×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

AT&T To Introduce Broadband Caps

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the let-me-have-some-of-that-back dept.

The Internet 538

rekenner writes "In the upcoming weeks, AT&T customers are going to start receiving notices that their broadband services are going to have a monthly cap, starting in May. DSL users will have a cap of 150 GB per month, while U-Verse users will have a more 'generous' cap of 250 GB per month. However, unlike other caps, it won't be until your third month of overage, on the life of the account, that you'll be charged an overage. Thanks, I guess."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

538 comments

What's average Netflix datarate? (5, Insightful)

KillaBeave (1037250) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479512)

What's the average Netflix data rate? That couldn't have anything to do with this now could it ...

Re:What's average Netflix datarate? (5, Insightful)

XiaoMing (1574363) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479658)

On the bright side, since so many companies (Netflix, Google, youtube, any "cloud computing" company with large data usage etc.) have built their business model around the assumption of easily available and cheap bandwidth, we might start seeing companies (i.e. entities with real money and legal power) suing each other to keep internet neutrality, rather than ordinary citizens trying to push it through representatives that still think it's got something to do with their household plumbing. Or if not, at least it'll give up-and-coming broadband providers a better business justification to invest in their own infrastructure.

Fingers crossed that we're a step closer to opening up the relative crap-opoly that is ATT/Comcast in so many regions of this country.

Re:What's average Netflix datarate? (1)

craftycoder (1851452) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479748)

That seems reasonable at first glance, but the organizations against net neutrality are old, established, and have long history of greasing the palms of our representatives. The young upstarts are going to have to spend a ton to get to the front of the congressional feed trough.

Re:What's average Netflix datarate? (3, Insightful)

XiaoMing (1574363) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479824)

I meant that the newer companies would be utilizing the judicial branch of our government more, rather than the (often intentionally) uninformed and ineffective legislative branch to address this issue.

Re:What's average Netflix datarate? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35480052)

While you are correct, the old guard companies will use the legislative cronies they've built up to create laws that the judicial branch will need to use when evaluating these cases. Either way, the folks that want streaming over the internet will find that they need to pay more for it - or at least pay more to the ISP for it - than they would for "classic" cable / satellite. Bandwidth caps are one way to make this happen. Tiered service is another (oh, you need 100 Gb per month - that is more money). Don't worry - either way we consumers will pay pay pay.

Re:What's average Netflix datarate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35479940)

My TiSP [google.com] is pretty reliant on household plumbing.. and the only time I've had a cap on my bandwidth usage was from dropping a WMD of a deuce in the toilet.

Re:What's average Netflix datarate? (4, Insightful)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479988)

A cap is network neutrality.
Because they can't say "You can only use Netflix if you pay us a fee", they'll instead put a blanket cap on usage.

And that's exactly as it should be.

Re:What's average Netflix datarate? (5, Insightful)

eobanb (823187) | more than 3 years ago | (#35480156)

AT&T U-Verse traffic is not included in the cap. Since video is by far one of the most bandwidth-intensive type of data online, essentially this is a cap on all services competing with U-Verse: iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, MLB.tv, you name it. Get real. This is in no way, shape, or form, network neutrality.

Net Neutrality?!? (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35480006)

What's this got to do with Net Neutrality? It's throttling back traffic and charging for overage - it's a Business Model - not entirely unlike how they charge for Long Distance.

Re:What's average Netflix datarate? (1)

arivanov (12034) | more than 3 years ago | (#35480116)

No they will not.

They will simply peer closer to the edge and agree with the ISP that their traffic does not count towards any quotas. They already do it in places.

The ISPs will similarly move their service closer to the edge. A secondary effect will be that "magic box" traffic solutions that require all traffic to be dragged across them will become less and less popular. Ditto for any all-encompassing traffic management superframeworks native to specific network technologies.

IMO that is actually quite good for the Internet in general because it will go back to its pre-telco-bought-the-ISP age highly distributed form where a natural (or man-caused) disaster will have very little consequences.

Re:What's average Netflix datarate? (2)

SirGarlon (845873) | more than 3 years ago | (#35480158)

It is more likely that you'll start seeing companies start making backroom deals to get preferential access to end users. Which is what the last-mile providers have wanted all along.

