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Posted Mar 16, 2011
2:23:12 PM
AT&T broadband users will soon face a cap on the amount of internet data they can download a month.
AT&T broadband users will soon face a cap on the amount of internet data they can download a month.

 

ATT USERS BEWARE!

ATT is setting a limits on the amount of Download (Bandwith) you can use for DSL subscribers   CNN posted this MSG today in its tech section.  TELL ATT this wont be tolerated.  If your like me watching vids via netflix, or CNN news streaming media or online gaming (Flight Sim X online) you will meet this limit very fast and be forced to pay more with 10.00 per every 50GB downloaded.    Please help us reverse ATT decision on this poor choice. 

 CALL / EMAIL    ATT AND SAY NO TO THIS POLICY!

 

(WIRED) -- AT&T broadband users will soon face a cap on the amount of internet data they can download a month.

Traditional DSL users will be capped at 150 GB per month, while subscribers to the fiber-backed UVerse system have a 250-GB limit. Usage over that will be charged at $10/month for 50 GB, the company says.

The company says that currently only a small percentage of users -- around 2% -- use this much data a month. If that's the case, it's not clear why the company is bothering to install the caps.

It is, however, the same rationale (and the same usage stat) that the company relied upon to explain why it would be capping iPhone data plans last summer, which had hitherto been "unlimited."

WIRED: Congressman wants to ban download caps

DSL and UVerse connect fairly directly to a hub -- unlike cable connections where users share a local loop that can become congested. Bulk-bandwidth costs for an ISP are a tiny portion of its business costs, and those prices continue to fall even as users consume more and more data.

So, how could a user end up hitting these caps? Streaming video such as HD movies from Netflix, using bittorrent to download movies and heavy gaming with services like Steam can easily eat up lots of data, especially in households with multiple heavy internet users.

AT&T isn't the first large broadband provider to impose caps. Comcast imposed a 250-GB cap shortly after the company was caught throttling bittorrent downloads.

Time Warner Cable tried going further with trials of a service that imposed very low limits for users, which led to a furor among users and lawmakers.

There's little data to demonstrate whether large ISPs actually are experiencing real issues with congestion. Skeptics see the limits as ways to discourage cable video customers from "cutting the cord" and getting their video online, or as a way to pocket profits instead of re-investing in bulking up their infrastructure.

Derek Turner, the research director for the net neutrality advocacy group Free Press says the limits will discourage online innovation, and that with the growth curve of internet usage, the limits will soon catch many internet user.

"When ISPs force their customers to watch the meter, experimentation, innovation and business will suffer," Turner said.

"AT&T's actions are another troubling symptom of a broadband market that lacks meaningful competition, and this move may be the start of a race to the bottom among other providers to see who can squeeze its customers the most. At worst, this is a plan designed to discourage cord-cutting and pad profits; at best, this is another example of an antiquated phone-company business model being forced onto an otherwise vibrant and limitless marketplace."

 

Thanks for reading

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Jan 6, 2012 6:42:28 PM
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You'd think that with all the heat AT&T is getting, they'd seriously reconsider this option. My dad has been on AT&T for about 5 months now because of the outrageous charges we keep getting. Dude, seriously, who do they have in mind with the 150 Gb limitation? We're no longer in the dark ages of the internet, so seriously, you'd think they'd get rid of the data usage limitation. And the problem that my family is having is that my father attempted to barter with AT&T by offering to pay a cap fee for the extra Gb that we use. He told them, "Fine, I'll pay $10 or $20 extra per month so I can use more than 150 Gb. How's that?" Nope that doesn't work either because AT&T has not thought up that option. They don't have that plan so we can't do that either. So instead, my dad has to fight with AT&T every month so that we don't have to pay the extra fee that they put on us or so that we can get a D/C. It's ridiculous because we've been with AT&T since they were Bellsouth; you'd think that since we've been such loyal customers for so long, they'd treat us better. We'd like to switch to another company that doesn't employ such caps, but unfortunately, we live in a sparsely resided area so we don't even have the option. Does anyone have a really good idea as to how we can get AT&T to listen to us and stop this?

