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Comments

BP

"This is long overdue as Comcast started capping bandwidth in 2008."

I'm sorry, what? Are you advocating AT&T capping their ISP customers whilst letting their TV customers - which use the same bandwidth pipe - go unimpeded?

This is bullshit and it stems from that shitty pro-big business FCC decision last year. The Canadians went into mass protest when their ISPs started pulling this crap. I wonder if lazy-assed Americans will pull the same now that the largest, most vertically integrated empire in their country's history, you know, the one that was all ready broken up in anti-trust court and then recombined in less than twenty years thanks to legislatures sympathetic to big business, has started to fuck them in the ass.

Mike

Heheh. No, I'm worried that I'll be paying overage fees. I'll change the copy to read, "was expected for a long time." I'm hardly a fan of caps. - Mike

BP

Word. I was real confused, man!

To clarify, the second paragraph wasn't aimed at you, but I'm sure you know that. :)

Stan

Actually, I don't see the problem. $10 per 50GB seems pretty reasonable...pretty much just an incremental rate on their normal rates (unlike cell companies that charge $0.40 per minute).

Comcast is unreasonable, if you go over their 250GB cap a couple of times, they'll boot you off of their service.

Smy

Here's the thing, internet pipes aren't a resource, like oil. The same bandwidth, whether being actively used or not, is always there; it does not get used up. It costs the "provider" no more if it is being used or if it just sits there. It is a completely false perception that the industry is trying to foist on average consumers.

What they want is the same unjustified profit schemes as they have been able to get away with from the largely unregulated wireless phone phenomena. Think about it, there are even certain taxes and federal subsidies given to internet providers to upgrade capacity and drive broadband into more areas of the country, namely lower population and rural areas. This, largely, has not happened over the past decade and reports showed that the vast majority of that money was used in other ways, such as executive costs (ie. bonuses).

It is so infuriating that this is even being accepted to the point that another company is daring to use the same tactic as their fake competitors. Let's face it, if there were actually free markets with competition, this would never have come into existence. This is essentially collusion on a limited monopoly/price fixing scheme.

Phelps

On the one hand, I'm no fan of corporate greed, but on the other hand, this doesn't seem like an unreasonable limit. Since NF movies seem to involve somewhere between 1 and 4 gb each, this would seem to affect only people watching around 100 movies a month! Either these guys really need to get off the couch, or their wi-fi is serving the whole neighborhood. In either case, the cap seems reasonable. Bandwidth does have its limits, and if everybody in the neighborhood was watching 100 movies a month, there would certainly be congestion issues. Of course, this limit may just be the camel's nose inside the tent, and next year it will be $10 for one gb. Hmm...

Werx

@ Phelps

The problem with that logic is: where will it end? This is just the starting point where they say "oh, it only effects 2% of our customers," and then a year from now they lower the cap to 50 GB and say they must do this to maintain network efficiency or some BS.

This is quite the slippery slope we just tipped over...

MajorKerina

I just got Uverse and I like that the new router actually tells me how much data is going through.

It's about 65 gigabytes over the course of almost a month. I used Netflix pretty heavily at 480P through the Wii over the course of that month.

If I used HD on the PS3...I might get close to 180GBs or so. Still, I don't see how...unless you're watching videos for hours on end...you'd be able to hit 250 gbs a month with Netflix alone.

It is a bad precedent to see AT&T set this limit though.

BP

@ Phelps

You are either a shill or a complete retard. Now I will demonstrate how and why it could be either.

"On the one hand, I'm no fan of corporate greed,"

Hey great, me neither! Glad to know you identified exactly why this bandwidth cap is going into effect and have absolutely no contention whatsoever with it.

"but on the other hand,"

OH SHIT!

"this doesn't seem like an unreasonable limit."

It is when they're selling you on the speed of the pipe specifically so you can download movies and play games faster.

By the way, did I mention their own IPTV service doesn't count towards the cap? Oh. Yeah. I did.

"Since NF movies seem to involve somewhere between 1 and 4 gb each,"

Thank God I only use my ISP to watch movies on Netflix!

"this would seem to affect only people watching around 100 movies a month!"

