I'm thinking of canceling my home data connectivity and going with a 3G/4G wireless data connection from Sprint.

Here's the argument for it:

  • I'm not home very much. I work a lot (and there is plenty of internet there), and I spend about two thirds of my weekends away from home. This is something that I expect will become more--rather than less--intense as time goes on. It doesn't make sense to pay for a full Internet connection here that I barely use.
  • My bandwidth utilization is, I think, relatively low. I've turned on some monitoring tools, so I'll know a bit more later, but in general, most of my actual use of the data connection is in keeping an SSH connection with my server alive. I download email, refresh a few websites more obsessively than I'd like (but I'm getting better with that), and that's sort of it. I've also started running a reverse proxy because that makes some measure of sense.
  • I find it difficult to use the data package on my cellphone. The fact that I get notified of all important emails on my phone, has disincentivized me from actually attending to my email in a useful way, and other than the occasional use of googlemaps (and I really should get an actual GPS to replace that...) If I get the right Wireless modem, however, it would be quasi-feasible to pipe my phone through the wireless Internet connection, so this might be a useful clarification.

The arguments against it are typical:

  • The technology isn't terribly mature, or particularly well deployed.
  • Metered bandwidth is undesirable.
  • Sprint sucks, or has in my experience, and the other providers are worse.

The questions that remain in my mind are:

  • How well do these services work in moving vehicles? Cars? Trains?
  • How much bandwidth do I actually use?
  • Is this practical?

Feedback is, as always, very much welcomed here. I'm not in a huge rush to act, but I think it makes sense to feel things out. It also, I think posses an interesting question about how I (and we) use the Internet. Is the minimalist thing I do more idealistic than actual? I know that we have a pretty hard time conceptualizing how big a gigabyte of data actually is in practical usage. Further research is, clearly, indicated.

Edit: This plan would have to rely on the fact that I might be spending a large amount of time in a city with unmetered 4G access with sprint. I've used a gig and a half of transfer to my laptop's wireless interface in 5 days. I think that would coincide with when I would be doing the heaviest traffic anyway. I wonder how unlimited the unlimited is...