Like Time Warner Cable and Comcast, AT&T is mulling overage charges for American bandwidth lovers. "Given the usage trends we're seeing, a form of usage-based pricing for those customers who have abnormally high usage patterns is inevitable," says company spokesman Michael Coe. "Usage based pricing is one way to deal fairly with …
Translation: We need to make more money
Anyone who thinks this is about certain individuals is fooling themselves or works for these big ISP's. The cap they are trying to impose would affect average people. In case AT&T or Comcast or whomever hasn't noticed, you can now get programs for free on the internet. A person can now cut off his cable and just watch the program on-line, and he will run afoul of this bandwidth cap. The big ISP's know this. They are also trying to play victim so they can impose this tax without much protest.
It sounds like the big ISP's are still behind in their thinking. They act like the internet is like it was 5 years ago, when streaming programs weren't viable. Adapt or die. But unfortunately, big companies hate adapting.
As usual for such things...
Rather than actually solve the damned problem by switching off or throttling back excessive use, the big players decide instead to add an unpredictable charging mechanism that turns the "problem" into a pofit-generating mechanism.
Is my cynicism showing yet?
I, for one
I, for one, would welcome data transfer caps as long as:
1. The caps are clearly spelled out, as well as what happens if you go over the cap.
2. All of the terms and conditions are clearly spelled out in one location, with prior written notice of any changes (notice must be received by customers at least 60 days before the changes become effective). No ambiguity, no referring to other documentation, and none of the now-popular "our terms and conditions are available online; they may change at any time, and it is your obligation to visit the pages to see if they change".
3. The caps are reasonable. A 5GB cap, even at 768kbps, is unreasonable, especially for $30. That's $6 per GB, and your 5GB monthly quota would be exhausted in 15.17 hours of full-bandwidth downloading.
4. There is an easy and convenient way to find out (in real time) your current usage. Preferably, a way to find and compare your past usage as well, in graph and list forms (so you can determine if a move to the next tier is appropriate, for example).
Let's face it, bandwidth isn't free for us, and it isn't free for the carriers (though it's substantially cheaper for them, I'd imagine). At least if done properly, this would give us the necessary information up front so we can make an informed decision, and it would remove the ridiculous and patently false unspecified-but-finite-capacity "unlimited" claims.
they tried it here years ago
i left the service when they started trying to charge me $15 for every gig over 20! the "Xtreme" package they were pitching ($99/month) was still below the 52 gigs a month of transfer i averaged.
the business class service offered, had no limits (aside from speed obviously). they wanted me to pay $500 for a tech to come out and set it up, HA!
after a 2 or so years of getting adverts from them claiming "we want you back", i looked again and they had changed all the policies that made me leave.
the market is a different place now. the people who policies like this will hurt ,have no real recourse.
they have pretty much said it themselves, they are RAPING the "avg user". they don't need or want the people who made "broadband services" anymore than a pipe dream, excuse me tube dream...
Eliminate SPAM traffic first
Then you might get somewhere. It accounts for a vast majority of the email traffic, so it should be a good place to start!
Usage based pricing is one way to deal fairly with Internet usage
Is what they say, but what they really want is to get rid of the heavy users, top few percent at a time and keep the people who surf a bit and send the odd email. Don't have to upgrade their network, can run 50:1 no problem.
Download movies? No one what's to do that, they can buy pay per view from the cable company who just happen to also supply your internet.
Now we know the real reason...
behind AVGs upgrade. It's to make you use more bandwidth.
RE: Rick Giles
actually, that's probably going to be given as another front reason. I wonder how much AVG were paid to do the absurdly stupid thing they did.
Let the breach of contract lawsuits against "unlimited internet" providers begin.
You go to the local pig sty theater which has not been cleaned in the last six months to view the latest of Hollycrapwood's mostly fourth or fifth rate films since the 1980's that belong in the sewer with silicon enhanced actors that make your kids school plays look fantastic in comparison. Next you see the mafia swat squad burst in and arrest the poor schmuck two rows down for taking a photo with his fancy iPony , at the same time the sound you hear from the flic is variable and interrupted to spoil the camcorders mob and all the patrons are treated as thieves and you are flooded with annoying crap amateur adds that make the midnight TV ones look first rate from start to finish !
You pay big bucks for bandwidth so you can legally download the Cupertino self expiring variety pay per view in your own clean comfortable home theater setup .