OH SHIT! Three movies a day?! Say it ain't so! That's AN IMPROBABISSLITY!

Americans watch an average of 28 hours of TV a week. If they do that via Netflix, and they ONLY use their bandwidth for watching HD movies online, they would essentially meet the cap in less than two weeks.

This is a targeted attack on AT&T's competitors in the lucrative cable/TV market and has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with ANYTHING on the ISP side.

"Either these guys really need to get off the couch,"

LOL PAINTING ANYONE WHO DISAGREES WITH ME AS A LAZY FATASS LOLOLOL !!!!!!!!

"or their wi-fi is serving the whole neighborhood."

Or maybe they have kids or like watching movies or play games via Steam or God knows what you gigantic presumptive jackass.

"In either case, the cap seems reasonable."

Well, yes, in the same way that getting hit by an old lady driving under the speed limit in a dinky old Toyota is preferable (a "generous" 250gb cap where previously there was none) to getting plowed into by a MACK truck (a not-so-generous 150gb cap).

"Bandwidth does have its limits,"

It does? Because as has been pointed out, it exists whether we use it or not. What dumbfucks like you might not realize is that America's inner networking was robust enough to handle this level of traffic back in 2000. It might not have had the residential lines for ordinary Joe Blows to access said network, but it most definitely existed.

"and if everybody in the neighborhood was watching 100 movies a month,"

Oh, I see. You're arguing without having a clue what you're talking about. Each neighborhood-level U-Verse node has upwards of 7gb/s bandwidth at its disposal. There is literally no way it could ever possibly saturate.

If AT&T are having problems on their back-end then they royally fucked up. I'm talking on the level that companies rarely fuck up. A ten year, multi-tens-of-billions-of-dollars level fuck-up.

Further, DSL and U-Verse aren't a pooled resource technology. If my 12mbps pipe is saturated, and if all of my neighbors' pipes are too, then no one gets slowed down. It isn't like cable. Only cable is like cable. Get a clue.

"there would certainly be congestion issues."

Nope!

"Of course, this limit may just be the camel's nose inside the tent,"

Are you coming on to me?

"and next year it will be $10 for one gb. Hmm..."

So, like Canada?

-BP

Hallbabies

I have to agree, they are announcing an even lower cap than Comcast, I wonder how much lower the next person to announce will go. We have been able to stay under Comcast's 250GB cap, but definitely average over 200GB, which is not hard using HULU+ as a DVR, small children occasionally watching cartoons in the daytime, and multiple TVs. This is a scary trend indeed, unfortunately Comcast is our only option.

notovny

I put DD-WRT on my router in January, and wound up tracking my usage through February. As a DSL subscriber, I'd wind up under the 150GB cap.

Totals for February were 67 GB down, 80 up for a total of 147 GB, all of it completely legal content.

February was a little unusual for me, because I've been switching my online backups from Mozy to Crashplan. But even without the upload, if I'd been a family with similar viewing habits, I'd hit the cap every month.

Nate Hiatt

The source article makes it sound like business accounts will also be included in this new pricing ("All DSL Customers..."), they are likely the ones to really get hit hard by this. The article sums it up very well in the final paragraph, "... and that the heavy user of today is inevitably the standard user of tomorrow."

Gir

$10 for 50 GB is better than $1 a GB, but it's still a total ripoff. 20¢ per GB; what is that, 10 times cost? And if it isn't, why the H are their costs so high?

ScottZ

This sounds reasonable right now. But what about when bandwidth demands continue to increase, and this cap starts to impact 4%, then 8% then 16..32..64%. Short term this works, but long term it is a bad model. Companies do not make changes to reduce revenue so this cap will not increase in proportion to typical user needs. I wish they would simply say, 250G or in the top2% of users, which ever is MORE! Hang on everybody!

Matthew R

My February, which I believe was pretty normal, was at 66 GB down, 15 GB up. However, I've also been having major problems with my Roku/Netflix not even doing the 1.5 mpb stream (normall puts me on the 1 mpb or lower stream), so I am using far less bandwidth than normal because of either ATT's crappy internet or Netflix's crappy pipe.

