Yeah, 250Gb is a lot.
But despite all the handwringing about the transmission of copyrighted materials over BitTorrent and other forms of filesharing, the fact is that these days it’s actually not difficult to bust that sort of cap with perfectly legal downloading. This is especially true if you have a reasonably fast connection.
Take Netflix, for example. Members can stream movies straight from the Netflix website to their computer, and for fast connections the stream rate is over 2 megabits per second. This works out at somewhere around 1Gb per hour, or about 2Gb for a 2-hour movie. Now, it’s probably unlikely that most people are going to spend 250 hours a month watching movies on their computer, but it’s not beyond the realms of possibility.
And this is only one of dozens of ways that you can rack up your bandwidth, including streaming music, online gaming, and downloading large files from websites like the Library of Congress American Memory site.
Not only that, but the spread of high-speed connections has led to website inflation, with many, many sites these days have bloated homepages with bandwidth-hogging flash animations and similar eye candy. While browsing these pages probably isn’t going to get you anywhere near 250Gb, when considered alongside all the high-bandwidth media uses available, it can quickly add up.