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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 Breakfast Susej on 3/14/2011 12:12:42 PM , Rating: 2
I've read the back and forth on this between Gzus666 and those with an opposing point of view, which has degenerated to a very childlike level of pissing match in both directions and here is the disconnect as I see it.

Both parties are right in their own respect.

Gzus666 is entirely correct in stating that no network is designed nor can be designed to let each individual user go full blast 24/7 on their connection at the same time. It simply is not financially possible.

Does this change the fact that big companies like AT&T are greedy corporate entities? No, they definitely are, and sure, they could even be more efficient at the ratio of what they offer the customer as opposed to their profit margin.

However... Lets assume that they managed to take in just enough profit to survive as a company. Lets assume they were the most altruistic and wonderful group of human beings on the planet and that the executives didn't take huge bonuses, that they barely scraped by as a company and every employee was on a modest salary that everyone here approved of...

The end result would be that they still would not be able to offer the kind of network that allows you to go full blast 24/7 and download a terabyte of crap every month. They could give you more yes, but they could never satisfy what you feel you are entitled too. There-in lies the problem, the disconnect.

As far as the argument from an advertising standpoint goes, If these companies want customers they have to tell them things they want to hear. That's advertising. When I read advertisements I always read them with a grain of salt. I do this because I also write advertisements. Flat Outright lying advertisement I will agree is bad, but in honesty you will find very very little of actual bald face lying in advertisement. It's a game of stretching the truth to put you in the best light, and why do you do it? Because the competition does, and if you don't compete, you go out of business.

"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home

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