AT&T Users Beware

This is complete and total bullshit. Unlimited should be unlimited. Period. There need not be restrictions on that. Fucking bastards.

“AT&T has officially introduced monthly data caps for its DSL and U-verse broadband customers.

First discussed back in March, the company said at the time that it was part of an attempt to address the purported 2% of customers whom use a “disproportionate amount of bandwidth.”

“Yes. As of May 2, 2011, AT&T’s residential DSL High Speed Internet plans will have a usage allowance of 150GB per month, and its residential U-verse High Speed Internet plans will have a usage allowance of 250GB per month. The usage allowance is the amount of data you can send and receive each month,” reads the company’s Broadband Usage FAQs page.

Customers will get a grace period during the first month, but will face overage fees in subsequent months. Customers will be notified when they’ve reached 65%, 90%, and then 100% of their limit. AT&T says the average DSL customer only uses 18GB p/mo.

AT& has reiterated that the plan is needed to address the 2% of customers that it says are responsible for a “dramatic increase” in the amount of data that travels across its network, and that their “excessive usage” harms connection speeds for other households.

“A single high traffic user can utilize the same amount of data capacity as 19 typical households,” adds AT&T. “Lopsided usage patterns can cause congestion at certain points in the network, which can slow Internet speeds and interfere with other customers’ access to and use of the network.”

The line of reasoning doesn’t maker sense because it intertwines two wholly unrelated topics: total data consumption and average data consumption. More importantly, networks are constantly being upgraded to to handle peak hour traffic periods when most customers are online at once. A monthly data cap is unlikely to have any effect on the peak hour.

“All of our economics are based on engineering for the peak hour,” said Comcast’s Tony Werner, the ISP’s chief technical officer, two years ago. “Just because someone consumes more data doesn’t mean they drive more cost.” Comcast also has monthly data caps, but is a more generous 250GB.

Last year Canadian telco Bell Canada told shareholders consumption-based billing is a way to “monetize bandwidth.”

AT&T customers will be charged $10 for each 50GB of data that exceeds their monthly allowance, but for many the real problem is that there’s no indication that the overage fee has any correlation to the real costs incurred by AT&T to deliver the extra data.

Does it really cost AT&T, in this case, $10 to deliver an extra 50GB? Probably not.

Stay tuned.”

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