Re:What's average Netflix datarate? (5, Insightful)

TyIzaeL (1203354) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479704)

I'm sure it's no coincidence that AT&T's own U-Verse TV service is unmetered.

Re:What's average Netflix datarate? (0)

Trashman (3003) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479902)

I don't have a link from dslreports handy, but they got confirmation from at&t that that U-Verse will have a 250GB cap.

Re:What's average Netflix datarate? (2)

TyIzaeL (1203354) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479992)

TFA says that U-Verse is indeed capped, but AT&T's IPTV service doesn't count towards the cap.

Re:What's average Netflix datarate? (1)

ajlitt (19055) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479924)

U-Verse has always throttled the non-iptv portion of the connection to allow priority for video and charge extra for faster "internet" plans. My gateway is showing 35Mb/s down speeds but Speedtest bottoms out at about 1.41Mb/s since I'm paying for the 1.5Mb package.

The cap is roughly 1/10 of the maximum I can pull down by saturating the connection 24/7. While I don't plan on doing that, I do plan on not doing business with them in the future when the opportunity presents itself (Grande Communications, I'm looking at you)

Re:What's average Netflix datarate? (1)

Sylak (1611137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35480166)

Because it's like Verizon's FiOS TV, in that it's an internal network and a way of serving primary television service, not an always on-demand service. Would you wnat to limit your customer's television watching?

Re:What's average Netflix datarate? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35479844)

I rewatched 41 episodes of BSG this week in Netflix 'HD' (lol) and my total usage for 14 days is 65664MB.

Re:What's average Netflix datarate? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35479942)

Apparently Netflix streams at 3800kb/s max, so 41*43*60*3800=47.9GB.

And once again... (4, Informative)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479524)

the consumer gets screwed.

"Caps" are the worst way of doing business, designed to cover the fact that they engaged in blatant false advertising.

Re:And once again... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35479556)

150? 250? You guys are getting off easy. They just added a cap up in Canada for Bell DSL at 20gb a month. Then expect you to pay like30-50 bucks for it.

Re:And once again... (5, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479656)

It's not the magnitude of the cap. It's that bandwidth - which is a momentary capacity, not a "month cycle" capacity - is being charged that way.

This ain't electricity or water, where there is a certain central pool quantity to draw from. It's on or off.

Add to this the fact that NONE of these dishonest fuckers in these companies give you a good way to track "usage", and it gets worse.

Add in the fact that they are all doing this not to "manage slowdowns" but instead to try to push people back into buying "on demand TV" and "premium cable TV packages with rental DVR" and it's clear: this is not what they say it is. This is pure greed on their part.

Re:And once again... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479750)

Add in the fact that they are all doing this not to "manage slowdowns" but instead to try to push people back into buying "on demand TV" and "premium cable TV packages with rental DVR"

So then how, as a YouTube user, do I get original videos that my team has produced and uploaded into "on demand TV" and "premium cable TV packages with rental DVR"?

Re:And once again... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35479932)

You don't. You are supposed to sell your content to a network or studio, or you can start your own premium television channel. That's the kind of world that providers want because they get the money.

Re:And once again... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35480068)

You don't.

But that's sort of the point, isn't it? The cable providers want to tell you what you'll watch, and when you'll watch it.

Re:And once again... (3, Interesting)

mlingojones (919531) | more than 3 years ago | (#35480046)

It's not the magnitude of the cap. It's that bandwidth - which is a momentary capacity, not a "month cycle" capacity - is being charged that way. This ain't electricity or water, where there is a certain central pool quantity to draw from. It's on or off.

What would the solution to this be? A variable cap that changes based on how busy the network is?

Add to this the fact that NONE of these dishonest fuckers in these companies give you a good way to track "usage", and it gets worse.

FTFA:

Customers will be able to check their usage with an online tool, and get notifications when they reach 65 percent, 90 percent and 100 percent of their monthly rates.

So they're absolutely providing a way to check usage. The jury's out on whether or not it's a "good" way, but seeing as you haven't used it you are in no way capable of making that judgement.

