Tech

Googles Phil Harrison isnt worried about ISP data caps for Stadia

One of the questions surrounding data-hungry streaming services like Project Stadia is how theyll manage with things like data caps, which some home internet services place strict limits on (similar to cellular data). But in an interview with GameSpot, Phil Harrison, vice president and general manager of Google, doesnt seem too concerned that itll be an issue.

“The ISPs have a strong history of staying ahead of consumer trend and if you look at the history of data caps in those small number of markets … the trend over time, when music streaming and download became popular, especially in the early days when it was not necessarily legitimate, data caps moved up,” explained Harrison. “Then with the evolution of TV and film streaming, data caps moved up, and we expect that will continue to be the case.”

Harrison would go on to note that “ISPs are smart [and] they understand that theyre in the business of keeping customers happy and keeping customers with them for a long time,” which seems like an overly optimistic view of both the relationship ISPs have with customers in the US and the state of the broadband industry in the US in general.

Given that many Americans dont have much (if any) choice in their internet service providers and are often forced to deal with whatever prices and plans theyre given, expecting service providers — who are the source of the self-imposed caps in the first place — simply to meet market demand without consumers being forced to pay extra seems idealistic, given the state of the market. But who knows? Perhaps the demand for streaming game services

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