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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 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.

"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke

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