Add in the fact that they are all doing this not to "manage slowdowns" but instead to try to push people back into buying "on demand TV" and "premium cable TV packages with rental DVR" and it's clear: this is not what they say it is. This is pure greed on their part.

Now you're just making things up. It doesn't mention that anywhere in the article.

There is a finite amount of bandwidth. The options that have been presented to solve this problem are traffic shaping and capping, so please either throw your towel in with one of those or propose another idea.

Re:And once again... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35479652)

How exactly is it false advertising to tell users exactly how much bandwidth they can use and then allow them to use that amount of bandwidth? It was false advertising when the advertising said unlimited when it really wasn't. Now they're calling it limited and giving you what they say they will. Just because you want something different doesn't make what they're doing wrong.

Re:And once again... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35479714)

You can have 'other os' oh wait not anymore.

I bought it one way now it is being sold another and I have to conform to the new way or take a hike.

Im sorry maybe I dont like being treated like a 'thief' by one.

Re:And once again... (2)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479742)

Sorry, buddy. They STILL advertise it as unlimited. You just found out due to a press release, where others will find out via reading the fine print of their ToS. They have and will do everything they can to keep this information from its customers, but still follow the law (or maybe not).

Re:And once again... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35479998)

Sorry buddy, but you're full of shit. AT&T actually removed the word "unlimited" from their broadband advertising months ago. Remains to be seen whether these new caps will be explicitly referenced in new advertising (I highly doubt they will be) but honestly I see no problem with doing so. You're not required to include every detail of your service in an advertisement, you just can't include false details. If a consumer makes bad assumptions and doesn't bother to learn what they're actually signing up for, that's their problem.

Re:And once again... (1)

mlingojones (919531) | more than 3 years ago | (#35480114)

Maybe they STILL advertise it as unlimited because they STILL haven't rolled out the caps.

In the upcoming weeks, AT&T customers are going to start receiving notices that their broadband services are going to have a monthly cap, starting in May.

Sorry, buddy.

Re:And once again... (5, Informative)

Shompol (1690084) | more than 3 years ago | (#35480152)

Let's say the advertised speed is 15 Mbps = 15 megabits per second.

150,000,000,000 GB * 8 (bits/Byte) / 15,000,000 (bits/s) / 60 (sec/min) / 60 (min/hour) / 30 (days/month)= 0.74 hours a day

Thus, you can only use the advertised speed for no more than 45 minutes a day, given you do not use the internet at all during the remaining 23.26 hours.

Re:And once again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35479662)

If you're able to hit the speeds they advertise (plus or minus their usual "speeds may vary" shit), it's not false advertising. It's misinformation and I-had-my-fingers-crossed-all-along trickery, but unfortunately it's not illegal.

Besides, did you honestly think they could deliver modern broadband speeds to every single subscriber for the prices they charge? (As extortionately high as they may be)

Re:And once again... (1)

mlingojones (919531) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479918)

How is this bad for the consumer? It seems to me that this is better than the old business model of "promise consumers unlimited broadband service, and then shape traffic when we need to manage the network because we can't actually provide it." That's the whole reason traffic shaping is bad: ISPs are messing around with my traffic in order to improve performance for other customers, when according to their plans and advertising they should have the capacity for me to do whatever I want without needing to degrade my performance.

Bandwidth has a finite capacity. To deal with that, ISPs have introduced traffic shaping and caps. You can disagree with one or the other, but if you're complaining about both it sounds like you just feel entitled to everything.

Re:And once again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35479968)

Yep. I've been an AT&T DSL customer for the past six years. They never capped, throttled or filtered anything and I never had any major problems with the service, until now. I will be switching ISPs because of this.

So long AT&T, you've just lost a longtime, loyal customer.

Re:And once again... (2)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#35480004)

I have to agree. I signed up for "Unlimited" internet. The only cap should be MAX bandwidthX24x7 use.
It doesn't matter both parties are so in far in the back pockets of the telecoms and "Entertainment" that we will be screwed.

90/150 (4, Insightful)

april21wed (1794560) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479576)

I noticed yesterday that I had been downloading about 3 GiB yesterday. I was mostly just listening to last.fm through rhythmbox. So if I used that much every day (on average), I would use about 30*3=90 GiB a month. That's a tad too close to the cap, I think.

what about Directv VOD data / other data (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35479590)

what about Directv VOD data / other data.