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Jan 6, 2012 6:48:49 PM
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Sorry to be so creepy and stalk on your reply a year after posting, but I couldn't help but agree with your idea of "solving" this problem. My family is having issues with the cap that AT&T has put on us and we've been trying to come to a passe with AT&T but of course, they're not listening. My dad told them that we'd pay a flat fee of $10 or $20 extra each month if they'd raise the cap for us, but of course AT&T says, "Sorry, we don't have that option/plan. Could we help you with something else?" That's all they always say: "Nope, I can't help you with this problem but how about another problem (with which I will also most likely not be able to help you, but I'll try to make a half-hearted gesture in helping you nonetheless)?"

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Jan 6, 2012 6:54:12 PM
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Though I doubt it, I hope At&t actually read their customers' complaints. These are actual people that are paying for your business.

 

Our family has been a devoted At&t customer. We currently use DSL under the Elite package of supposedly $43. Recently, we got a call warning us of our use of internet. Concerned, we tried to understand the situation.

 

First with some background information: Apparently, Uverse is to supply the majority of its customers... may I emphasize on MAJORITY. What happens to the minority? A sorry you're out of luck.

 

So we call and try to discuss this matter with the company. And may we say we tried. You'd think At&t would have a pretty stable phone line considering its purpose of business that they wouldn't lose service on you EVERY SINGLE TIME!! But anyways, we ask for our options. They say use less data. With 5 family members that constantly use the internet, yeah right! They say pay more. (Uh..no) Now, let's take a look at Uverse. They have many different packages. Oh look! An option that costs similar to ours the price... WHAT? is cheaper?? And by cheaper, I mean WAY CHEAPER. So we're definitely being screwed. We ask them about the Uverse. Well guess what?? We are part of that minority 2% that is not available to. With all of our options taken away, we are left with a sorry you're out of luck.

 

I've read some reviews about Uverse and found out: Sorry, majority, you're internet with Uverse sucks too. Now, through thorough investigation, I've discovered AT&T has some pretty crappy customor service. And I mean CRAPPY service. To explain this, there is this thing that if you call AT&T and the call falls the at&t helper can't call you back to completely help you with your issues. The customer has to call again. Makes more business or something. What else sucks about At&t? They don't care about the minority and probably not even the majority of their customers. They just like to sit and screw us over. If At&t doesn't start listening to their customers, they're not going to last very long. Customers first, please!

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Jan 20, 2012 8:44:09 PM
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Shot yourself in the foot with this one AT&T. 

 

For one, your speeds are so inconsistent and slow that I proabably can't reach the cap if I tried.

 

Two, just know that you did this make me even more annoyed on top of the crappy connection I have.

 

Three, Even if I did get consistent speeds and didn't touch the cap, the price of this DSL is absurd.  I could tether a smart phone and pay less and have a better connection.  Oh, and when I call to cancel, don't even talk about "termination fees." LOL  You guys are hanging on by a VERY thin thread with me as a customer.

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Jan 29, 2012 8:18:37 PM
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Got my first message of over limit this weekend. Calling cable company tomorrow. Bye Bye ATT. Glad you didn't buy T-Mobile would have had to drop that too. Poor Poor Decisions. How ya going to pay those techs that like to strike on ya all the time. LOL

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Feb 14, 2012 2:23:40 AM
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Seriously!!??  THese ridiculous cretins need to be punished before they get away with this and come up with worse! 

 

BOYCOTT AT&T!!!! 

 

Its the only way they're going to "get it".  You dont treat your customers like this!

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Mar 11, 2012 11:12:44 PM
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I just want to thank everyone who posted regarding these caps and limits, especially "orubin".  I have gotten a real education on how ISP and internet speed works.  My knowledge of computers and internet is very limited, but I recognize injustice being dealt to the consumer when I see it.  I'm not affected by it now, but I will be in the future and it angers me. 

I will definitely let AT&T know how much it angers me and I hope everyone else who reads this does too.  We must stick together and speak up on this, so AT&T will take us seriously.  You have to threaten their pocketbook to get their sincere attention.                    

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Mar 12, 2012 11:56:24 AM
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Thanks beadalong.  Here is a little history: 

 

I will admit that I was a key technology director for Pacific Bell (A baby bell)  in the 90s when broadband started. I led a team that deployed the first commerical broadband system in California (digital TV, phone and high speed data over one wire drop to the home), and maybe in the US. I have a good understanding of how these systems work, as we looked at and triied many designes before picking one.