Now then all of a sudden your ISP says buy this overpriced DRM'd to death videos from us and and we will not limit or cap your downloading , but if however you buy from our competitors X , Y , or Z's , we chop off your legs the first month and then start on your arms even though you have paid for the bandwidth !
You fire up your nice new Digital TV , and find that since the broadcasts are using the no go code on all popular soaps and the usual TV teen bop "disney" trash ,has literally shafted your entire months time shifting programming schedule !
So to fix that problem you install specially recompiled Open Source Software that ignores the no go flag to make the wife and kids happy !
Not nice indeed !
Will the flamers win or the Emperor's evil minions wanting to empty your wallet for every cent possible and then send in the legal bloodsuckers for the rest ?
If this makes the interweb experience better for us paytards then I'm all for it. For those 3 people in the world who download more than 250gb a month legitimately I'm sorry you are affected.
For the rest of you Freetards, boo bloody hoo. Get a life rather than substituting penis measurement with how much bandwidth you can hog.
I for one am not worried...
... because the market for broadband is so competitive, providers won't be able to implement terms like these without their customers shopping around and jumping to one of the oodles of other available providers.
I've got unlimited access fo -£5 p/m
Yes I get PAID £5.00 p/m to use my Unlimited Internet access. I work for BT so get if FREE. My next door neighbour PAYS me £5.00 p/m, to piggy-back wirelessly on my connection! (No risk of child porn, as she's, well a woman!)
@ Andy Barber
Hope that isn't your real name or your free broadband might not be free anymore...
mines the one with the BT secret police on the back :-)
Bandwidth hogging ?
Excuse me, could someone please explain to me why, having bought a 8MB/s package, and paying the price for it, I would actually be hogging anything by USING said bandwidth ?
Thank goodness, for me the whole thing is academic. I live in France, where there is no such thing as a hidden bandwidth cap. I bought unlimited, and by golly that's what I have the right to use.
If you can't take the charges, don't sell the contract I say.
More and more "updates" are consuming tons of bandwidth, ie.....nvidia, antivirus updates, most any drivers...
Next, if they stick these caps on, then wouldn't it start cutting into other businesses finances such as itunes, blockbuster, games, and just about any monthly music service.
We use quite a bit each month because my kid watches shows all the time online such as ncis. We don't subscribe to any satellite service.
Also as far as shopping around, at least for us, we have 1 choice and only 1. Embarq is the only company here that offers anything and you MUST be a phone customer to have their internet. No naked dsl. Our minimum bill from them using only the basics is $70 including 756mb dsl.
Where I lived before, ATT was the only game in town as far as broadband went and it was a town of about 35k people so not like it was way out in the boonies.
I've never been lucky enough to have a choice....unless you're talking about spending 60 per month for sat service, plus the equipment...hughsnet or something.
what you're missing here
Is that in the United Snakes of America, AT&T is starting to sell their "U-Verse" TV over IP service and aren't going to want anyone hogging up the "pipes" to interfere with it. Furthermore, you haven't heard whether this is included in the "caps" being proposed (who wants to guess, NO!).
Unlimited means unlimited to the available caps of the connection. That's not really hard to understand. Caps mean VISIBLE, MEASUREABLE caps; known and checkable at any time to find out if you are even close or over the limit.
re: Eugene Goodrich - I don't know where you live, but most poor suckers have no real high capacity broadband in the US and NO COMPETITION either. At best, you have the duopoly of phone and cable in any given location; and sometimes not either one offering high speed anything.
ATT sucks from the inside too
I know someone who works there. this person is is part of the team that updates and maintains the billing servers among other things, some of the difficulties that they encounter are ...
Degenerate corporate culture, for some reason its nearly impossible to get fired from ATT. The pay is sub-average, but they have good benefits, so talented people go elsewhere .. eventually, who likes trying to push everyone you have to deal with to do their job so you can do yours?! That leaves the rest, mostly lazy, many idiots, and in many cases (like internal IT) woefully unqualified to do what they are supposed to do every day.
The 'new' craptop given to this person who is a programmer/developer is one of the cheapest Dell's out there, as a matter of fact I did not know you could still find one with a 30GB hard drive, yeah this is 'new'.
Some of the major consequences of this situation are ...
