How to beat data caps

Data caps suck, especially if you work from home. That’s why I dedicated some time to finding a way to get fast internet, without the caps. I recently moved from Seattle to Boise. I left Seattle just as Xfinity was beginning to monitor data caps. There was a limit of 1TB on my 250Mbs down 30Mbs up plan which I quickly reached in 3 weeks on the first month. With a family of 5 all streaming from Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon combined with my own work bandwidth it wasn’t tough. Just think how quickly you”d burn through a terabyte if you needed to reinstall some games? Battlefront is like 60GB now. Unfortunately the internet in Boise is CableONE and CableONE (CO) only. (Yes there is CenturyLink, but come on, “up to” 20Mbs). CO has even more restrictive caps. Their plans range from 300-700GB. They have a 1Gbs/50Mbs plan with a 1.1TB cap. 1Gbs would be awesome but I would eat that cap up in less than a week with that much bandwidth. So what to do?

Get a tax ID, that’s what to do. It takes about 5 minutes to signup online to get your own EIN. https://sa.www4.irs.gov/modiein/individual/index.jsp Once you have the EIN you can get a business plan from CableONE. CO biz plans have no data caps, guaranteed bandwidth with a SLA, less restrictions on ports and traffic, dedicated reps, better customer service. For me, an EIN made sense since I am working from home and was a consultant in the past and may one day be a consultant in the future. But even if you don’t work from home, and won’t even be self employed or run your own business, it takes 5 minutes and it’s free. I registered as a sole proprietor under my own name, I use my own name as the business name with CO.

There is a catch though, the business plans are actually a bit slower and pricier compared to the residential. I have a 100Mbs/10Mbs plan that runs $130/mo. Their plans range from about $75/mo for a 50/5 to over $400 for 1Gbs with different speeds in between. $130/mo is a lot, but I couldn’t bring myself to go back below 100Mbs down. Especially after coming from 250Mbs which was normally 300Mbs. The much slower upload sucks a lot, I am pining over a true gigabit connection but I’ll just have to wait.

If you want to beat data caps it’s easy.

  1. Get an EIN from the IRS.
    https://sa.www4.irs.gov/modiein/individual/index.jsp
  2. Sign up for a business account with your ISP.

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