 

At that time (around 1996), Pacific Bell deployed something called HFC (hybrid fiber coax) which is fiber to the neighborhood, and coax the "last mile" to the home. 480 homes (a node) shared a coax loop connecting to a fiber node in the neighborhood.  If capacity became overtaxed in a node, we could split them in half to have 240 homes in a node. There was enough fiber in the node to keep splitting down to  2 hours per fiber, and maybe even one should there be a needed. We built in a LOT of bandwidth to the nodes. At the head end, we had a VERY large pipe for Internet (remember, Pacific Bell Internet was a VERY large providor of internet services at the time) so bandwidth was not realy an issue. But then again, it was the mid-90's, no HD was forseen, and streaming bandwidth was still new.  Still, we would have been able to scale for today.

 

When SBC bought PacBell in the late 90's, Ed Whitacre, the CEO of SBC, decided that SBC did not need to be in the broadband business, and jettisoned us (sold us) to AT&T Broadband. AT&T deployed our service design, but cut major portions of the cost be removing our "five 9" reliability (up 99.999% of the time) from the system as "not necessary". They also tossed out our more expensive set top deisgn and software for something cheaper (removed memory, slower processor, worse graphics, etc, etc.) AT&T broadband ran this system until JUST before SBC and AT&T merged. At that time, AT&T Broadband sold the system to Comcast.

 

Comcast cut costs further to both the Set Top Box, the software, and made even more cuts to the network to make it cheaper to run (removed more reliability, batter backup etc.)  Xfinity is the ugly stepchild of the system we deployed at Pacific Bell, but the basic architecture remains the same: Fiber to the neighborhood, and 250 to 480 homes per node depending on bandwidth needs. And, of course, it has been updated to HD, which the original system design could easily handle. 

 

Bandwith on a cable modem is a tricky thing. Comcast has to allocate a "channel" (6 MHz of bandwidth that can no longer be used for HD or SD channels) and each of those 6 MHz channles provides about 32 Mbps to EACH node (newer technolgy can up this amount some.) Often, more than one channel will be assigned if there is need. This is why it is a "shared" bandwidth problem. If lots of people are using the cable modem, you all share those 1 or 2 channels. 

 

UVerse (a cousin to DSL) claims "dedicated" lines to the central office, and their bandwidth is limited to the distance from the node and the type of conection and wires in your area. Suffice it to say, they supply an unshared line from the node to you, but that node shares fibers back to the CO just like in a cable system. However, there is enough bandwidth to make this look "not shared." You get from 25 to 50 Mbps in Uverse, but rememeber, that is shared between channels you are watching, phone, and internet. 

 

ALL these systems eventually meet in the central office, where the different nodes are combined into a large switch and router to go to the internet, and this is where EVERYONE gets shared, DSL, UVerse, and Cable Modems alike. The real limit on speed (and cost to the ISP here) is just how big their pipe is from the central office to the internet bckbone. 

 

This is also where the real costs is. Most of these companies "pay" for their interet connection to the backbone, and want to minimize that cost, so that may limit bandwidth here, and that could result in you running slower at peak times.  Granted, AT&T pays themsleves, but I suspect each division has to account for thier costs just the same. 

 

As a designer of these systems, I competly get why bandwidth "caps" may need to become necessary, even if I do not iike them. With the demand for bandwidth constantly going up, the amount of bandwidth per person gets less and less, and there is real costs involved in getting you more. 250 GB of bandwith truly is enough for the majority of "non-techy" people, and of course, that factor is blanced in.

 

That said, the system can and is designed to allow increases, and throttling and limiting bandwidth should not be necessary. If I were still doing this, I would suggest a priced tier much like the power companies. The more you use, the more you pay, and higher tiers and priced higher than lower tiers.  In other words, if I am willing to pay for more, just give me more. 

 

Hope this helps some understand how this all works.

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Mar 27, 2012 12:57:29 AM
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Expert

If Uverse is available in your area, you could switch to that and avoid caps (at this time).  About the only option out there.  Pretty sure Cable companies have been capping for a while.

