide you a service under specific conditions. Conditions which are clearly spelled out in the contract which you must sign to get those services. If you don't understand the conditions then it is your responsibility to figure it out.

"I don't know what a gigabyte is and I went way over my allotment by watching midget bestiality porn on my iCrap. Boohoo." Tough shit, maybe you should have read the contract before you signed.