03-16-2011 2:23 PM
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."
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.
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
03-17-2011 2:40 AM
Pretty simple equation for me... AT&T institutes download caps = all AT&T accounts cancelled. I pay for 4 different u-verse accounts in my family, and for 3 different offices accounts. The service has already recently taking a huge web performance hit recently, web pages often go unbrowseable from all my different accounts, while other non-web traffic has no problems getting through. As it is, because of the poor support and sub-optimal network quality with all of the u-verse accounts - I end up getting at least 10% of my traffic as retransmission traffic, and the quality of the streams through web services often is throttled for services like ESPN3.com to where I can't even maintain 3 out of 5 quality on the stream, and yet I have no problems on my RCN accounts at the same time.
If I feel I need to cancel my u-verse accounts, I will also be cancelling all of my Metro Ethernet Services through AT&T. I fell victim to the one bill thinking a long time ago, and have removed all my other services from AT&T up until this point, landline, cable, cellular service due to degrading support and service quality while prices have risen. It looks like soon my internet and connectivity services will follow.
03-17-2011 3:33 AM - edited 03-17-2011 3:35 AM
I'll probably drop my 6.0 plan. It's just a power move to hurt Netflix so they can keep on with their tv service...
Btw AT&T doesn't use nodes like cable companies do, so I don't see how data hogs are slowing others down.
03-17-2011 9:32 AM
Moved to the U-verse board.
03-17-2011 11:00 AM
I recently heard about this move and needless to say I am quite aggravated. I have just upgraded to the highest bandwidth / speed offering available for u-verse.
First off, what is the point in having high bandwidth offerings if you cannot take advantage of them. With that much bandwidth, 250GB will be used in less than a week.
I live in a household of 4 family members. All of which utilize the internet on a daily basis. 2 kids playing internet games. Wife reading emails and watching videos. Myself streaming video, audio and gaming. I also program so the internet is a vital resource for information as well my connection back to my office. I can see me exceeding my limit in less than a week. With family overseas, Skype has been perfect for staying in touch and this will limit our usage of that as well... The rates offered to the country we call are more than we we want to pay on a regular basis. Not covered under international dialing packages.
Out of curiosity I wrote a quick script to scrape the "Traffic Statistics" from my gateway. What I found was just with streaming audio that I can get to about 8Gb in roughly 3 hours. I say about because I do not know how much of that is background traffic such as OS updates or my browsing. If I were to through on my connection back to the office, which is a constant VPN connection, I'd imagine it could grow substantially.
As a family we enjoy watching movies together so Netflix is the ideal choice. Streaming those movies is perfect as we can decide that night what we want to watch. I occasionally use Hulu as well provided through AT&T for watching shows. How will this impact my downloading shows through U Verse to my iPhone for viewing later? It's bad when they have also placed caps on the internet through the smart phones. I also use the smartphone internet for work as well.
These limits will do nothing but hinder me and may cause issues with my work duties if I cannot afford to connect back to the office after exceeding the 250GB limit. I will be tweaking my scripts further to get finer detail for my usage but at first glance, this does not look good. I may have to seek Internet access elsewhere. I can see where my usage may be considered heavy but I expect quite a bit when I pay as much for my features as I do. Perhaps I should just drop the service as a whole... We could probably use the exercise anyway.
Where can we write to voice our concerns over this change? Aside from TV, what will not count against the bandwidth?
If you are going to cap your customers, you should remove the "We don't limit bandwidth" page related to U-Verse. (http://www.att.com/u-verse/explore/resource-landing.jsp)
03-17-2011 1:10 PM
I should probably add to that putting a cap on the internet kind of defeats the idea of cloud publications I would think.
I also order my software electronically whenever possible and those files can be large... 180MB - 2GB alone.
It seems to me as well that the website content these days is happiest with greater amounts of bandwidth which I would translate to meaning more data transferred for a better experience.
With the news events lately too, I have been streaming video from UStream as well as from friends Japan.
Just more thoughts on the matter.
03-17-2011 2:16 PM
03-17-2011 4:26 PM
While AT&T is not like a cable modem system where 500 or so homes share a "local node" near the home, there is still a point at the Central Office where all the DSL lines come together and go to the internet backbone. So you still "share" the central office's total bandwidth. While I am sure they have a large pipe, many people running high speed downloads at the same time does indeed slow down others as the total bandwidth is used up. You are right, it is not the same as cable, but it is still a shared system.
Strangely, while cable modems share a local node for bandwidth, they also share bandwidth at their head end as well with all the nodes. They have two limits that are shared, while typically DSL has only one (although the local concentrator where the DSL terminates may also have bandwidth shared limits, your CO may vary!)
03-17-2011 4:41 PM
I find it amusing that AT&T and Comcast (and other service providers) all flap their wings and pound their chests at just how much "faster" they are than their competition. And then they limit how much you can use. What's the point of being faster if the quantity is small? It is like having a fire hose attached to a 5 gallon bucket. Yea, you get the water fast, but you use it up quickly and have nothing.
Yea, I have heard the arguments that 150GB is a lot of data, and while I suspect that I seldom reach that amount, I have, and probably will more and more as more of my services move to streaming and more and more of my software is downloaded, etc. etc. I am a Microsoft Developer, and ALL their software, hundreds of gigs of it is distributed electronically now. If I have to do an update, it will cost a small fortune in AT&T charges.
And I am a good citizen. When I download such data, I throttle my speed so I do not use all 6 Mbps (which they have not provided in a long time!), and run it slowly during the days and evenings, and only speed it up some (to 3 Mbps) during the nights. I guess there was no reason to do that.
I have AT&T DSL, AT&T home phone service, and AT&T Cell service, and should this change take place, I will seriously consider moving services. Right now, Comcast offers 250 Gb/month, which is a more reasonable limit (if limits can be reasonable). but 150 is just too low. And I was thinking of getting Uverse when it came t my area, but this will just push me to renew a new 2 year contract with Dish network. No to UVerse now. And when my iPhone contract expires, this is just another reason to consider moving to Verizon.
Think about this carefully AT&T. Yes, I know you need to manage bandwidth usage, but I have to agree with others, this is just your way of stopping streaming video from companies like Vudu and Netflix, and hoping people will buy more from you. For me, it will just have the opposite effect. I need a reason to drop my landline, stay with Dish, and move to Verizon cell service. This is reason enough for me.
As a broadband engineer, I fully understand the need to control bandwidth, but a cap with high rates is not the answer. Here is a suggestion: Lower your rates for each of the plans, and then add a smaller fee for each 10 GB of data after that. So instead of $35, offer 6 Mbps/100 Gb.month for $25, and then charge $2.50 for each 25 GB over that. Now, smaller users get a break, and bandwidth hogs like me pay more, and it is still reasonable.
03-17-2011 7:06 PM
03-17-2011 8:05 PM - last edited on 03-17-2011 8:38 PM by ShaunMN
[Keep It Relevant and Appropriate]
They act as if this will only hurt big gamers who sit on their butts all day, but in reality, it is us hard working people it is hurting. good luck
03-17-2011 9:01 PM - edited 03-17-2011 9:43 PM
I just realize this is not the end. At&t, we the people will not stand for what you are trying to do. We will not be undermined by this PONZI scheme. That is all I have to say.
03-18-2011 1:37 AM
All I'm going to say is that it's going to hurt those on disability that can't get out of the house. AT&T Should at least be fair to those on SSI payments and etc when it comes to the internet.
03-18-2011 12:15 PM
This is extremely disappointing that they have decided to take things down this road. I, for one, will be cancelling my service before May 2nd.