 


hearmeroar4 wrote:
Sorry to be so creepy and stalk on your reply a year after posting, but I couldn't help but agree with your idea of "solving" this problem. My family is having issues with the cap that AT&T has put on us and we've been trying to come to a passe with AT&T but of course, they're not listening. My dad told them that we'd pay a flat fee of $10 or $20 extra each month if they'd raise the cap for us, but of course AT&T says, "Sorry, we don't have that option/plan. Could we help you with something else?" That's all they always say: "Nope, I can't help you with this problem but how about another problem (with which I will also most likely not be able to help you, but I'll try to make a half-hearted gesture in helping you nonetheless)?"



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Apr 4, 2012 1:25:27 PM
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The real reason for caps

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May 29, 2012 7:51:45 AM
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When I signed up years ago, I purchased unlimited DSL along with home phone, directv, and my cell service.  I now have a Iphone and don't mind the cap on my data there since I rarely use it..  I usually use my wifi to do what needs to be done thru my phone.  I pay my bills online and I have a household of 5.  Not to mention the military guys that tend to hang out here quite often.   We use skype, xbox live, HBOGO, and more that use the internet.  We pay for XBOX live so we can stay connected to our friends that are far away as well as using skype to talk to our military friends abroad.  We even pay our bills online.  We spend over $200 a month to ATT and over $100 more for DTV.  

My family already pays for everything we get and it is pricey.  Now, ATT tells us that we have to limit our unlimited service without a reduction in pricing but with a fee if we go over what they think is adequate.  I have 2 teenagers and one younger child.  They enjoy playing games online and watching youtube.  Now I have set a limit of one youtube view a day and less online communications.  I fear going over that limit because we are a big family living on 1 paycheck.  Between 5-8 people I don't see how 150gb is fair.  We have all our services thru them AT THE MOMENT, including 2 cellphones.  Yet, they still want more.  

I signed up for unlimited...  That is what I have been paying for.   I should not have to tell my children or my hubby that we can watch a movie online together because it will cost us $10 more plus the price of the movie as well.  I am sure they are some laws being broken somewhere.  I see paying for a service and getting what you pay for.  I don't see anything about rewarding those who do not go over there cap money back for every 50gb under the cap.  NO!!  that would be insane right?  To me it is all about greed and no longer about the consumer.  That is my opinion.  I guess when many of us go else where they will get the hint that these caps are uncalled for.  

I don't appose throttling when certain limits are met.  I believe it is within the rights.  But so many rely on there data for GPS and many other things that both wifi and dsl are pretty much a necessary evil today.  I just don't see paying for services and paying extra for the ability to use them.

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Jun 10, 2012 1:47:24 PM
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a few months back I also got an email from att threatening if I go over again i'll get charged more, now every month I'm so stressed out if i go over the limit I actually had a heat attack, now I have just canceled all my netfilx, amazon video and other bandwidth accounts I don't even watch youtube videos anymore, I have also disabled all flash on websites..... WE SHOULDN"T HAVE TO DO THIS. my internet experience has became nil since their policy took effect, I deal with a lot of uncompressed data huge database text files that can download very fast but it can also fill your data cap really fast so it also hurts my business. I'm currently looking for another isp but in small towns there isn't much options. It's a shameless act on att's part.

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Jun 20, 2012 5:29:50 PM
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I just got my first warning for going over thier 150 limit, when i got my interent dryline threw att because they are the only internet that i can get with out going threw cable company.. i live in the middle of the country where uverse is not avalible as far as i can tell,  but still my internet was turned off because i could not make the payment due to not having a very good paycheck, i can live with out internet, my child who is homeschooled due to medical condition can not, she needs the service to do her school work, and yet i am afraid that with out having any internet service for the about a week and a half and still going over thier limit, something is very wrong, when i called tech, the only office opened after a certain time, all he did was want to remote control my computer and take me to the same website i was already on to check to see if my account was hacked.... was a waist of my cell minutes, 

 

i have no choice but to pay thier charges for a sevice i did not know was going to be capped, I recieved no information that i was being changed from UNLIMITED to haveing a cap. if i could get other provider i would .. now i am stuck using a monoply, gettitng sucky usuage (seval pages i can not use though they say they are not blocked) (google, bing) after getting a new modem they didnt work, a changed nothing only got new modem, but thats not the point

i can not afford the newcharges that i am getting 

by going over my limit by 5gb ..

