Citation is my experience, and yes, YMMV, but back when I lived up north my options for internet was Comcast and Charter. Both offered similar service, and when I found Comcast throttling my speeds down to
I later moved to the south. When looking at internet options, the choice was Charter and AT&T, and T's speeds sucked. So I'd figure I'd give them a try again. After a month or so I found I was getting billed overages for a datacap. I checked AT&T and found they had a lower cap... Now I know cell phone companies charge for a datacap and it's staggered with your bill. The reason is a lack of spectrum so they throttle people by use of a datacap... But a land-line? I started searching around and I found that they had the datacap in place for years, and the reason why I wasn't getting charged was because Charter doesn't have a datacap... AT&T does. So both companies have a cap, and the only reason why they charge is because the other guy is. Once the competitor drops the datacap, the other will as well.
And why is there a datacap? Well as I mentioned, With cell companies, they have an issue that if they let everybody loose, service will suffer, but that is not the case with Comcast... Their cap resets on the 1st of the month. For everybody. So everybody can download with out issue for the first few days of the month. If there was an issue with bandwidth, they would stagger everybody's date so that some people's reset time would be the middle of the month, and others at the end. The reason they have the cap is.... Netflix. Netflix at it's best quality chews up data like crazy and Comcast (who makes money with video), is losing customer share... Their Pay-Per-View income has dropped like a rock. Right now we are getting Google Fiber soon, and already both competitors are trying to sell gigabit service, and from what I can tell from others in Fiber markets, Comcast/ATT won't enforce the datacap...
As for having 5 different cables running to my house... Why? I have one cable to the pole. Now 5 cable companies can have lines down the pole. 5 Telcoms can have phone line going down the pole. When I get my connection hooked up, they can swap the line on the pole to the right feed.