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200 SD movies makes a lot more sense than 60. I would go over my limit every month if that was the case.


Depends on streaming quality. At three dots (1.0-1.2 mbps) a 90 minute movie uses less than 1 GB. It might be 60 at the very highest SD quality and/or if the movies are longer.


The Forbes article was calculating for AT&T's DSL 150 GB limit and Neil Hunt was referring to the UVerse 250 GB cap.


Oh, haha, didn't notice that one was talking about 150GB cap, and the other 250GB. I also noticed when I read through the forbes article, that it says "Given that a standard movie is 2.5 hours long, that translates to 2.5 GB for a normal video and 7.5 GB for an HD video."

Maybe it's the kind of movies I watch, but I think the standard length is 1.5-1.7, not 2.5.


Actually he appears to be responding in hours not number of movies.


As in 50 HD movies or 100 SD movies...


The article stopped making sense when it stated that an average movie is 2.5 hours. I'm just guessing here, but I'd bet that maybe 10% of movies hit that make, probably much less.

And even ignoring this bit of info, who out there is watching 60 SD movies in a month? Or even 20 HD? I usually watch 5-10 programs a month on streaming, including TV episodes, am I in the minority?


I would expect data caps to continue to decress. The first cap was 250 now we're looking at 150. Soon it will start to look more and more like Canada 15-30.


@ sacred:

I concur with you. I believe that at some point we will be purchasing our data allotment in blocks of 25 GB and up. The larger the block or the more blocks you purchase will determine your cost.

Then at some point one company will offer "unlimited" data at a price that is much higher than we were paying under our old unlimited plan.

Bob E.

What a messed up mish mash. 2.5 hours is not an average, I'ld say 2 is average with kids movies being 90 minutes and summer blockbusters being 2.5. The article should've stated those numbers were for DSL customers only. The "h" in the tweet is obviously hours, though credit for stating UVerse and 250g.

Still, I hope ATT is explicitly mentioning those caps in it's ads and not touting "unlimited". I also think local govts. should force them to offer a cheaper plan for old people who only email. Once they put on a "cap" they can't claim no tiered service as this becomes a tier.


I think the days of unlimited data plans are over.

Netflix and companies like them have broken the economics of the companies that own the pipe lines like big cable. They will continue to seek profits whether it comes from Netflix, Akami, Level 3 or generally the customer. Soon a Netflix streaming account in cost will be comparable to a cable subscription, you will just be paying it on your internet bill.


The only broken economics here is in your wallet as a consumer. As we've reported, a higher cost country like Canada has a data transport cost of a few pennies per gigabyte -- it's much lower in the United States.

The actual cost to provide unlimited access by major providers runs around $8-9 a month, the rest is pure profit. The costs to provide the service are dropping, but providers are still raising prices. Why?

Lack of competition and growing demand for fat profits from the one highly profitable element of most triple play packages -- broadband.

There is no justification for AT&T's usage caps other than greed. Most of their investments are in wireless, not wired broadband.

It's Internet Overcharging.

We've been exposing these ripoffs since mid-2008 and won the battle with Time Warner to rescind their experimental caps.

Netflix needs to spend money to defeat caps, not simply reduce their video quality (Canada) to try and live within them. As they'll learn there, providers will simply keep reducing usage allowances until consumers find using Netflix to be too expensive.

AT&T customers need to send their own message and dump DSL and U-verse and tell them usage caps are the reason why. Get rid of the caps and you'll consider coming back.

Phillip -- Stopthecap.com


Wish I could dump AT&T's caps. It's the ONLY option in my area (other than satellite).


Great post, Philip. I couldn't agree more.


I dumped AT&T because their DSL service in my area sucked!! I could not get any more than 2 bars on my xbox, and even then it would stop and rebuffer up and down several times during the show. Cable is way better, unfortunately Comcast has a cap too. I have never come close to exceeding it no matter how many movies i watch on netflix. I did exceed 150 once when i went on a back to back "that 70's show" binge.


@ Philip

This is not a knock at you guys, as your organization appears to be the only one trying to raise awareness and go after companies instituting bandwidth caps, but I can't help but feel that we, as Americans, have dropped the ball yet again. When Canada's CRTC enacted rules that were very similar to the ones the FCC enacted last year, and the industry's response was to cap EVERYBODY to hell and back, a not insignificant portion of the populace screamed bloody murder, and they screamed it loud.

Here? Nothing. Nada. Zip. I am glad you and your organization are doing what you are doing, but, and again, please do not think this is knocking you, it won't accomplish a damned thing. Do you really think a Republican House care? Or, for that matter, most Democrats? The only way you'll convince Congress or even the FCC that bandwidth caps are wrong is to march, in very large numbers, to threaten incumbents with defeat, by very large margins, and to consistently do it for long enough that they pay attention. Anything else simply won't work because there are far less important topics that have caused horrible political cold wars that both sides refuse to give an inch on.

As to how I actually feel about AT&T's cap... it's shit. And, well, it's not like giving me a fully working bandwidth meter so I can gauge my traffic usage is important to capping my bandwidth, is it? Wonder how long before those fucks get sued. Oh, right, the Supreme Court decided that you can't (class action) sue a company if the contract/terms of use stipulates that you have to go through arbitration instead.

America, fuck yeah!


Roy Watts


Seems everywhere we turn corporate America is putting the screws on our citizens. If it's not AT&T or Comcast then it's Verizon or Walmart. Wish I knew how we could fix this and stop having to mortgage our first-born children for basic services.

:: Roy


Roy, I completely agree with with your sentiments. What make it worse is our government officials, on both sides, are the biggest part of the problem.

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