AT&T To Cap DSL and Uverse Services

AT&T plans to impose limits on its DSL and Uverse services. It will cap 150GB on its DSL service and 250GB for Uverse. This is based on this morning’s article by Ars Technica. This affects me and family. We are big Netflix users.

AT&T says the move will affect “less than 2 percent” of customers and that it is necessary to address congestion in the network.

The cap structure is not currently set up to squeeze extra fees out of most users. Subscribers who exceed their monthly allowance will pay an additional $10 for each 50GB over the cap, but AT&T tells Ars that “customers will hear from us directly numerous times before they exceed usage and before they incur any additional fees.”

The company will notify users when they hit 65 percent, 90 percent, and 100 percent of their monthly caps, and will also provide historical usage reports and a monthly usage tracking tool. (AT&T says that an average DSL user on its network currently transfers 18GB each month.)

It gets better.

Claims of congestion are notoriously hard to validate from outside the network, but industry analyst Dave Burstein does extensive writing about and consulting for various ISPs; he fired off a tweet this morning saying that AT&T “lied” to the Wall Street Journal. “Congestion is minimal,” Burstein said.

Capping is now a reality.

It comes at no surprise that AT&T wants more money. It posted $20 billion of net income last year, although more than half came from its wireless service. AT&T will cap use of its DSL, Uverse and wireless services. Comcast already caps its customers at 250GB per month.

Competition squeezed.

What’s even more interesting is, AT&T’s Uverse IPTV and VOIP usage is exempted from the cap. That doesn’t look fair to me. Companies and services like Vonage, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, considered as over-the-top providers are getting squeezed by AT&T and Comcast.

Read the rest of the article.