AT&T Returns to the 20th Century: Imposes Caps and Overages on Broadband Customers


The war over users? usage habits and bandwidth usage never ends. Now, U.S. telecom giant AT&T is expected to impose bandwidth caps on both DSL and U-verse customers. DSL customers can expect a 150GB cap while Uverse customers can expect a 250GB cap. The cap will involve overage charges that customers will be expected to pay on top of their existing monthly fees. Supposedly, only users that exceed the cap consistently are going to have to deal with the charges.

The scheme is supposed to work in a way that punishes heavy bandwidth users. This is accomplished by making those that go over the bandwidth cap over the life of the account pay the overages. Overages are expected to be $10 for every 50GB over the cap that AT&T imposes. AT&T claims that their average DSL user only uses 18GB of data per month and that these new overages will only affect 2% of all DSL customers. AT&T claims that they will notify customers as they approach their maximum cap starting at 65% up until they reach 100%. AT&T is expected to start sending out notices now and is expected to begin imposing the caps on May 2nd, 2011.

Here at Bright Side of News*, we oppose any sort of bandwidth caps regardless of who it is that is imposing them. When an ISP begins to cap your bandwidth, they begin to take control of what service you can and cannot use. This would immediately put households that heavily use Netflix on alert since video streaming is a very intensive application. Not to mention, digital content distribution such as downloading whole movies or games via services like Steam and Amazon on demand would also be severely hindered.

This sort of bandwidth capping would eventually herd the sheep (customers) into AT&T?s own content delivery options available on their TVs. This would mean that AT&T could drive up revenue and profit margins by limiting how much their customers can do on the internet. We would highly advise that anyone at odds with this policy immediately notify their public officials.