As AT&T and Directv have deals and there is roomer of AT&T buying Directv?

Re:what about Directv VOD data / other data (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 3 years ago | (#35480054)

I have U-Verse and a DirecTV tech is coming to "Upgrade" my TV service today. I just have U200 and Elite (6mgbit) with a DVR and 3 boxes ($7 each) and I am paying over $140. DirecTV is offering more channels, free HD and I get to keep my Elite pricing since they are partners with AT&T making my monthly cost just over $100.

I wonder.. (3, Interesting)

craftycoder (1851452) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479594)

Why did AT&T bother to put fiber all over town for it's customers' if they don't want us to use the bandwidth? They are Ma Bell, do they really have a shortage of bandwidth?

Re:I wonder.. (2)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479802)

No, but notice that the cap for their integrated U-verse service is significantly higher. I'm sure that wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that they're trying to push their integrated TV/Phone/Internet service as much as possible.

Re:I wonder.. (4, Insightful)

TyIzaeL (1203354) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479890)

According to TFA, U-Verse TV will not count towards the bandwidth cap. This strikes me as a wee bit anti-competitive.

Re:I wonder.. (1, Insightful)

chill (34294) | more than 3 years ago | (#35480130)

Not really. All they have to do is say the cap applies to data sources external to the AT&T network, since they have to pay transit costs.

All AT&T sourced data -- servers directly on their network, such as their IPTV servers -- don't apply to the cap since it is all internal.

Re:I wonder.. (1)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479810)

They do want to use the bandwidth.

They just plan to make sure that it gets used for their services. They plan to expand their customer base and kill the competition. Things like negotiating exclusivity deals with apartment complexes, throttling connections for Netflix and Google. But don't expect to get any additional bandwidth out of them without paying through the nose for it.

Re:I wonder.. (1)

Shompol (1690084) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479870)

For some reason, after each merger and acquisition the outcome would always be renamed AT&T. The company changed hands so many times, the name is the only thing that's left if the former Bell company. [ATT History] [wikipedia.org]

Re:I wonder.. (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#35480098)

They are Ma Bell

Actually, they aren't Ma Bell. Ma Bell had plenty of faults, but was heavily regulated and thus prevented from pulling stunts like this without at least getting government approval.

These clowns are actually Southern Bell Company, one of the many Baby Bells spawned when AT&T was broken up. They gained an advantage over other Baby Bells using thoroughly sleazy business practices, bought them up with the full support of a deregulation-happy federal government (this was bipartisan: both the Clinton and Bush administrations had the power to do something about the mergers but didn't), and then re-branded themselves as AT&T to give the impression that they were Ma Bell.

For those who think more deregulation would solve the problem, consider that telecommunications has involved the government since the 1860's, if not earlier.

what is to be done? (1)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479598)

As availability of multimedia increases, what was once an unusually excessive user (subsidised by everyone else) becomes a regular user. Now I hope we all agree that words like "unlimited" are false advertising, but what should be in its place? The two obvious possibilities are capping - with possible charge for overage - and shaping. Or both. What do geeks want to see? What do you perceive the wider Internet using community wants to see?

Re:what is to be done? (5, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479792)

False dichotomy.

There is a third answer: The people who supply the pipes keep up with the current state of the art. They are not doing so. They are not reinvesting in their infrastructure and the result is lesser quality and rationing.

Frankly, what the telecoms charge for overages on caps is highway robbery. It has been demonstrated that it's simply cheaper to send a SSD via snail mail and *destroy the drive* after than it is to go over the ridiculous caps that are appearing in Canada. And we're starting to see this in the US as TFA indicates.

We here in the US threw tons of money at the broadband providers during the Clinton administration and all they did was give it out to their shareholders. They continue to refuse to reinvest, and prefer to kill the goose for short term gain. We are falling behind Europe and Asia in terms of broadband, and will soon be a backwater similar to Africa if the telecoms get their way.

This is what you get when you utterly refuse to regulate once the telecoms become regional monopolies or duopolies. There is no more competition, so the raping of the customer goes on.

