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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 sorry dog on 3/14/2011 11:23:04 AM , Rating: 1
Get over it. These caps are actually quite reasonable. As long as they are adjusted over time for new content such as streaming HD video from Netflix or Hulu. You have to try awful hard to use 250GB of LEGAL downloading in a month. Shit I'm running bittorrent 24/7 and I don't use 250GB in a month.

That's the rub. They don't want to adjust for Netflix or Internet TV. They want it to be more expensive or just flat limit access, as the 2% today will be 5% and then 10% as bandwidth intensive services become more mainstream. Someone who gets 6 hours of HD content a day will be sitting on 9 gigs a day or 270 a month. Well no AT&T internet for that person unless they are willing to pay least enough to offset the lost revenue of pay per view, and subscription programming (and possibly pay for network upgrades although that's obviously debatable).

...And to be clear I do not care for AT&T one bit, but I think their approach is better than some as other providers are just flat cutting customers off if they go over X limit so many times. At least AT&T allows you to pay extra to maintain your higher usage connection.

But what all providers see is some users starting to go internet only at $20 to $50 instead of Cable and Internet for 80+ and they want to compensate for that.

Sorry folks but thats the near future of things.

"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein

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