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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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RE: WTH
By mcnabney on 3/14/2011 11:48:51 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, you missed the point.

AT&T is a defacto monopoly in many areas and only competes against a single cable provider in the rest. Only a few select areas of the nation have FiOS available as a third competitor. Because they are defacto monopoly they cannot arbitrarily change policy / pricing without local government approval. Unfortunately, our Federal government is bought and paid for so nothing will stop these monopolists from doing this.

The key option is to allow communities to errect and operate their own data networks - but apparently they can't stand up to the legal attacks from providers if anyone recalls that community in North Carolina that did just that when their providers wouldn't service them very well.

Sadly, we get the lousy and overpriced data network that we deserve.


RE: WTH
By someguy123 on 3/14/2011 12:39:37 PM , Rating: 2
Hence the word leverage.


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