AT&T is beginning trials for metered internet access in Reno, Nevada, where it plans to tighten the clamps on the “small minority” of customers who use a “disproportionately large amount” of its bandwidth capacity.
In a letter filed electronically with the FCC (PDF), AT&T attorney Jack Zimmerman says the company will provide customers in the trial with a written notice of their service limitations, along with another written warning when they reach the 80 percent mark. For customers that exceed their bandwidth allotment more than once – the size of which varies based on the service level, starting with a 20 GB limit for 768kbps customers and topping out at 150 GB for 6 mbps lines – they will find an additional charge of $1 per gigabyte on their monthly bill.
Customers unwilling to participate have the option of cancelling their service, and those that choose to do so will have their early termination fee waived.
AT&T says its trial “underscores [its] commitment to bring bigger, faster and smarter broadband networks to more and more communities at affordable rates.” According to DSLReports, the company has been hinting about a shift since last summer, if not earlier.
With more than 14.7 million subscribers, AT&T is the largest ISP in the United States. It joins Time Warner and Comcast, among others, in a seemingly growing list of companies experimenting with – or already implementing – bandwidth caps in order to curb what they consider to be “excessive” internet usage.
The U.S. ISPs’ seemingly gradual descent from the realm of unlimited bandwidth, a number of observers – including this writer – wonder if ISPs are placing themselves on a collision course with the next generation of internet applications, of which high-quality video is expected to feature prominently.
quote: Far as I know tho, it's illegal to cap your downloads/uploads here in Brazil
quote: Clinton passed laws that gave incentives to banks
quote: So hows it feel to throw a vote away ?
quote: 2) Any limit cannot be less than the limit of your package. Ex, a 6MB package at full speed for the entire billing period.
quote: For the 768Kbps connection, you'd have to max out your connection for 2.5 days to hit the cap.
quote: The cable companies and ISPs are screwing us because they can.
quote: Thank you again for choosing Comcast as your Internet provider.
quote: Thank you for using Comcast as your Internet provider, although we know that you likely don't have a decent choice to make.
quote: starting with a 20 GB limit for 768kbps customers and topping out at 150 GB for 6 mbps lines
quote: AT&T says its trial “underscores [its] commitment to bring bigger, faster and smarter broadband networks to more and more communities at affordable rates.”
quote: "I'm certainly concerned with the increasing cable prices that consumers are facing," [FCC Chairman Kevin] Martin said. "They are getting less and being charged the same or more."