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On Monday, AT&T Customers Enter Era of Broadband Caps 537

Posted by timothy
from the wake-me-when-the-world-ends dept.
theodp writes "The Age of Broadband Caps begins Monday, with AT&T imposing a 150 GB cap on DSL subscribers and 250 GB for UVerse users, and keeping the meter running after that. The move comes as AT&T's 16+ million customers are increasingly turning to online video such as Hulu and Netflix on-demand streaming service instead of paying for cable. With AT&T's Man in the White House, some fear there's a 'digital dirt road' in America's future. Already, the enforcement of data caps in Canada has prompted Netflix to default to lower-quality streaming video to shield its users from overage fees."
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On Monday, AT&T Customers Enter Era of Broadband Caps

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  • What's just as bad as them trying to force you up from DSL to UVerse (hence the 100/250 cap) the terms they sent out also had a provision where you had to be nice when calling in for service issues or they would cancel your account. I quit two weeks ago because AT$T's attitude still sucks, and the company is still Horrible despite realizing that they now have competition.

    • The thing that really confuses me about AT&T is that after it was painstakingly dismantled at the legal level, not only did it reassemble itself, like some very ugly swarm of very large nanobots, but it took back up the name of its former self, thus completing the reincarnation into the monster hated and feared by its customers. Why the name, AT&T? Was the labelling on all the old switch boxes really bothering your field techs that much? Why would a company choose a name so completely and consistent
      • No. AT&T is Southwest Bell with lipstick. They are an amalgamation of Ameritech, PacBell, and assets they picked up on the way. But at the core, they are a "Baby Bell" monopoly. It's the management of SW Bell in their "take over the world" phase.

        And now they need to complete their rape and pillage by buying T-Mobile. Did you think the caps were for technical reasons? No. They need revenue to finance the hideous acquisition that would make them The Death Star Monopoly again.

        • No. AT&T is Southwest Bell with lipstick. They are an amalgamation of Ameritech, PacBell, and assets they picked up on the way. But at the core, they are a "Baby Bell" monopoly. It's the management of SW Bell in their "take over the world" phase.

          IOW, the original AT&T monopoly reassembling itself, exactly like GPP said. The fact that the company which kept the AT&T name was swallowed by one of its children, rather than the reverse, is really irrelevant -- the point is that it was all Ma Bell originally, and it keeps coming back to that, the monster that just won't die.

          • by russotto (537200)

            IOW, the original AT&T monopoly reassembling itself, exactly like GPP said. The fact that the company which kept the AT&T name was swallowed by one of its children, rather than the reverse, is really irrelevant -- the point is that it was all Ma Bell originally, and it keeps coming back to that, the monster that just won't die.

            Yep, it's the T-1000 of monopolies. Although I think it's going to have a hard time swallowing Verizon, and it's still anyone's guess which of the two ends up with Qwest (a

      • Why the name, AT&T? Was the labelling on all the old switch boxes really bothering your field techs that much? Why would a company choose a name so completely and consistently associated with poor treatment of customers?

        You only had to follow the news (tech and mainstream) in the 1990s to know the answer to this - the name Southwestern Bell/SBC was absolute poison because of customer dissatisfaction, repeated management cock-ups (I guess the latter isn't really separate from the former), and IIRC even financial malfeasance. They felt they had to get away from SBC at any cost. The AT&T name had some history behind it, at least.

        I recall their ads at the time tried to play into the long history of AT&T.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      I have the Uverse service, but don't really see a problem (yet, we'll see). DSL alone is $20 per month, Uverse is twice the speed and is only $25. Both are cheaper than Comcast -- but if they start charging me extra, it would be easy to go to Comcast, who are even worse than AT&T.

    • Ok, I called my UVerse representative to express my displeasure with a 250GB cap being implemented that I did not agree to. He reassured me the cap was only for DSL users, not UVerse users. I cannot find anything in my TOS about a cap, nor anything on their website that mentions a cap for UVerse, only DSL users. The rep said he has UVerse internet too, and he also would not be happy with a cap, but swears such a thing has not been implemented or will be implemented. So, can someone show some proof that
    • by ebusinessmedia1 (561777) on Saturday April 30, 2011 @05:09PM (#35986762)
      The telcos make me sick, and they are making America sick! Imagine what this will mean as education, training, and other necessities migrate online - with massive, bandwidth-sucking applications; those who can pay for bandwidth will be able to access these things; those that can't, won't.

