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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 Gzus666 on 3/13/2011 11:45:18 PM , Rating: 4
I can talk on my cell phone 24/7 and Sprint can definitely handle it.

Until you have multiple people on the same tower doing it, then the tower gets overloaded and someone drops.

I use my electricity 24/7 and StarTex can definitely handle it.

Until everyone near you does it and the power company can't keep up or the grid fails and you have a blackout. But hey, it is fine as long as you get what you want, right?

You have no right to expect to take down a network cause you want to download everything. You aren't breaking 250GB caps doing web streaming and downloading files fast. It is done by downloading tons of files non stop every day. You take up bandwidth for an entire neighborhood. It isn't as easy as just throwing money at something, if you had any concept of how carrier networks worked, you would get this.

If you think AT&T will be the last to do this, you are wrong. They will all do this soon as they try to get rid of the bandwidth hogs. We all pay for the greed of a few, same as every other thing in history.

By bigboxes on 3/13/2011 11:56:49 PM , Rating: 3
Hey Mr. Network genius, you do realize how easy it is to surpass 250gb of monthly traffic downloading files you legally purchased, streaming Netflix movies and video conferencing your pals (as is done in the AT&T commercials -- all for one low monthly price)? Hmmmmm?

The problem with these companies is that they are encouraging folks to use their technology is just the way that they are now trying to discourage. Of course I don't believe that in the least. It's just an attempt to get more cash and still provide the same product. All the while they aren't upgrading their network. Yeah, yeah... their poor pipeline can't sustain the kind of traffic that they advertise. Boo hoo. Hand me my box of kleenex. Poor ol' AT&T. They just need the $$ so that they can improve those pipes that carry the internets. LOL

By someguy123 on 3/14/2011 2:01:21 AM , Rating: 1
Well, yeah, their pipes can't sustain it. That's why they're not going to advertise that they can once this cap is in effect.

If you don't like it, leave their service. Maybe if enough people do they'll remove the cap. Otherwise you'll probably need a lot more kleenex if you think crying about it is going to help.

By Camikazi on 3/14/2011 8:45:27 AM , Rating: 4
If you don't like it, leave their service. Maybe if enough people do they'll remove the cap.

NOT EVERYONE HAS A CHOICE, a lot of people seem to forget that ISPs are usually monopolies and have no competition, there usually is NO choice, either internet with them or nothing.

By JediJeb on 3/14/2011 12:03:04 AM , Rating: 2
Just be glad we have what we have here. I chat with a friend in Russia and every so often they are disconnected. I asked once what happens, and they said in Russia you pay by the MB not speed. So like a pay phone, once you hit the limit you are cut off until you pay for more. It would really stink here to be in the middle of watching your movie or downloading a song and be cut off until you pay for more.

By Samus on 3/14/2011 1:14:51 AM , Rating: 2
Japan "had" a world-defining internet backbone with access for a fraction of the price we pay in the United States...but obviously that won't be a fair comparison for some time.

By Jeffk464 on 3/14/2011 11:38:42 AM , Rating: 2
I know I wish people would stop saying the US is the best and than compare us to countries like Congo or Crapistan. Please compare us to comparable countries like Germany, France, Canada, etc.

By TSS on 3/14/2011 9:19:36 AM , Rating: 2
We all pay for the greed of a few, same as every other thing in history.

Not in this case. Belive me i'm a proponent of the fact we pay for alot of greed in this world but in this instance, you pay because of poor govermental judgement.

I live in holland. Here, government not only stimulated the expansion of the physical network, but at a point forced the dominant carriers to open up their network to more competition. Eventually every small company got bought up and merged again, but the above worked long enough to get the competition mindset going (first between carriers then between technologies).

The result? There's no data caps here across the board, and never have been. And thanks to competition, the investment in new ADSL like technologies has promoted the cable companies to use new technology themselves. Currently, there's only 1 cable company left, i subscribe with them.

For $100 a month, i get a package of digital TV, telephone (voip, works great tho) and internet. TV consists of 30 digital and 60 analog channels, and i got the additional HDTV package, 6 euro's for bout 10 channels in 1080i quality (HDTV got off slow here but later this year their expanding the selection for the same amount i pay now). The phone costs are very small and a nice extra.

And internet, get this, no data limit, unlimited 30 day acess to the ISP's own newsservers (4mb/s cap on downloadspeed due to connection cap though). a 120 Mbit download speed, and i checked this, that's a theoretical limit of 15mb/s and i can get 14,6 mb/s stable, if the other side can upload it. uploadwise i've got 10mbit, though i've noticed this is still a little clunky (this new tech is just beeing rolled out) so i've only seen around 750kb/s of the 1.25mb/s it can do. But also, unlimited. I'm also allowed to run a server, as are just about all connections here.

This is the current cable awnser to 50mb/s VDSL2 and fibre connections. I'd expect those to increase in a while in response to this new cable tech.

Really i can rip on government all day for the poor decisions they make every day but for my country, this definitly wasn't one of them. For yours, they couldn't possibly have made it worse then they did, other then banning it outright. The technology to handle it is already here. The japansese have frickin announced they wanna get 10gbps to every home, because 1gbs isn't enough!

It's not that 1 out of 20 people uses too much. It's that 19/20 people like getting F'ed in the A.

PS, i laugh at your 250gb cap. If i dowload not 24/7 but just 24 hours i can rake in 1200gb. If that's an option there's no way your going to have anybody downloading 24/7. that harddrive capacity doesn't exist, or is far too expensive for consumers.

"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard

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