--
BM

Take a third option (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479834)

The two obvious possibilities are capping - with possible charge for overage - and shaping. Or both. What do geeks want to see?

I, and several other geeks whose Slashdot comments I've read, appear to want home Internet service providers to take a third option [tvtropes.org]. Route revenue from subscribers into long-term investment in the network to improve the capacity of the service rather than paying short-term dividends to shareholders. This goes double for those parts of the country where the typical home connection has a 5 to 10 GB per month cap because cable and DSL aren't available.

Damn, I download 80 gigs a day on FIOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35479612)

Would hate to still be on DSL.

Re:Damn, I download 80 gigs a day on FIOS (2)

dccase (56453) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479838)

You don't think that Verizon will soon announce that they are bringing out a generous, industry-leading 151 GB cap?

EXCELLENT NEWS!!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35479630)

This means people like.... er.... ME who are not bandwidth p1gs are going to have faster cheeper Internet.

Woooopeeee.

-paul

Slippery Slope? (2)

archigos (1001301) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479634)

Other ISPs have talked about doing this often... I hope this is not the beginning of the whole industry making this shift.

Re:Slippery Slope? (2)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479706)

Depends on how many can and do vote with their feet. If a lot of AT&T people leave, AT&T might rethink the policy. Likewise if a cable ISP or whoever else is getting a lot of people from AT&T because of the cap, they might think long and hard before putting in such a cap themselves, potentially losing all the new customers who have already demonstrated that they will move when caps are put in place.

Ultimately it depends on whether ISPs have been telling the truth about how users with the highest bandwidth needs are truly fringe or not. If there aren't enough people affected to care, there will be minimal financial impact either way even if they all act.

allowed rate (5, Informative)

sneilan (1416093) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479642)

(150 gigabytes) / (31 days) = 58.7240143 kBps
(250 gigabytes) / (31 days) = 97.8733572 kBps
That's some bs.

Re:allowed rate (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 3 years ago | (#35480080)

Your first calculation is about 1/3 of a T1 line, your second around 2/3. And that is flooding it constantly 24x7. I don't see it as an awful cap.

Re:allowed rate (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35480124)

Aww, how sad - you can't seed above 100kB/s 24/7.

Why do you tolerate this? (4, Insightful)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479688)

I just don't understand why americans tolerate ISPs enforcing ridiculous caps. From a swedish perspective it seems kind of backwards, I don't really know of any ISPs here that have caps and it really seems like a concept take from the early days of consumer broadband (mid-to-late 90s there were a few swedish ISPs that tried the whole thing with caps but they were pretty much forced into obscurity since most ISPs didn't cap).

Re:Why do you tolerate this? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35479764)

Most places we don't have another ISP to switch too. One cable company and then DSL( maybe).

Re:Why do you tolerate this? (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479816)

Er... I was actually thinking that was an incredibly generous cap.

In the UK, 30Gb/month is pretty standard, and much less is available on the cheaper packages (http://www.plus.net/ - owned by the former-government-department British Telecom).

Re:Why do you tolerate this? (1)

luder (923306) | more than 3 years ago | (#35480086)

Er... I was actually thinking that was an incredibly generous cap.

Me too. Here in Portugal I have 60GB / month for 20eur (24Mbs) and it used to be much lower...

Re:Why do you tolerate this? (5, Informative)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479840)

I just don't understand why americans tolerate ISPs enforcing ridiculous caps. From a swedish perspective it seems kind of backwards, I don't really know of any ISPs here that have caps and it really seems like a concept take from the early days of consumer broadband (mid-to-late 90s there were a few swedish ISPs that tried the whole thing with caps but they were pretty much forced into obscurity since most ISPs didn't cap).

Even major cities in American typically have only 2-3 available internet service providers, and they tend to implement very similar metering policies at roughly the same time, so there's no easy alternative.

Entry barrier (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479872)

I just don't understand why americans tolerate ISPs enforcing ridiculous caps.

Because most of them don't have the financial capital to start their own ISP to compete with the ones enforcing ridiculous caps. Heck, many areas are lucky to have 5 GB/mo because the alternative to satellite and WiMAX is dial-up.