      The telcos have done *everything* they can to cripple expansive growth, so that *they can save infrastructure investment dollars*. In the offing, they have paid off our legislators and others who are supposed to be looking out for us. Their actions are nothing short of criminal, and are legal only because they pay for the laws that are supposed to "protect" the consumer.

      In a word, these capping policies are UNAMERICAN (and, I'm not a nationalist, by any means.) What do these caps do to things like scientific research, education, legal artistic sharing, etc. etc. They *cripple* those innovations, thus crippling the forward promise of Americans, and America. Something HAS to be done; the pure profit motives at any cost of the grotesquely greedy telcos must be legislated. It's time to nationalize these companies, or else slap them upside the head so hard that they will start *serving* their customers instead of crimping their futures.

      What's more, we need to start with the people who run these companies; we need to see them for what they are, and the large-scale harm that they do. They may be scions of their individual communities, and good parents, and all that, but they are literally putting us on a path that will disadvantage this country for decades, if someone doesn't put a stop to this egregious insult to information access, invention, and innovation.

      Bandwidth is (theoretically) unlimited; we don't need to meter it; we need to *make it accessible*, and let 1000 ideas bloom. From now on, we must *insist* on nothing less - our future depends on it!

  • Sweden (Score:5, Informative)

    by Securityemo (1407943) on Saturday April 30, 2011 @11:42AM (#35984620) Journal
    I sit here, 90 miles above the polar circle in the northernmost city in Sweden, and I pay ~52 USD a month for an unlimited 100/10 (guaranteed minimum 60) connection from an RJ-45 jack in my apartment wall. It's an ordinary apartment, nothing special about it, this is something that is generally available. Bask in my smugness, etc.
    • Re:Sweden (Score:4, Informative)

      by Edsj (1972476) on Saturday April 30, 2011 @12:12PM (#35984776)
      And not so far from Sweden, baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) have unilimited 50,100 and even 200Mbps for a cool $40. These countries are not even the richest but somewhat think that this is an investment for their future as they can create a new type of industry with all that bandwith avaliable, helping their economies.
      • To be fair, 40 USD in Estonia are not 40 USD in the US (or in Sweden, for that matter). The GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power parity of Estonia is less than half of that of the US. A Big Mac is about 2.70 USD in Estonia, compared to 3.70 USD in the US.

        Still, your point stands.

        • When I look for conversion according to "purchasing power parity" for Sweden I wind up with my connection costing 34$ USD, but that can't be right. I'm not well-versed in economics; do you have a source for the "adjusted conversion rate"?
          • tldr: In Estonia, 1 USD (12 Estonian kroons) buys more stuff than in the US. In Sweden, 1 USD (6 Swedish kronor) buys less stuff than in the US.

            Well, I'm just an arm chair economist so I just looked it up on Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]. :)

            For instance, look at these two tables, listing GDP per capita, one nominal [wikipedia.org], and one adjusted for PPP [wikipedia.org]. Sweden has about the same nominal GPD/capita as the US, but is at about 80% of the US when adjusted for PPP -- because stuff is more expensive in Sweden. For instance, a Big Mac [oanda.com] is about 8

      • by hedwards (940851)

        You do have to adjust for the cost of living. But around here you can't get a connection like that without being an ISP. For home users a connection like that isn't available at any price which is really a huge part of the problem. People will swallow this change by AT&T, but it will be primarily because they haven't any other options apart from canceling service completely. And with more and more vital services moving online only, that's getting less and less viable all the time.

