How many minutes of Internet are you paying for each month?

If you pay for a 100Mbps cable connection to the Internet and your plan sets a 300GB data cap, you can use your connection at full speed for 8.3 hours per month before hitting overuse charges.

If your cell phone plan supports 50Mbps LTE speeds and has a 10GB data cap, you’re only allowed to use it at full speed for 33 minutes per month.

I think it’s deceptive for an ISP to advertise an Internet connection’s speeds without disclosing how much you can actually use it without being disconnected or racking up extra fees. I’ve written to my senators asking them to introduce legislation to protect customers from this misleading and predatory practice:

I believe that all Internet service providers should be required to disclose, as part of their advertising, how many minutes you may use their service at full speed without hitting data caps.

For instance, a cable company advertising “100 megabits!” but imposing a 300GB data cap only allows their users to download information for about 8 hours per month. A cell phone company that advertises fast 50 megabit LTE speed but has a 10GB data limit only gives their customers about 33 minutes per month of full speed usage.

I believe that simultaneously advertising fast Internet connections while only allowing customers to use it for a short amount of time each month is highly deceptive and should be illegal. Please introduce truth in advertising legislation requiring ISPs to disclose what portion of time customers on a typical plan would be allowed to use an Internet service being advertised.

I don’t reasonably expect anything to come of this, but I’m going to try anyway.

Airlines Restrict ‘Smart Luggage’ Over Fire Hazards Posed By Batteries

Airlines Restrict ‘Smart Luggage’ Over Fire Hazards Posed By Batteries : The Two-Way : NPR:

“Beginning Jan. 15, customers who travel with a smart bag must be able to remove the battery in case the bag has to be checked at any point in the customer’s journey. If the battery cannot be removed, the bag will not be allowed,” American said in a statement on Friday. The same day, Delta and Alaska announced similar policies on their flights.

American’s policy dictates that if the bag is carry-on size, passengers can take the luggage onboard, so long as the battery can be removed if needed. If passengers need to check the bag, the battery must be removed and carried onboard. But if the bag has a nonremovable battery, it can’t be checked or carried on.

An FAA spokesman told The Washington Post that the airlines’ policies are “consistent with our guidance that lithium-ion batteries should not be carried in the cargo hold.”

Last month I wrote: “Listening to an ad for luggage with a built in USB charger, which may be the worst idea ever. Now your suitcase can grow obsolete. What if it breaks? Or a bigger battery comes along? And you always have the weight penalty even when you don’t need it.” I think we can all agree now that this is a terrible idea for many reasons.