Print 110 comment(s) - last by JPForums.. on Mar 24 at 10:44 AM

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 theArchMichael on 3/13/2011 11:15:18 PM , Rating: 3
I think your estimates of affordability are overstated. But, be that as it may, Americans pay some of the highest premiums for only moderate service in comparison to other developed nations and also the service isn't sold to us as 'the first x number of GBs', it is sold as unlimited internet.

I think what raises people's ire is that these very powerful very profitable companies that have no real competition in many markets are cherry picking their customers through deceptive practices. They often engage in tactics that are akin to the hostess at an all you can eat turning people away at the the "all you can eat buffet"...

By Wendell on 3/13/2011 11:28:57 PM , Rating: 2
To be fair, I have seen people turned away from all you can eat buffets...after the 5th, 6th, 7th time back...

Fair or not, I don't think it is necessarily right to expect a company to "eat" a loss on some people simply because they are making profit on others.

By Alexstarfire on 3/14/2011 1:56:41 AM , Rating: 4
That's exactly the point of that type of business model. The fact that they are trying to make it a traditional fast food place, like Taco Bell, but still having the buffet prices, and advertising as such, is ridiculous. If you don't want people having/expecting unlimited internet then don't advertise as such. It's such a fucking simple solution yet they don't want to do it. I think caps are stupid as is since bandwidth isn't it terms of GB, it's GBps. If you think of it like the car analogy that someone else mentioned all you have to do is look at rush hour. Doesn't matter if the roads can support most of the cars most of the time. You get too many people out there at once and shit comes to a halt. No amount of data caps can prevent such things from occurring. The only way to relieve it is to build more. The idea that they think they can prevent it from happening is in itself ridiculous.

By KOOLTIME on 3/16/2011 5:16:33 PM , Rating: 2
but then they should not sell something as being unlimited in style and ask for monthly payments, and expect nobody to fully utilize said service ???

So for an unlimited data, which paid for every month, yet some how thats wrong because if someone takes full potential of a service they were sold and pay for ??

Scamming consumers is wrong, if you sell it unlimited be prepared to back that up to being utilized by every customer at is full peak or dont sell something as such when its not a true service to begin with, thats fraudulent.

If every single person went online and decided to fully download data all day long, they have every right to do so, they pay for exactly that service, only the speed up/down is stipulated in their contract.

They should stipulate their is a limit then their would have been no issue, but selling such a item, then bitching about limits later is not a user fault at all, they sold them the line with such conditions attached. So if a person fully uses something they pay for and were sold, they are some how a bad person ???

We get cell phones are sold with monthly minute limits, nobody has issue paying a fee when the know their contract and they go over that limit.

But in this case the contract being sold to hundreds of millions if not billions of users all over the world that stipulation does not exist currently. So someone using bandwidth more then another when the service never implied their is a data cap limit only and up/down speed limit, the ISP is at fault.

Now being sold a plan with a data cap up front sure, everyone understands that, but the issue is they were not sold such type of plan for their home internet use. So the ISP is changing its terms of contract, regardless of the payers agreement to contractual changes thats the real issue here.

By JPForums on 3/24/2011 9:44:26 AM , Rating: 2
The issue is this isn't like an all you can eat buffet. The data being consumed isn't produced by AT&T, Comcast, ect. All they are doing is facilitating its consumption. To stick with a food example, though still not good, it would be more like setting up a table with plates and flatware, letting you get your own food, and then telling you you can only eat X amount.

By Gzus666 on 3/13/2011 11:29:25 PM , Rating: 5
I think your estimates of affordability are overstated.

Lucky for me I don't have to estimate, I have worked for AT&T, I have worked on many business networks. I know plenty of people who work for carriers and I am starting with a carrier to help deploy a ground up MPLS network. I have priced out equipment from the lowly to the carrier grade, I know what it costs. I have priced out fiber runs and cable runs, I know what they cost.

I have had to make tough decisions on how to properly use bandwidth when the customers can't buy more. I have had to play queuing and shaping games to make bandwidth go further. I have spent weeks working with carriers to stretch a little bandwidth further when a customer was having hard peaks but averages were low. The dumb answer was always "just buy more bandwidth", but it doesn't work that way in the real world.

I am not sticking up for AT&T, they are a terrible company with horrid customer service, but you can thank the government for the monopolies as they sponsored them. AT&T is just doing what anyone would do with that sort of leverage, using it to their advantage. If they don't make more money, the stock holders will just fire the CEO and assign someone who will.

The real fix is competition. AT&T should have made a better decision than imposing hard limits with charges for going over, but they had to do something and they aren't going to rerun thousands of miles of cable, especially since it takes a literal act of congress for anyone to run them.

Lastly, if they put it in the contract and you sign up for the service, they aren't screwing you, they are merely giving you what you signed for.

By T2k on 3/14/11, Rating: 0
By FITCamaro on 3/14/2011 8:45:40 AM , Rating: 5
Don't you have some pot you need to go smoke?

By Misty Dingos on 3/14/2011 10:29:32 AM , Rating: 3
Dude do not drive or post angry. It is only Monday and you still have the whole week to get through.

By shortylickens on 3/17/2011 7:57:49 PM , Rating: 2
Would you like a hug?

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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