    • by TyFoN (12980)

      And here in Oslo I'm getting 60/60 mbit internet, hdtv and telephone over a fiber connection without any caps for about $100 :)

      • by Achra (846023)
        Here in Seattle, I'm getting 25/25 mbit internet & telephone over fiber without caps for about $100. :)
        Sure, our internet isn't as good as yours.. and our skiing isn't as good as yours.. and we can't get lutefisk except at christmastime.. but I'm sure there must be some reason that I live here instead of Norway, just let me think about it some longer.
    • by Kjella (173770)

      Norway here, ~85 USD for 25/5 and it delivers. I downloaded a 500GB torrent at ~2.9 MB/s one month, still no complaints. Too bad I'm not on fiber though, they have 25/25 for same and 60/60 for ~105 USD/mo.

  • the joke(s) (Score:4, Funny)

    by AmigaHeretic (991368) on Saturday April 30, 2011 @11:42AM (#35984624) Journal
    I called at&t customer service and spoke to a nice representative. After listening to my concerns about broadband caps being imposed on accounts, he explained that the rising cost of fuel was effecting the price of delivering the bits to my home, hence the need for the limits on bandwidth. He asked if he could place me on hold for a moment while he talked to a supervisor, when he came back he said had gotten permission to grandfather my account to keep it as unlimited for as long as the account remained open.

    (this is probably only sad/funny for people that have actually ever called at&t. feel free to point out all the discrepancies/truths)
  • by hawguy (1600213) on Saturday April 30, 2011 @11:55AM (#35984690)

    Maybe the FTC should force them to add a "Not suitable for streaming" disclaimer to all of their advertisements unless their cap can support high quality streaming (2.3GB/hour) for as many hours that a typical household watches TV (6.75 hours/day), which would mean a cap of 465GB/Month.

    • Well, anyone who has any knowledge of how the Internet works knew that there wasn't enough bandwidth for everyone to stream at the same time because the ISP business mode was based on overselling bandwidth. Plain and simple.

      So everyone gets mad to find out that "unlimited" didn't really mean unlimited. And then everyone gets mad when they stop calling it "unlimited" and actually telling people it is capped. You can please some of the people some of the time, but...

      Let me state how much I hate phone companie

      • by hawguy (1600213) on Saturday April 30, 2011 @12:25PM (#35984896)

        Sure, I understand how oversubscription works, but don't say that your service is great for video streaming when I'd hit your cap in 15 days if I tried to replace my normal TV viewing with streaming.

        I really don't care what the economics of being an ISP are - if they can't support the use they are claiming it's for, then they shouldn't be making that claim. It's not like they didn't know years ago that video streaming was on the upswing and would become a dominant use of bandwidth so surely they've had time to come up with advertising collateral that accurately describes what their product can do.

        It's like a car manufacturer advertising that their latest pickup is great for heavy construction use... then in the fine print they note "Warranty invalid if used for heavy construction use".

        • I think the future for ISPs may be to adapt a Social Business [wikipedia.org] model: all profits are reinvested directly back into the business, so instead of having to pay a bunch of investors, the profits go towards better infrastructure and improved service.
    • by Osgeld (1900440)

      its perfectly suitable for streaming, you want on demand hd buy that service, you want to watch the office 3 days later on hulu, well its still there

  • by dn15 (735502)

    So it's come to this, has it? Good thing I still have unlimited data on my iPhone. If my home ISP starts capping I'll just have to watch NetFlix over 3G on my phone. :P

  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Saturday April 30, 2011 @11:57AM (#35984700) Journal

    Come on a 150GB download limit, that is okay. If you need your porn faster then 150GB per second then... wait, it is NOT per second? Oh well, 150GB per day is still... not per day either?

    Oh dear. You poor Americans... thank god in mainland Europe we have evil state sponsored businesses and no free market so we have a lot of choice of ISP's. But who will I now download my porn from at 100mbit and no bandwidth limit? Oh wait, Japan! Country of un-limitted porn AND bandwidth and now thanks to Fukushima, tentacle porn without special effects!

    But I know the perfect way to get the Americans to shit up and enjoy the AT&T dick going up their ass for the thousand time. Here is it. Are you ready for it? Brace yourself:

    The way to fix this, is government regulation.

    Whoa, see? All the complainers now switched their energy to frothing at the mouth about the free market, small government etc etc and they stopped complaining about the ass raping they are getting. Always works.

