Broadband Cap

What Does Broadband Cap Mean?

A broadband cap is an Internet data transmission cap imposed by an Internet Service Provider (ISP) over a specified period of time – usually a month. A broadband cap limits the transfer of data over the Internet connection and is applied whenever a channel shared by a number of users may be overloaded.


A broadband cap also may be called a bandwidth cap, broadband data cap or bit cap.

Techopedia Explains Broadband Cap

Although broadband caps are often so large that most users never come close to hitting them, services such as streaming video, file sharing and Internet radio often have the ability to easily push users over the limit. Those who use their broadband connections at high rates over long periods of time can impair the service of others. As a result, companies that enforce broadband caps have been accused of supporting the cable television channels that compete with streaming multimedia services, like Netflix, by restricting their customers’ unlimited access to streaming data. An alternative to broadband caps is usage-based billing, in which customers sign up for a particular tier of service and are charged more if they exceed certain limits.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.