I would be surprised if this sticks because consumers like me will have a huge uproar. You can't give high speed internet and then cap it, people won't stand for it considering how many more devices we are getting rely on the Internet and badnwidth.

rjejr

I have no problem with charging more for high-end users AS LONG AS they are lowering costs for low end users at the same time. All these companies say POP, but then charge more for the top 2%, well then they better charge less to the bottom 2%. It's either POP or it's tiered, they can't have it both ways by saying it's an "additional fee".

things

I just got rid of U-Verse last month (cord cutting and am with Time Warner now)

Brian

I don't believe for a second that AT&T will "proactively" let a single customer know what his or her individual bandwidth consumption is. This is a company that routinely allowed long-distance provider "slamming," all at the expense of its customers.

Mrmanmac

Using ATT's DSL service for streaming Netflix sucks anyway. I could never get more than 2 or 3 bars of signal quality, and the constant buffering to make up for the lack of a steady signal made it difficult to watch anything. Of course ATT blamed the lousy connection on Netflix.
That alone got me to switch my service to Comcast cable. I also did it so that comcast made the call to ATT to cancel my service. I did not want to spend an hour dealing with an ATT rep trying to convince me to stay.

Since making the switch I have had very few issues, in fact... i went ahead and gave Comcast my Telephone service as well.

I am no fan of Comcast or its monopolistic ways of dealing with its customers either, but for the same money i was spending for ATT DSL.... I now have a much better experience using Netflix streaming.

netflix_panic!

This story is suspect. Just spoke with ATT tier 1, 2, and sales. All report that no such data usage plan is about to go into effect. Tier 2 and sales were especially concerned as all residential ATT plans provide unlimited data usage. ATT states they do not monitor data usage per customer and has no means in place to do so.

hall

I read the first few replies but skipped through most of the rest. I have ATT DSL and am not aware of any bandwidth monitor tools (provided by ATT). They could of course roll one out related to this.

K

I'm worried about this. My husband and I both play MMOs and use Netflix to catch up on television and movies.

BP

@ netflix_panic!

Why, of course, Sir!, a mega-corporation would NEVER lie to you out-right, now would they?

All AT&T routers count traffic statistics. It would be trivial to program them to send these statistics to the mothership. Moreover, they have a realtime monitoring program you can download which accesses said information at the router level, further painting their "has no means in place to do so" to be a lie.

If they didn't monitor data usage per customer then how would they have any ability whatsoever to reasonably monitor their network status and respond to outages and usage based congestion (which has been thoroughly debunked for fiber networks end-users). It is networking 101 to know the ins and outs of your network, especially when you are one of, if not the largest, retail and backbone bandwidth providers in the world.

miker

I'm already living under a 100GB monthly cap. (Charter Communications) It's BS, but they're the only game in town where I live.

e

My conversation with AT&T less than an hour ago resulted in the rep saying that official notices will be sent in a week.And he was just given a fact sheet to help customers understand what that 150gb cap equaled."Approximately 10 full length High Def movies" = 150 BG cap.

e

Adding to my previous post,Netflix support says their service is 1gb an hour standard def & about 2gb an hour high def.
HOWEVER,other high def streaming such as Hulu or VUDU(esp VUDU HDX,I would imagine) may well reach the AT&T stated 10 moves a month.
One more reason we need regulation in markets where there is no competition.My other choice is cable with a whooping 50GB cap and I'm in a suburban area,not the boonies,for the record.

Dave

This is just an attempt at controlling their own self demise. The one thing these companies can't afford is losing cable subscribers to IP content. Also this is a double edged sword, with the increase in bandwidth consumption they are being corralled into maintaining steady server growth with no reward. It is just one more step in the direction of cyber anarchy. Max Headroom where are you at when we need you LOL...

someguy335

I consider myself a heavy user of downloading files and such...

Looking over the past 3 months of usage, my bandwidth has been 92GB, 134GB, and 132GB per month. Not anywhere close to the 250GB limit that Comcast has.

These are at least reasonable bandwidth caps that I can justify. Hell... I'd gladly pay $10 for 50GB of bandwidth on an iPhone, as the current mobile bandwidth caps are unreasonable!

