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The end is near for all-you-can-eat broadband plans

If you are an AT&T DSL or U-Verse customer and just so happen to be an extreme data hog, your reign of terror will soon be over. DSL Reports is indicating that AT&T plans to implement new data caps on customers starting May 2 (notices will be sent to customers between March 18 and March 31).

The data caps will be set at 150GB for DSL customers and 250GB for U-Verse customers. As somewhat of a token gesture to customers, the bandwidth limit can be exceeded twice over the life of your account without ill effect. However, overage fees will be put in place upon the third time that your monthly data allotment is exceeded. 

Overage fees will be $10 for every 50GB that you go over the limit. However, AT&T will send notices to customers at the 65, 90, and 100 percent data cap thresholds, so there should be no excuse for customers to not know when they are approaching their monthly limits.

AT&T already imposes data limits on its wireless plans, so this move to landline data connections should come as no surprise. Like its wireless data caps, AT&T cites a small minority of customers that hog a disproportionate amount of bandwidth.

"The top 2 percent of residential subscribers uses about 20 percent of the bandwidth on our network," said AT&T in a statement to Engadget. "Just one of these high-traffic users can utilize the same amount of data capacity as 19 typical households."

If you're used to an all-you-can-eat buffet when it comes to online video streaming services like Netflix or Hulu, it looks as though those days are slowly coming to an end.

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By Jeffk464 on 3/13/2011 9:45:37 PM , Rating: 5
You forgot C

C) they provide cable tv service and don't want you to dump their cable service and get your TV over the internet.

By mcnabney on 3/14/2011 11:36:05 AM , Rating: 5
This is absolutely correct.

The solution to this problem is to apply the utility model to data access. That means they meter the line, but it also means they can only charge their cost to purchase that access - which is typically three cents, or less, per GB.

All of these overage costs are far in excess of their actual costs of servicing the high-use accounts. They are meant to be punitive to stifle demand for services that they compete against.

Also, AT&T complaining about the top 2% using 20% of the product is actually a typical consumption model for probably every product known to mankind. I am sure AT&T hasn't thought through the idea that trying to meter like a utility also means that they will have to negotiate with EVERY local governing body that they have customers in to set a local price.

By kitonne on 3/16/2011 6:33:56 PM , Rating: 2
C) is MY PLAN :) I did not get any UVerse TV or VOIP services, as I am using third party VoIP, and watching only Netflix and a couple of free TV over IP, so this cap hits me directly.... Even if they let me out of my contract, I have no place to go - Comcast is worst, with the same 250GB cap :(

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