10 bucks for 5gb

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Jun 20, 2012 10:47:46 PM
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Expert

Try contacting Alex, one of the AT&T Community Managers for further assistance.  He can check to see if UV is available in your area; the online address checker can be wrong.  ATT is making it mandatory to switch to UV Internet is some areas.

 

I think there is a plan/program for users in rural areas that is at a considerable discount; but Alex could check on that as well.

 


Cubb77 wrote:

I just got my first warning for going over thier 150 limit, when i got my interent dryline threw att because they are the only internet that i can get with out going threw cable company.. i live in the middle of the country where uverse is not avalible as far as i can tell,  but still my internet was turned off because i could not make the payment due to not having a very good paycheck, i can live with out internet, my child who is homeschooled due to medical condition can not, she needs the service to do her school work, and yet i am afraid that with out having any internet service for the about a week and a half and still going over thier limit, something is very wrong, when i called tech, the only office opened after a certain time, all he did was want to remote control my computer and take me to the same website i was already on to check to see if my account was hacked.... was a waist of my cell minutes, 

 

i have no choice but to pay thier charges for a sevice i did not know was going to be capped, I recieved no information that i was being changed from UNLIMITED to haveing a cap. if i could get other provider i would .. now i am stuck using a monoply, gettitng sucky usuage (seval pages i can not use though they say they are not blocked) (google, bing) after getting a new modem they didnt work, a changed nothing only got new modem, but thats not the point

i can not afford the newcharges that i am getting 

by going over my limit by 5gb ..

10 bucks for 5gb




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Jun 20, 2012 10:50:43 PM
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Expert

If Uverse Internet is available in your area, there is currently no capping.

 

You might look into getting Interent for Business as I don't think it is capped either.

 

It's not just ATT doing capping, cable has been doing it for years. :smileysad:


capshurtpeople wrote:
a few months back I also got an email from att threatening if I go over again i'll get charged more, now every month I'm so stressed out if i go over the limit I actually had a heat attack, now I have just canceled all my netfilx, amazon video and other bandwidth accounts I don't even watch youtube videos anymore, I have also disabled all flash on websites..... WE SHOULDN"T HAVE TO DO THIS. my internet experience has became nil since their policy took effect, I deal with a lot of uncompressed data huge database text files that can download very fast but it can also fill your data cap really fast so it also hurts my business. I'm currently looking for another isp but in small towns there isn't much options. It's a shameless act on att's part.



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Jun 22, 2012 1:27:11 PM
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Coach

I just want to say  that I agree I am tired of paying for internet that keeps adding up more money then was expecting to pay 

each month for a poor quality service in addition to paying  every month for hulu service and a game service , as soon as I find a better service  I plan on dropping AT&T...... Ive done it before and was trying to give AT&T a second chance  shame on me for thinking that they have gotton better, I also find it HARD to believe that my neighbor 2 doors away can get Uverse BUT

I CAN'T and  have to settle for direct tv which also sucks!!!!.

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Jul 14, 2012 1:37:44 PM
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Try contacting Alex, one of the AT&T Community Managers for further assistance regarding Uverse! :smileywink:


karbear78 wrote:

I just want to say  that I agree I am tired of paying for internet that keeps adding up more money then was expecting to pay 

each month for a poor quality service in addition to paying  every month for hulu service and a game service , as soon as I find a better service  I plan on dropping AT&T...... Ive done it before and was trying to give AT&T a second chance  shame on me for thinking that they have gotton better, I also find it HARD to believe that my neighbor 2 doors away can get Uverse BUT

I CAN'T and  have to settle for direct tv which also sucks!!!!.


 

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Jul 15, 2012 3:41:40 PM
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Teacher

If that happens, I will change to Charter real quick

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Jul 15, 2012 4:02:04 PM
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Teacher

 I feel all of your pain. I am an AT&T Uverse phone and Internet customer only. I have no TV service to slow down my internet. I pay for 18 Mbps, but seldom get better than 15, and usually get about 12. 

 

What tires me the most is that they tell me that the offer is "up to 18 Mbps". I agree, and as a broadbrand engineer, I understand the need. The issue for me is that when I am getting 4 to 6 Mbps on average, that is not "up to" in my book. 15 to 17 is up to. 12 is pathetic, and 4 to 6 is robbery. 