    • This is more than just a tad insensitive: "Oh wait, Japan! Country of un-limitted porn AND bandwidth and now thanks to Fukushima, tentacle porn without special effects!" I agree with the rest of your comment, but I hope it doesn't get modded as funny.

      That said, the majority of the Canadian market share for high-speed is run by monopoly companies. There used to be a dozen or so ISPs in each city when the dial-up Internet was around and this worked well. Then these ISPs stayed around when the high-speed was a

    • by YesIAmAScript (886271) on Saturday April 30, 2011 @01:38PM (#35985378)

      You don't understand how the politics break in the US.

      In general, it is the old people who have the money who are complaining about taxes, government regulation and state how the free market will fix everything.

      But it's the young people who watch a lot of video over the internet (specifically torrent a lot) and they aren't anti government-regulation in general. Mostly because they wouldn't mind voting some older people's money into their pockets, which is (to circle back) what the old people are worried about in the first place.

      So you've created a false dichotomy. Those who are up in arms about caps likely would not complain if the government stepped in.

      • by timeOday (582209)

        Mostly because they wouldn't mind voting some older people's money into their pockets, which is (to circle back) what the old people are worried about in the first place.

        When actually it's the old who are robbing the young. For decades, everybody saw the shortfall in Social Security coming. People like Ross Perot and Al Gore campaigned on shoring it up. But by in large, the boomers voted for candidates who promised (and delivered) lower taxes (and deficits) instead.

        So what if we don't fully fund S

    • by Kjella (173770)

      The way to fix this, is government regulation.

      Whoa, see? All the complainers now switched their energy to frothing at the mouth about the free market, small government etc etc and they stopped complaining about the ass raping they are getting. Always works.

      Don't worry, the libertarians will simply claim all the problems with monopolistic ISPs exist because the market is not free enough. To me it sounds like stabbing yourself with a knife, the harder you push the more pain you're in, but if you only push hard enough the pain will go away. On second thoughts, maybe they are onto something...

    • by phantomfive (622387) on Saturday April 30, 2011 @02:31PM (#35985676) Journal
      Oh, and since you didn't give an idea of what kind regulation to use to fix this, here's mine:

      We need to separate the service providers from the people who are building the infrastructure. That way, people who are building infrastructure will be competing against those who are building infrastructure, and they will have no way to differentiate themselves except on price and capacity. This will have the effect of driving up the capacity and driving down the cost.
  • by imcdowell (1986142) on Saturday April 30, 2011 @12:00PM (#35984730)

    Having a bandwidth cap per se is not a bad thing from a societal perspective; if there really is a marginal cost to carrying a GB of data you'll only get the socially optimal result if you price bandwidth at that marginal cost. From that perspective the Netflix degradation referenced in the article could be a good thing; if individuals value the higher video quality less than the price of transmitting it, the right outcome for society is for them to see lower quality video at lower cost.

    Of course, the marginal price for a GB of data these days is near zero -- (one site [nerdboys.com] pegged it at $.03). AT&T has a fine idea, they're just pricing it 150x too high. The fact that they're able to do so screams market failure/monopoly to me.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Ichijo (607641)

      Of course, the marginal price for a GB of data these days is near zero -- (one site pegged it at $.03). AT&T has a fine idea, they're just pricing it 150x too high. The fact that they're able to do so screams market failure/monopoly to me.

      When your use of bandwidth deprives your neighbor of his use of bandwidth at the same time, you've imposed an external cost on your neighbor. Flat rate bandwidth caps are a clumsy way of making you pay for this type of market failure known as a "negative externality".

      A

      • by ritcereal (1399801) on Saturday April 30, 2011 @12:43PM (#35985046)
        The claim that your denying your neighbor from bandwidth is complete FUD. If you are provided a service (lets say 10 mb down / 5 mb up) and you consume said service and it degrades your neighbor's service, is that YOUR fault? No. It is entirely your service providers fault for providing service in such a way that a single customer affects another customer.

        In the real world, you alone do not deprive bandwidth from another user (even in cable with shared medium environments it is rare, and if it does happen it is STILL the ISP's fault not the customers).

