Journal article

While the meter is running: Computing in a capped world

Chetty M, Banks R, Brush A, Donner J, Grinter R ...see all

Interactions, vol. 18, issue 2 (2011) pp. 72-75

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Abstract

Some initial insights from the experiences studying how households in South Africa use metered Internet bandwidth are reported. It is found that with the rapid spread of Internet-enabled mobile devices and wireless modems for laptop data access, more users in these regions will be connecting to the Internet via a metered connection than we might have ever imagined. The study also investigated how households choose their plans and how these metered plans affect their patterns and norms of Internet use. Avoiding top-up options and having bandwidth last to the end of the month should be considered and this requires transparency about the bandwidth costs of various sites and actions. The study suggests that the human computer interface (HCI) community should consider the implications of metered bandwidth situations on matters of inclusion, usability, and usefulness.

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Authors

  • Marshini Chetty

  • Richard Banks

  • A J Bernheim Brush

  • Jonathan Donner

  • Rebecca E Grinter

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