 

I have asked for service on this, and they discovered (after 4 to 6 calls to check MY equipment) finally found a problem in the lines. BUT THEY HAVE NOT FIXED IT!

 

So I can live with caps, I seldom hit their cap. 250 GB is failry reasonable, and while I could use it up with streaming movies, I rearly do and limit my streaming movies from time. I can live with occasional throttling for netwrok reliability (key word occasional), but bad equipment and poor service is not an excuse for bad bandwidth.

 

So my complaint is that AT&T is not supplying me the level of customer service I expect. Because they cannot give me that speed they offer, I should get a discount. I do not. Because they cannot offer me the service level I pay for, I should be allowed out of my contract. I am not. 

 

This simply means I will leave AT&T for Comcast for phone and internet when my term is up. Sadly, AT&T's poor customer service is not working for me.

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Aug 23, 2012 5:22:23 PM
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Don't ever attempt to be a work at home person with AT&T residential service. Theire system WILL throttle you back if it thinks you are using too much bandwidth. I heard that directly from an AT&T business class sales consultant!!!!

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Aug 23, 2012 5:32:21 PM
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That's why there's Business HSI. :smileywink: I don't think they cap or throttle, IIRC?

I'm sure there are many using Residential for their business, adding to the situation with capping. :smileysad:

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Aug 23, 2012 5:51:25 PM
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I work all day so not using bandwidth other than evening - I download VERY little -primary looking at facebook and email - yet every night I sit here waiting for my email to be delivered....as much as a pain in the rear changing vendors that may be the only alternative to this situation.

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Apr 26, 2013 6:18:02 PM
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I agree AT&T should be broken up but how can that happen when the politicians are in their pocket? When elected officials are more concerned about lobbyists than they are about the citizens who elected them, we no longer are living in a democracy.

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Jun 4, 2013 6:05:18 PM
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I HOPE ALL THE ATT CUSTOMERS OUT THERE DO WHAT THEY SAY AND SEND ATT A WAKE UP CALL, BOYCOTT ATT, DONT LET THEM PUSH US AROUND. IT IS NOT FAIR. I SAY WE START A COAILITION [Edited to comply with Guidelines], THIS IS RIDICULOUS ATT GET YOUR MONEY HUNGRY HEADS OUT YOUR [word filter avoidance]

Re: AT&T broadband users will soon face a cap on the amount of internet data they can download a

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Sep 12, 2013 6:57:30 PM
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Voyager

i have contacted att customer service about this and they had a customer service agent call me to explain the policy he explained it all very well.. i informed him of my policy. and it go's like this the first time i actually see a additional charge for extra gigs on my bill i am going to cancel my service cancel my phone cancel my wireless everything. i am even going to sell the shares of stock my wife inherited. the whole idea blows chunks they have spent the last few years adding tv and movies and urging us to watch them. i signed up with hulu and netflix and cancelled my cable tv i feel like i was set up like a bowling pin.. well like i said no matter what the new company policy is. i got my policy and it is quits for me the first time they bill me for this new charge for more gigs. it's just another bogus cash grab by a company that still thinks it's good old ma bell and the only game in town. i been paying my monthly bill with these guy's for over thirty five years and a few years back when i signed up for internet service the sales pitch for their new dsl service included the statement unlimited and that's the way i want it to remain. bottom line just bill me once and poof i am gone.

Re: AT&T broadband users will soon face a cap on the amount of internet data they can download a

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Sep 12, 2013 7:17:03 PM
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Teacher

grandwazoo: I feel the exact same way. Between Uverse, phone, wireless service, and business phone, we spend at leats $450 a month with AT&T. BUT, and they know this: Where are you going to go?

 

There are only a hnadfull of options here: Uverse is one. DSL is another, but too slow and from the same company. I can switch to Comcast, but they also have a 250 GB limit, AND in my area, they are hijacking DNS traffic so my VPN fails. There is satellite, but too slow and had limits too.

 

So, where else do I go?  Where do you plan to go? No disrespect, I am seriously curious. 

 

Thanks

Re: AT&T broadband users will soon face a cap on the amount of internet data they can download a

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