Damn it. I just switched to U-verse.

March 15th, 2011

The all-you-can-eat broadband buffet, viagra usa remedy where Internet users don’t pay extra for heavy use, cialis is coming to an end at AT&T Corp.

Monday, diagnosis the company said it was setting caps on data usage for its DSL and U-verse broadband services.

DSL customers who exceed a monthly limit of 150 gigabytes of data in three separate months will be charged $10 for each additional 50 gigabytes they use, while U-verse subscribers will have a monthly limit of 250 gigabytes.

via AT&T sets monthly limits on broadband use – JSOnline.

Entry Filed under: Observations

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Nick  |  March 15th, 2011 at 9:54 am

    Odds are you are not one of the 2% of of customers who exceed that limit. I’m glad they’re doing it… it will give better service to the other 98% who don’t go crazy on their broadband.

    This is the type of thing that gets harder to do with net neutrality, which is a shame. After all, your electric and gas bills are metered. Why is it such a crazy idea that broadband usage would be metered too?

  • 2. Elliot  |  March 15th, 2011 at 9:59 am

    Did you ever use AOL dial-up back in the day? I once got a $600 bill. Tiered internet is one thing. Metered internet is almost certain to turn out badly for consumers.

    And most of the reason the pipe suppliers are doing it is to keep people from switching their TV consumption from cable or U-Verse to Netflix. (Note, U-Verse’s TV delivery does not come out of that cap.) That’s pretty anti-competitive.

    Do they have a right to do it? Absolutely. Am I excited they’re going to do it? Nope.

  • 3. John Foust  |  March 15th, 2011 at 11:12 am

    The average consumer has some sense of how much gas or electricity they’re using. The average consumer barely has an understanding of what their computer might be doing under the hood, or how much bandwidth an app might consume when they aren’t looking.

    Nick, why do you think this would bring better service to the other 98%?

  • 4. Nick  |  March 15th, 2011 at 11:22 am

    @Elliot – Regarding being “anti-competitive” regarding the cap… I see your point… but that just means we need to break the municipal stranglehold on cable and other providers so that even more competition gets it.

    @John – Regarding not having an understanding of how much data you’re using… that’s because you don’t have to care. People know how much power/water/gas they use because the company tells them from month to month b/c they pay for it. Meters exists because that’s how you’re charged.

    Most mobile phone plans have pay per MB usage, and people can check online, and use other tools to track their usage.

    As for why it would make things better for others… it has to do a lot with how the services run their bandwidth… but if you have a high user in your neighborhood, it takes capacity out of part of your pipe as well. True DSL straight back to the phone company exists less and less. Most DSL runs back to a neighborhood box, which means you can suffer if there is a mega user in your neighborhood.

  • 5. Elliot  |  March 15th, 2011 at 11:27 am

    Very true for cable modems (which is why I switched to U-verse), but I thought u-verse was more of a dedicated line off the fiber? Heavy users impact the internet overall anyway, but I’m not sure I’d see much of a hit on my line from a U-verse hog next door. Of course, I’m not a network engineer so my understanding is pretty simplistic.

  • 6. John Foust  |  March 15th, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    Nick, there is no “municipal strangehold” on competition. None. In fact, Federal rules say communities must offer the same terms to all comers. With Wisconsin’s recent revision of telecom rules (as written by ATT), there is far less local control than before.

    Yes, they suckered many into believing this new competition would bring sparkly ponies, free ice cream and cheaper TV and Interwebs, but gee, it hasn’t happened. All that’s happened is that ATT was able to cherry-pick which neighborhoods got U-Verse. That’s one of the major reasons they changed our law. Before, most municipalities required all comers to deliver their service to the entire city. I believe I’m fair enough to understand that this is a government-imposed requirement of considerable cost. On the other hand, private companies were paying minimal amounts to use the public right-of-way and public poles, and their subscribers were paying a small percentage as well, but cities felt there was a public interest in not red-lining neighborhoods. The first telecom provider jumped that hurdle. But look at the classic economics after that. Which second comer wants only a small slice of pie? Even if they dipped their toe into the market, their initial infrastructure costs are high. They’ll fight for every customer. So many providers don’t even want to try. So much for the free-market Just-So story.

    Both Charter and U-Verse run very-high-capacity fiber to neighborhood boxes. I presume Time-Warner does the same. It’s not a neighborhood problems. All ISPs live and breathe on over-subscription models. For years they’ve sold a product based on speed and no meter. Now they want to penalize use, and they want to be able to sniff your traffic so you’re not using a service that competes with theirs. Next up, you’ll be paying for optimized speeds for the most popular sites.

    U-Verse runs a DSL-like circuit from the neighborhood box to the home, and fiber from the box to the central office, so your neighbor’s use doesn’t affect your use to any significant degree. On the other hand, your use affects your experience. There’s a limit on how many U-Verse TV tuners can run on a single circuit.

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Being in a wheelchair gives you a unique perspective on the world. This blog features many of my views on politics, art, science, and entertainment. My name is Elliot Stearns. More...

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