        With that said, the real issue is that the ISPs don't want to pony up and order additional capacity to their providers, peers, or even within their own network. They've all increased subscriber counts, data rates, and expected to spend little to nothing on improving the network? That's crap. ISP's are just trying to convince us that we are the cause of congestion because we watch too much You Tube and Netfix while they neglect maintaining and improving the network. It is ok to oversell, every business does it, but if you neglect your own service to the point that customers service is being denied because you refused to invest in your own network, how could this be the consumers fault?

        Clearly the internet market in the United States is flawed. It's ok, the free market is clearly worse than the guaranteed monopolies we have with our telecoms.
        • by FSWKU (551325) on Saturday April 30, 2011 @01:44PM (#35985408)
          It all boils down to greed. First, they pocket the money given to them for building out their infrastructure. Now, they see Netflix/Hulu/etc becoming more popular than their overpriced VOD services.

          My guess is they ultimately want to start raising their overage fees. The reasoning (internally, of course) will be something along the lines of, "Fine...you want to shrink our profits by choosing the better & cheaper streaming alternatives? Well now you're going to be paying us more in overages than you save by not giving us your money in the first place!"

          Now in public, they will try to spin this as a win for "fairness" and being able to provide "quality services that customers demand" or some other such bullshit...

          And this is why I'd love to see more companies providing nothing but a connection to the internet. No phone companies, no cable companies, no other vested interests trying to stifle what you do on your connection because it competes with the other offerings they want to shove down your throat.
          • by dachshund (300733)

            My guess is they ultimately want to start raising their overage fees.

            I actually think they don't want to raise the overage fees. With streaming as popular as it is, this would mean dramatic overages for a huge swath of their customer base, which would ultimately be exactly same as simply raising their base rate and offering an 'email/web only' plan for grandma.

            In other words, it's easier for them to just raise their base prices and have done with it.

            I suspect that the real goal is to force players like Net

      • Uh.. AT&T is using DSL, which doesn't affect your neighbor's last mile like cable. Unless you're talking about the bandwidth at AT&T's end which should be more than enough if they haven't screwed things up.

        I can kind of understand the caps on cable but some kind of protocol neutral throttling, not heavy like they currently do to bittorrent, just minor amounts like dropping from 10Mbps to 5 when the entire network is loaded would be less bad in my opinion. You're right that using bandwidth when no on

  • by Whip (4737) on Saturday April 30, 2011 @12:17PM (#35984816)

    The caps wouldn't be that bad if the service didn't *utterly* suck.

    The gateway they give you is the only thing that works with the service (you can't use your own hardware, or at least nobody has found a way to). It won't do any kind of bridge mode. It won't talk to more than one IP per MAC address, so you can't put a router behind it (unless that router is doing NAT for *everything*). It randomly drops connections, especially long lived ones -- I can't make local backups of my server in a remote datacenter anymore, because the connection will almost never stay alive long enough to transfer the whole ~400MB. Sometimes it starts blocking random incoming connections, even to static, un-natted, unfirewalled addresses -- one day I can't get to my webserver from the outside world for a few hours... the next I can't ssh into my home server ("unknown inbound session stopped" ... of course it's unknown, it's the first packet of a new connection, you piece of garbage). It supports logging to syslog, but outputs a constant stream of useless messages so thick that it's almost useless.

    Recently I've started to notice having periodic problems downloading content (like the slashdot style sheet!) from akamai-based sites, which a little bit of goggling shows to be an ongoing U-Verse problem since 2008.

    The support sucks massively. If you call with basically any problem beyond "my internet is down" they will forward you on to their "advanced" support department, who has a fee of $39 (might be $29... don't remember)... which they'll charge you even if all they do is tell you that they can't help you and you need to call regular support.

    Netflix, on my 24Mbit downlink, varies from "great quality" to "OMG you can barely do SD quality"... many other people report this as well. Some days the performance is great, some days the performance is just absolutely miserable. I'd try to see if there was some common network path causing problems, but they basically disable traceroute for all of their internal nodes (I'm guessing they just stop them from sending TTL exceeded datagrams completely).

    You can't switch back to ADSL -- they wouldn't even let me get U-Verse service unless they disconnected my ADSL at the same time. But it is "no longer available" so now I'm stuck with this garbage.