There is no I in Team! (1)

XiaoMing (1574363) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479892)

We tolerate this mostly because of the magical "I" word, infrastructure. It was only recently that mobile providers were told to open up their towers to other carriers, allowing local service providers like MetroPCS and whatnot to participate in what used to be dominated by ATT, Verizon and T-mobile. A big push for that came thanks to Google'lobbying, and right now the people that own the phone and cable lines are still making that exact same argument as was made for the cellphone towers, and they're winning.

However, I posted earlier that this might be just the impetus necessary for companies like google to once again come to the rescue.

http://news.cnet.com/Google-lobbies-for-open-wireless-networks/2100-1039_3-6190863.html [cnet.com]

Re:Why do you tolerate this? (0)

DdJ (10790) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479930)

I just don't understand why americans tolerate ISPs enforcing ridiculous caps.

Huh? In America, it's the corporations who are the ones to tolerate or not tolerate policies. I'm pretty surprised they've tolerated unlimited usage for as long as they have.

Re:Why do you tolerate this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35479966)

Most ISPs in the US have a territorial monopoly. So, in most areas you only have 2 choices the Telephone Company or the Cable Company. I my self have a choice between AT&T and Time Warner Cable both of which have been chomping at the bit to introduce caps for 2 or 3 years now. For a geek like me, the DSL service is too slow so i am stuck with TWC. Though, AT&T U-Verse is finally coming to my part of town.

I don't remember the exact FCC classification but, the internet is basically a second tier communication network with little regulation. So, Internet services (regardless of company) can't be forced to submit like the Telephone Operators. Actually, without reclassifying Internet into the same class as Phone, the FCC is trying to stretch its powers to force net-neutrality (which i would love to see).

Re:Why do you tolerate this? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#35480042)

We tolerate it because we have no choice. The individual is essentially powerless in the US.

Re:Why do you tolerate this? (1)

drsmack1 (698392) | more than 3 years ago | (#35480154)

I just don't understand .

I agree.

On the same note, I am unsatisfied with some of the aspects of our Sun. I think I'll switch. At least that will be easier than switch broadband providers.

Re:Why do you tolerate this? (1)

umrguy76 (114837) | more than 3 years ago | (#35480164)

I just don't understand why americans tolerate ISPs enforcing ridiculous caps. From a swedish perspective it seems kind of backwards, I don't really know of any ISPs here that have caps and it really seems like a concept take from the early days of consumer broadband (mid-to-late 90s there were a few swedish ISPs that tried the whole thing with caps but they were pretty much forced into obscurity since most ISPs didn't cap).

I just don't understand why non-americans don't understand the sheer size of my country and the infrastructure limitations that can impose.

Sweden: 450000 square km 9.8 million people
United States: 9830000 square km 308 million people

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweden [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States [wikipedia.org]

What's bad about caps? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35479694)

I pay $$$ per GB for web hosting... why don't all ISPs have that same model? I never understood that in the first place.

I would prefer to be charged per GB, instead of a flat rate. Companies can advertise/compete on how cheap their $/GB is.

Re:What's bad about caps? (2)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479786)

That's hardly the only pricing model for hosting.

Others include a minimum guaranteed always-on bandwidth (for example 4 Mbps) with a capped "burst bandwidth" and simply paying a fixed amount for guaranteed bandwidth.

But hey, don't let me stop your attempts at trolling and/or astroturfing for the ISPs...

Re:What's bad about caps? (1)

TyIzaeL (1203354) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479836)

If pricing were based on actual usage, ISPs wouldn't be able to rake in large profits from people barely using their connections.

Re:What's bad about caps? (2)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479846)

It's because the economic model is different from say water or gas. No physical resources are consumed. The impact on the service provider is the network capacity you're consuming. This is nothing more than a do-nothing way to rustle up more income from users.

Even if you're a low volume user, you probably still expect that one big file a month you download to get to you quickly.

Lucky Me! (3, Informative)

Mooga (789849) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479700)

I recently switched to Comcast Business Class to avoid the bandwidth caps since my family and I use Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming services quite often. I actually almost switched to U-Verse because they offered a better cable deal and unlimited bandwidth... Guess not any more!

