The Xbox One authorization file is “kilobytes,” you can authorize your games by tethering your phone
Microsoft's Phil Spencer discussed a few advantages that come with having a fully connected gaming console, including games like Titanfall that do such a good job of mixing single- and multiplayer design and gameplay. Like Microsoft's materials state, everyone who has an Xbox One has a broadband connection, or at least that's the assumption. If you don't have a good online connection, you're not the target market.
This is a fairly radical thing for a company aiming for a wide audience to try; as many Americans without solid internet connections will be excluded. Or at least until we improve the online infrastructure in the United States. Still, they're planning for the internet to go out from time to time, hence the 24-hour time period you can play between checking in with Microsoft.
“We know the internet is not infallible, that’s why we put a system in place that if you lose your connection for a period of time, your offline games will continue to work,” Spencer said. “We have no way of simulating online multiplayer without a connection, but the games that are offline will continue to work, because we understand that there can be faults, but really the box is built as a digitally native, connected device.”
No internet, no go. But that check in process only takes a tiny amount of data, so if things go bad you can always re-authorize your games with… your phone? I asked about the size of the files needed to keep the console working.
“I’ve been asked this a number of times, so we should probably get some clarity out there. You should think about this on the order of kilobytes and not megabytes, in terms of the update check,” Spencer said. “In fact you can do it on your phone, you can tether your phone to the box if you’re just going to update. You’re probably not going to play multiplayer Titanfall through your phone, or stream a Netflix movie through your phone, but if you think about the update cycle, and to make sure the content you have is available to you, that update is a kilobyte-type transaction, very small.”
So it sounds like you don't have to worry about the daily update hurting your data cap, and the process will take only a short time even on slow devices. This is a problem, and solution, that's pretty futuristic. If your next-gen console doesn't work because your internet is down, use your pocket computer's connection.
Or, you know, Microsoft could remove the check, or do it weekly. Or monthly. Or not at all. Just throwing out a simpler solution.