1) Incredibly ridiculous SPAM for starters, not internet spam, but CORPORATE SPAM, and the in-DUH-viduals who send this have found some nasty tricks, the email are usually an image not text, and very LONG and usually raves about required updates .. no searching, you have to read the whole damned thing only to find out that its NOT for your department!!! Actually making a mailing list for them would require thought (and IT people who know how), and that might smoke one of the last 3 brain cells they have left .. so they send it (yes they have permissions) to "everyone". As if that wasn't bad enough they've somehow (using Outlook/Exchange) figured out how to make the message pop up as an action required item EVERY TIME YOU CLICK ON IT, de-selecting the message and resorting the list .. so it takes as long as 10 to 20 minutes to deal with one of these turds marked URGENT.
Multiply that by 50 to 100 per day .. then try to find the important scheduled events sent by your department, or that you need to work on,it's worse than the heyday of AOL advertising!
2) Next up (Vogon Style) absolutely everything requires forms, and not just ones for you, you get to fill out a form to request authorization, send it to someone who does not want to do his or her job (Idiocracy style) to get the forms to get clearance (again from a disinterested drooler) to notify everyone you are about to recompile the binary that was due to go into production yesterday .. or last week. Then you need to get permission to recompile. Typically (re)compiling a binary that would normally take someone 20 minutes on a slow machine (like the Craptop given as the ONLY work computer), takes something like a month to accomplish??
3) What else do you think could be detrimental to getting your job done?? How about an IT department that does not setup the (yes they do use) HP/UX server properly, because THEY DON'T KNOW HOW !! And you aren't allowed to modify it even though you know *exactly* what is wrong/missing (or has the config file copied from the old server) and could easily fix it in 10 minutes. Yes you heard it here first folks the majority of IT at ATT couldn't find their asses with both hands tied behind their backs and a 10 minute head start !! Because they don't know what it is or how to use it!!
Telecommunications in the US is doomed.
U-Verse, does this stand for Universe?
Hi, I talked to ATT service rep and he told me too. 25M/s download speeds from fiber feeding homes over copper from a short distance to your house. They just have to terminate the twisted pairs of pots diferently. They will have a settop IP TV box. Internet HDTV, otherwise known as VDSL, video DSL. Most movies will be on demand and live TV too, just like cable except they send your info only, not to everyone else on the line like cable. This greatly reduces their bandwidth and provides you the same programing as cable. I serious doubt they will cap us too much at that speed. Its the picture/movie downloads that greatly increase your bandwidth and if you have ATT IP TV. I read that Atlanta has U-Verse and is $30 for 6M and like $55 for 10M, with 25M coming.
Not so bad
As an IT-er, I'm not totally opposed to the concept in general, I just don't trust the people who want to impose it. I have a web server for which I pay for a plan that has a limited bandwidth cap, which works similar. But this rings too similar to the "premium internet service" former AT&T CEO Ed Whitacre made threats about a few years ago and some of the audacious and arrogant statements he made about people "using their computers for free", forgetting that people actually already PAY for their fucking internet service.
But if they really want to impose a 40GB cap, fine, I'll take it. Just remove the flow cap. I usually reach 10GB a month personally and indeed ADSL supports lightning speeds, even at a good distance from a remote terminal, repeater, etc. I had ADSL back before they had figured out how to impose flow limits, and it was pretty wild.
Full Disclosure: I work for AT&T, but I also think they suck ass (thus the anon post :)
did they fix all the U-Verse batteries?
I heard awhile back that a lot of the UPS devices for the U-Verse equipment was starting people's houses on fire ... did they ever sort that out?
Can AT&T/Comcrap/Time Warner be tried for murder?
I am someone who works in a small media business and honestly, if AT&T and so forth start putting caps on bandwidth.. how long does that take to get to business class internet? If we had to deal with caps at 25/gigs and so on, we would be literally MURDERED.
As a media outlet it's not impossible for our transfer to be well over 25/gigs a day! It's not all the time either, and it's not just during special business times (9-5). How are we supposed to be in business when we have to resort back to getting everything sent fedex or UPS?
Our online presence is also an increasingly large portion of our business as well, and if that gets taken away we would take a direct sales hit. People that would now be 'bandwidth-sensitive' would just steer clear of everything we offered.
If these Big Internet companies put me out of work, I want them to foot my unemployment.
I'm just glad I recently signed up for a 2-year guaranteed price bundle of digital cable, internet phone, and broadband with Time-Warner. If they try to move the goalposts, I'll see 'em in court.
caps and locally hosted vs peering connection use
Of course they aren't going to include locally hosted content in the cap exactly for that reason.
If you are downloading from another source the bandwidth costs them MONEY.
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