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Real-life MMD: Should gamers pay for faster broadband?

Former_MSE_Debs Posts: 890 Forumite
edited 21 January 2014 at 1:11PM in MoneySaving polls
Money Moral Dilemma: Should gamers pay for faster broadband?

I live in a student house with five others, three of whom spend a lot of time gaming. We already have an expensive broadband package, but the internet still runs slowly, so the gamers have suggested we get an even more costly package. I'd welcome faster internet, but I resent having to pay more because they're using up most of the bandwidth. I'd like to suggest they pay the difference, but I worry we'll all end up arguing. Should I keep quiet and pay up or is there an alternative?

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  • bylromarha
    bylromarha Posts: 10,085 Forumite
    I've been Money Tipped!
    I'd never have though my 1997 problem of a housemate who was always cold and continually turned the heating up for us all to pay would translate to a broadband problem in 2014. We were loving Netscape in 1997 and emailing friends in other unis as they were the only other people we knew with email addresses.

    I'd tell them that you're paying £5pm to the internet. You're not willing to pay more. If they want to up the connection, that's fine with you, but they'll need to split the extra cost between the 3 gamers. You won't be paying more than £5pm...assuming you weren't the one who set the bill up and aren't the one named on the account ;)
    Who made hogs and dogs and frogs?
  • mgush5
    If you personally are able to cope with the speed you are getting (use speedtest.net to check what you are getting) then don't pay more, so long as youtube/ streaming at non HD quality isn't too badly affected you shouldn't have a problem. Speak to your internet provider as you may be wired up wrong at the hub, Virgin did this to me and as it kept dropping out I complained and got discounts to the bill, in the end they moved me and the speed improved too...
    If the gamers are suffering lag then they are using too much of the bandwith and therefore are the ones causing the problem so should be the ones to chip in more, I think the appropriate phrasing here would be "Proportional representation" if they're not happy but you are let them pay for the increase.

    Real world comparism 5 people in the house have sky all 5 watch the regular channels and the 3 guys want the sports package but the 2 girls won't ever watch them so why should they pay for something that they won't use.

    The gamers should split the difference between them if they want a quicker connection, and if you or others become gamers, change the way you split the difference.
  • Ashen
    Ashen Posts: 593 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    edited 21 January 2014 at 11:08PM
    Actually, gamers won't typically be using most of the bandwidth, except for on those occasions they download things - internet gaming relies on fast response times, which is best served by making efficient use of bandwidth. In fact, use of the internet from the non-gamers probably disrupts the gamers' internet experience more than their use disrupts yours.

    In essence, just because their usage pattern is different from yours doesn't actually mean theirs is more 'demanding'. In terms of a solution, if you have an ADSL package, you are particularly limited in upload capacity, and fibre would address this.

    There may be people that are using the internet heavily all the time, and affecting the speed, but that is likely to have nothing to do with internet gaming itself, and if you don't have much technical knowledge, it'd be hard to figure out who.
  • 19lottie82
    19lottie82 Posts: 6,027 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Surely if there's six of you in the house you'd want the fastest anyway, as if there were a load of internet base devices on the go at once, it would really suck up your bandwidth? So surely you would benefit?

    But apart from that, how much is the difference per person? A couple of quid a month? For the sake of house share harmony, just pay it!
  • benedictadams
    I am another for saying no to the even more expensive BB

    Its one of those where a bit more information would be helpful as in what it works out as each person and what the new package would cost

    and how do the other non-gamers feel about forking out more money?

    and how long have you and they got left at the shared house (as would an internet company give you a different package if you will all be gone in June this year?)

    My assumption would be it would only be the gamers who would be willing to pay the extra and then thats three for the extra and three against. I bet if you are the other two non-gamers said no then it wouldn't be mentioned again, but then that leaves the issue of slow internet
    Debt of £6300 cleared in 5 years, now ZERO
  • iclayt
    iclayt Posts: 454 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    You've said you'd welcome faster internet. I can't imagine upgrading would be that much extra a month between six of you, and you would benefit from it. 50% of the household have suggested an upgrade, not just one person.

    In a shared house there is always the one who turns the heating up, the one who spends half an hour in the shower, the one who uses the washing machine twice as often as everyone else with half loads, the one who uses all the toilet roll... It balances out. Household harmony is well worth a few extra quid a month.
  • Mankysteve
    Mankysteve Posts: 4,257 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    As had already been stated its not the gamers using up the bandwidth gamers only use a small amount of bandwidth, its all about latancy with gamers hence why they like fast bb its not for their amount its thee speed.

    The thing kill bandwidth are download's ie mp3/movie(legal or illegal)/large files then there video streaming such as you tube iPlayer et all.
  • scoobydoobydoo
    If I eat 1/5 of the food then I will pay 1/5 of the cost.

    But if 3 hungry !!!!!!s want to spend more then they can pay more. I will pay the same amount I always did as I am not eating more.
  • mr-tom_2
    mr-tom_2 Posts: 131 Forumite
    In fairness, gamers (confession: I am one...) don't really need fast broadband. What they do need is good ping (server response time).

    My broadband speed is pathetic, powered by clockwork and donkeys, but unless I'm running lots of other stuff at the same time, gaming is fine.

    That said, there are three of them using it simultaneously, and potentially you too, albeit for different uses...

    You say that you would also enjoy the benefits of the speed increase, which makes me inclined to suggest you just stump up your share, especially as a quarter of the increased cost is cheap compared to a dispute.

    on the other hand, I don't know how tight money is for you, and frankly you ought to be able to raise the topic of them paying as they're the majority users - that's just an adult discussion which you should be able to have without having a fight.

    Summary, it looks like you DO care about the money, so by all means do ask them to pay, just:
    -be careful and sensitive about how you go about this
    -don't be taken aback when they agree and then expect you to pay a disproportionately high amount for water and electricity as you use the washing machine more or something like that! :P
  • pennypinchUK
    pennypinchUK Posts: 383 Forumite
    edited 22 January 2014 at 8:04AM
    Ask yourself. Do you use less toilet paper than others? Do you use less electricity in your room than others? Do you use a fraction less of the shared milk in a cup of tea than others? Where does it stop?

    You live in a shared house, and that means shared costs, some of which you'll benefit more than others, and some of which you'll benefit less than others.

    I'm sure your house mates, if they wanted to, could find items that you use more than others. Do you really want to open that can of worms? Is it really worth the risk of causing a rift? Surely not. So don't sweat the small stuff, go with the flow, and look forward to the day when you have your own place.
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