250G/month is a bandwidth (0)

RichMan (8097) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479708)

I just want truth in advertising.

If they are setting a cap then the equivalent bandwidth rate to the cap must be presented more/in larger print than the peak or line bandwidth.

250GB/month = 250*100*8/(30*24*60*60) = 771Kb/sec

Then let the different services fight over the prominent number the capped bandwidth number.

Having a 20Mb/sec connection is not that usefull if you can't use it most of the time.

Re:250G/month is a bandwidth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35479798)

LOL, you think consumer broadband is an unlimited pipe to be used 24/7. Nice entitlement attitude!

Re:250G/month is a bandwidth (2)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 3 years ago | (#35480018)

Except, unlike water, gas, and other "utilities," it costs nothing to transmit.

There's people working on the servers and cables, but they aren't upgrading anything. Some customer support lines, yeah. But how much per GB do you think it really costs them to send it?

Re:250G/month is a bandwidth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35479828)

250GB/month = 250*100*8/(30*24*60*60) = 771Kb/sec

You missed a digit or two

Re:250G/month is a bandwidth (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479854)

I think 16 or 12 hours a day would be more reasonable (so 150% to 200% of your number).
But otherwise, it seems reasonable.

As lots of users use 250gb each, it should drive increases in the monthly bandwidth.
250gb is kinda low-- 500gb would probably be more reasonable (until we figure out new uses).

I can see sneakernets coming into existence around some things like distribution downloads. (each person downloads something and then passes blu-ray disks around).

AT&T adds Data Caps (1)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479754)

Just as I'm dumping them. They keep raising their rates, while making their service suck more and more. Great business plan AT&T!

"Cloud" (1)

moberry (756963) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479756)

Interesting way things are going. Internet companies are slowly forcing us to host everything we "own" in the "cloud", while ISP's are slowly enforcing usage caps. At some point we won't have enough bandwidth to bandwidth to access anything.

no problem with caps (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479780)

I have no problem with caps as long as they are well advertised and your usage is plainly knowable real-time. I am not sure why we think you should be able to consume as much as you want for no addition fee. My mom likely uses 1GB or less a month... why should she get charged the same as me who uses 100GB easily? Granted, it shouldn't be linear... but I put more load on the system, I should pay more.

On the liberal side, I think we should mandate competition in every market and a minimum 1Mb line for all Americans.

Better than Comcast (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479820)

I suppose that's better than having a cap but refusing to admit it, or refusing to give any indication of what the cap might actually be.

This isn't about bandwidth, it's about usage (5, Insightful)

ThomasBHardy (827616) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479848)

Here's the thing, ATT will be capping the bandwidth of "Internet" usage. This is separate from the usage of the streaming HDTV signal that ATT provides to U-verse customers. One could run the TV streaming 24x7 and record 4 shows at once and run many times the bandwidth cap and there's no cap or additional fees. The issue lies in what you do with your computers. They are basically coming out and admitting that it's not a bandwidth issue, it's a services issues. ATT wants to own parts of what you do such as cloud gaming services and video streaming services. When you use their services they can be exempted from the caps, thus crushing competition like Netflix or Hulu. This isn't about bandwidth or caps or infrastructure, It's about greed and it's about net neutrality. Does anyone find it coincidental that this comes the week after the FCC net neutrality rules got struck down?

Hooray for the Cloud (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479878)

... and for everything happening server side, forcing you to consume bandwidth for things that used to be handled on your computer directly.

Doing the math (1)

Xian97 (714198) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479884)

I have a 3 mbs DSL line with AT&T. Doing the math tells me I could download a max of 32.4 gigs a day

(3000 Bits Per Second / 8 (to get Bytes per second)) * 3600 (seconds in an hour) * 24 (hours in a day) = 32,400,000

I could theoretically reach my limit in 5 days. That would be just a little over a terabyte a month if I downloaded 24x7 every day @ 3 mbs. I don't use the 150 gigs now, but ask me again in a year or two since my usage is steadily going up year after year.

AT&T to lick my nut sack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35479896)

I am gone.

