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Posted: 1:28 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011

Virgin Mobile puts cap on unlimited data card for high-speed Internet

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There was a deal that came out last year that was by far the best deal on high-speed Internet for people who travel. I have a brother named Gary who is a lawyer and does depositions, hearings and all the rest in a number of places across the country. Having Internet access is key to what he does.

Yet portable access came at very high cost to him…until last year when Virgin Mobile started offering its Broadband2Go, an unlimited data plan starting at $40/month. (If you know the market, that price is a real deal!) With Broadband2Go, you can either get one USB device dedicated to a single computer or a mobile hot spot that lets you run multiple devices.

It turned out too many people like Gary got these things and started eating up huge amounts of data for their business activities. According to PC Magazine, that's prompted Virgin Mobile to now impose a data cap, just like the big guys do, but with a twist.

Now you will be able to use up to 5 gigabytes of data before Virgin Mobile starts degrading your connection until the next billing cycle starts. A 5-gig cap effectively means you'll be able to web surf and e-mail all you want with no problem. But if you watch a lot of video or do a lot of Skype calling, well, that's going to be a problem. Once you're degraded, then all you can do is surf and e-mail.

Virgin Mobile essentially took a page from the playbook of T-Mobile on this one. Still, I think it's better than being hit by with massive overages like you would with AT&T, Verizon and Sprint.

So, for now, you'll have to be dull like me and just your Broadband2Go for simple web surfing and e-mailing. I hate that the cap is going to be there, but this is still a good way to control the expense and know that you'll have high-speed Internet access (followed by poky access) that only costs $40 each month.

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