Tuesday, November 04, 2008

AT&T Sets Monthly Caps On Internet Usage

AT&T will use a limited market in the Reno, Nevada area to test the idea of monthly caps for internet subscribers.

Starting sometime this month, AT&T will limit downloads to 20 gigabytes per month for users of their slowest DSL service, at 768 kilobits per second. The limits increases incrementally with the speed of the plan, up to 150 gigabytes per month at the 10 megabits-per-second level.

AT&T joins Comcast and other ISPs around the country that have already started adding caps to monthly usage. ISPs see the added caps as a way to curb a small number of "bandwidth hogs" who use a lot of the network capacity. For instance, 5 percent of AT&T's subscribers take up 50 percent of the capacity, spokesman Michael Coe said Tuesday.

"This is a preliminary step to find the right model to address this trend," Coe said. He also stated, "The company may add another market to the test before the end of the year."

Customers will be able to track their usage on an AT&T Web site. The company will also contact people who reach 80 percent of their limit. After a grace period to get subscribers acquainted with the system, those who exceed their allotment will pay $1 per gigabyte, Coe said.

AT&T's limits are far lower than those set by Comcast earlier this year. Comcast announced back in September that they'd be imposing a 250 GB monthly cap for all users. Two other ISPs, Time Warner Cable Inc. and FairPoint Communications Inc., are planning or testing traffic limits as low as 5 gigabytes per month.

AT&T calculated that a user with a 150 GB cap could download approximately 88 online movies, at 1.7 gigabytes each, or 32 DVD-quality movies, assuming the size of each is 4.7 gigabytes. Personally I think those numbers are a bit of wishful thinking. Either way you tack on other usage, music downloads, YouTube videos ect. and that 150 GB cap might be easily reached.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments will be moderate for content, please be patient as your comment will appear as soon as it has been reviewed.

Thank you