Tecmo SB Guy

@MajorKerina

I just got a UVerse router. How can you tell how much bandwidth per month you use on this thing? I mean where on router does it indicate that?

Warrren

There was an article in the New York Times last week mentioning that in Hong Kong you can get ONE GIGABYTE PER SECOND for twenty six bucks. Wireless week suggested in the USA monopolistic money rules setting, the one viable alternative is based on Google building a test 1 gig/second system in Stanford CA. Makes you realize how AT&T almost is printing money.

Lynne

There are several Bandwidth Usage Meters out on the internet to get an idea on how much bandwidth you are using monthly.

Very disturbing -- probably there way to prevent cable cord cutting.

I thought Netflix was trying to prevent this -- weren't they upset that the users in Canada were having this problem?

Might mix some Library Free DVDs with the Netflix to keep within the limit.

David W

How am I supposed to protest this? is it possible? My family streams at least 5-6 hours of HD netflix content daily on AT&Ts U-Verse connection, this is in addition to enormous and Crashplan backups (upwards of 500gb monthly) because I create and edit HD sports footage, all of which gets backed up. What happens if I have to download my backup (upwards of 40 TB?) I would estimate I use around 800GB-1TB of bandwidth monthly. I just ran the calculations, and if my downstream 6 mbps speed is maxed at ~600 kbps (I also run a small cluster of online game servers, on 24/7), I would use 2.0088 TB per month. I would hit the cap even if I kept my downstream (ignoring the HUGE amounts of upstreaming I do) at a quarter of that sustained all month. Are they at least planning on updating the routers to show traffic used? Mine currently only measures in bytes, and its always pretty far off of accurate(after a 50 GB backup to crashplan, it would register as 2,054,549,541 bytes used (~2 GB)) Also, did AT&T put this in the contract of service? Or are they issuing new contracts for people to sign? (Or I guess they just retained the right to cap the bandwidth at any time in the original- any insight?).

Lynne

Response to David W:

I have no term contract but do remember when I signed up with AT&T in 2009 reading about the overage fees in the Terms Of Service. At the time, I was told it was unlimited with no extra charges. Seems even in 2009, they were thinking about it. Seems unlimited has a new meaning now -- unlimited to 150 GB or 250 GB and then extra charges.

things

This is nothing more than a panic move to stop cord cutting.

hall

To ISPs, "unlimited" means you can access it anytime you want, as often as you want. If you really pry them about it, this is one definition that they could use. They will not publicly use that word in regards to data usage.

verizonUser

When I am no fan of caps....
In order to serve without slowdowns each customer at busy time, ISP needs big enough pipe (fiber, routers ...) which costs money.
But that applies to BUSY time.
If you assume 4 am is slack time, charging customer for GBs used at that time is pure gravy for the ISP.
So when I can see ATT charging me for usage during busy time, usage outside of that should be included in the base price.
And just to make sure ATT has no hidden incentives FCC should force the ATT to divest of TV delivery business and charge provider of said TV. Then provider will charge us.

gonzo90017

Is this going to be nationwide? I wonder if those of us on their 1 year promo contract can cancel the service without any penalties?

I watch a ton of online HQ or HD quality content. With the upcoming MLB season, current NBA season and Youtube i'm sure i'll go over that cap quickly.

e

Try http://www.myusage.att.com/
It doesn't seem to show current,but if you click previous or history you can check January & February usage.Have to fully allow cookies,btw.

Jeb

Wouldn't it make more sense to throttle it down at peak times for the highest bandwidth users? For example, if you use > 150 GB in a month, you're the first to get throttled back at peak times (7-10 pm local time, for example).

If you're using a terabyte of bandwidth, but it's all at 3 AM when no one else is up, what's the harm?

abar915

[...Wouldn't it make more sense to throttle it down at peak times for the highest bandwidth users?...]

ATT is ALREADY throttling Uverse customers (without notice), and not only the "highest bandwidth users" either. There was a post about on here at the end of January or early February.

Personally, I think this is complete bullshit. I pay for unlimited bandwidth and thats what I want and what I expect.

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