Oh Jesus C... are they kidding? (1)

theNAM666 (179776) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479900)

My 90-year-old grandmother uses more bandwidth than that, videoconferencing with the kids. It took ten hours calling the incompetents at AT&T's 888 number -- most of waiting on hold, half the calls, eventually dropped-- to get the DSL line in.

What happened to the era when there were local offices and someone responsible?

The truth of the matter (5, Interesting)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479974)

Usage caps do absolutely nothing to limit the amount of data your customers use. ISPs problems arise when a large portion of their customers use their cap at the same time... usually around 6-8pm. The rest of the day the ISP is idle for the most part. The people hitting caps like this are doing so because they are using their connection 24hrs/day. ALL ISPs in the US throttle peer to peer traffic, even if they don't admit it. So these people are already slowed way down during this peak period. So why are they doing it? New fees, plain and simple. It's the equivalent of credit card overages.

Let them know the customer is the boss! (3, Interesting)

time$lice (901396) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479994)

It simply makes no sense imposing data caps these days. Think about how much more data you use than you did just a few years ago - Streaming services (Netflix, Hulu), digital distribution (Steam, D2D, Amazon), general content, etc.

Time Warner tried this in Austin a couple years ago and it backfired on them. They lost a load of customers. I actually switched to U-verse because of it. They ended scrapping the whole idea. This is their chance to shine and announce: "no data limits" "we miss you come back and enjoy all the Internet" As far as the whole "98% of users won't be impacted by this change" BS... I'm going to call BS on that and go a little further. Even if people don't hit the cap, they like having the unlimited option available. Example: If my hard drive crashes, I have over 300GB of games to download from steam. And that's only the ones I'm currently playing!

Call them and complain (be firm but be nice). I called and got disconnected the first round after a 5 minute hold. The second time when the automated system asked why I was calling I said "I'm pissed off!" I was immediately connected to a rep! The rep said he didn't know anything about it. His supervisor said the same thing.

And if they still go through with this crap - switch. Vote with your wallet folks!

This is what they tried to do in Canada (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35479996)

And we're still fighting to have the caps abolished and have the CRTC actually step in and
do something about this BS. Of course, some places in the states will fold, and at some
point the world will follow. Just as with the copyright laws, etc.

In the land of the free, you're going to have free speech, but after X amount you're going to
get a warning and then after 3 warnings (gee, that sounds sooo familiar) you're going to have
to pay for it at extortion rates. If you want to see/read more, feel free:

http://openmedia.ca/meter

-T.

Oh hell no. (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 3 years ago | (#35480038)

The second my contract expires, AT&T can kiss my money goodbye.
I don't have a lot of other options, I'll probably have to get some random satellite internet provider, but I /refuse/ to have a data cap.
Granted, I have no idea how much data I use (it's probably well below the 150 GB threshold), but the principle of a data cap is ludicrous.

AT&T picking up Verizon accounts (0)

HikingStick (878216) | more than 3 years ago | (#35480096)

As a condition of its purchase of Alltel, Verizon was forced to sell all its accounts in certain parts of the midwest. Maybe that's one of the reasons why they want the limits in place by May.

Between April and June AT&T is picking up all the accounts Verizon and Alltel had in this area of Minnesota (in areas where Verizon and Alltel territories overlapped when Verizon bought the smaller carrier).

It might be coincidental, but it provides me an opportunity to rant, either way. Forcing Verizon to sell the accounts to AT&T is just BS!, especially since we chose Verizon for its coverage where our customers are, and because AT&T in our area has a reputation for poor customer service and spotty network coverage (many dropped calls).

It does seem like something AT&T would do, however--to put some limits in place before they pick up more Verizon customers, including those with active data plans.

internally ISP operate bandwidth not plain MB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35480140)

Actually, in providers world there is no such term as cap, we operate bandwidth not plain MB. And if your watch through tier 1\2 providers advertising, only price is MBps. Easy explanation that AT&T overselling theirs bandwidth, and too greedy to buy more from other tier 1 ISP, or get upgrade on their own equipment. All that makes there advertising complete bullshit.

One thing I never understand (1)

Winckle (870180) | more than 3 years ago | (#35480150)

Why don't they just charge more? If the network is starting to reach its limits, then why not charge more for a top tier package, take the extra money raised and invest it into making their network better?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...