Broadband Reports has learned that starting May 2nd, AT&T will start imposing bandwidth caps for both DSL and u-Verse internet services. Between March 18th and 31st, AT&T users will receive  notices informing them of the change in the company’s terms of service. AT&T spokesman Seth Bloom confirms to Broadband Reports after initial contact with him last Friday. According to AT&T, the cap will involve overage charges, similar to the ones we see on AT&T mobile devices. However, only users who consistently exceed the new caps for three months will have to deal with these charges that are set to $10 for ever 50GB over.

This is absolute idiocy. AT&T claims that the average DSL customer uses around 18GB per month, and that the new rate cap will only affect 2% of its subscribers. The goal is to eliminate excessive bandwidth usage from the top 2% and eliminate congestion on their data network. Really… how much would AT&T save? Lets assume the top 2% goes over the monthly allotted bandwidth by 50GB.

The total data for 100 users:

  • 98 * 18 GB + 200 GB + 300 GB = 2264 GB.
  • Averaging that over 100 users is: 2264 / 100 = 22.6 GB per month.
  • Forcing the 2 users to observe the bandwidth cap makes the total data per month per user:
  • 98 * 18 GB + 150 GB + 250 GB = 2164 GB.
  • AT&T reduces the total data transferred over the network by: (2264 – 2164) / 2264 = 4.4 %.

That’s right ladies and gents, applying bandwidth caps only saves AT&T less than 5% of its total network traffic. That combined with the fact that no U.S. based ISP has ever shown any hard data that there is any type of congestion issues, the conclusion is that the cap has absolutely nothing to do with network congestion.

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Instead, AT&T is imposing caps and overage fees to block Internet services provided over the Internet and force users to subscribe to their overpriced IPTV services. This is unacceptable and goes against everything net neutrality stands for.

On top of all this it prevents some of AT&T’s largest investments like OnLive from catching popularity by limiting the amount of time people will spend playing OnLive games. Making this entire ordeal a massive conflict of interest for even AT&T. Funny right?

I feel that these limitations are an outrage and I strongly suggest you Like our Facebook Page. Joining will allow you to stay up-to-date with details about bandwidth caps on AT&T services. It will also help show a stand against AT&T and could potentially help convince  them the bandwidth caps are a bad idea.

  • I agree Keaton.  In my opinion, bandwidth caps on DSL and/or Cable Internet don’t make much sense – they hurt the consumer.  Especially now, with things like Netflix and other streaming media content services.  Even downloading content from iTunes will add up.  Not cool.  


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