    I'd gladly take a usage cap if it meant any of this crap would get better. I'm somehow doubting it, since not a bit of it seems like it's related to network saturation... just lousy service. And my only other choice in this area (AFAIK) is Comcast, who also has caps, along with their own set of problems...

    I'd say "welcome back to the 90s" ... but my network worked a lot better back then. So I guess... welcome to the future!

  • by DigiShaman (671371) on Saturday April 30, 2011 @12:23PM (#35984880) Homepage

    Where some see a problem, I see a business opportunity. Why not great a deal where by the content providers (Netflix, Hulu..etc) offer to put a cached server in the headend of ATT and Comcasts local networks. It would reduce bandwidth between pairing agreements and save everyone money. Not only that, with sharing of the profits, networks can use the funds to increase data capacity to match the exponential growth in data usage.

    • Lol.... yeah.... fixing simple problems with complex answers is totally a good idea.... LOL. NOT!

    • by MoonBuggy (611105) on Saturday April 30, 2011 @12:50PM (#35985088) Journal

      In an ideal world, perhaps that'd work. As it stands, it's exactly the kind of net-neutrality destroying idea that so many geeks are worried about: it'd give the ISPs an incentive to create ever more onerous (and artificial) transfer caps, to encourage more content providers to pay for hosting on their cache servers. It would disincentivise costly upgrades to the backbone network (since many of the big names that customers demand are already on the caching network), further marginalising the wider internet by reducing the speed available within those strict transfer limits. Eventually, as even the last mile network becomes saturated, you might even end up with secondary transfer caps being introduced on data from the cache servers.

      Looking at the past actions of the ISPs, can you honestly say that kind of behaviour is beyond them?

  • Rationing. That is what a monopoly does when it can't/won't keep up with demand. The good news is, uh, well, there isn't any good news.
  • Could anyone inform the other readers (and myself) about perhaps what kinds of things it would take to start up new ISPs? I mean, if we hate AT&T and Verizon so much and it only seems that Google is here pushing the Internet envelop, why aren't more entrepreneurs starting ISPs (other than it is probably expensive, just like any other business startup)?

  • The big lie of omission here is that AT&T doesn't just have an executive in the White House, they've been giving out bribes^Hcampaign contributions to about 75-80% of Congress as well as the president and a lot of other movers and shakers. That's what makes them immune to any sort of government interference. Their efforts completely bipartisan [opensecrets.org], because AT&T's only ideology is to make more money for AT&T.

  • The way AT&T is measuring it also adds in the protocol overhead, which can be 10% or more. They measure it at the DSLAM, not the customer modem. For instance they show me uploading 10 GB and downloading 97 GB this month. The only uploads I have did for the entire month is some emails that might contain a picture or two, nothing with a large file attachment and I do not use any P2P software that would be uploading. The previous month the overhead that they measured was enough to put me over their 150 GB
    • by haruchai (17472)

      If you had an unlimited plan or hadn't hit your cap, you could have typed a complete sentence. :-D

  • Switch to Sonic.net (Score:3, Informative)

    by Animats (122034) on Saturday April 30, 2011 @12:58PM (#35985134) Homepage

    If you're in Northern California, you have the option of switching to Sonic.net. [sonic.net] Sonic is an independent ISP which has grandfathered rights to lease AT&T DSL lines at favorable rates. They back-haul your DSL link to Santa Rosa, CA, and then connect to the Internet via Cable and Wireless.They have no usage cap and no intention of adding one. Sonic has been slightly more expensive than AT&T until recently. But if you're faced with AT&T's bandwidth cap, they can now be cheaper.

    Sonic just sells a data pipe. They don't sell any content over their DSL lines, so they have no incentive to force you into some "entertainment package". (They do resell DirectTV, but that's via a satellite dish and is mostly a sideline for their rural customers.

    There's no "packet inspection" nonsense with Sonic. No caching. No funny DNS rerouting. No custom browser. They just pipe through the bits you send and receive. You pay for bandwidth (and it's not "up to 6 mbps", it's "3.0mbsp to 6.0 mbps download, 512kbps to 768kbps upload."). My own line at in that tier measures at about 4.1mbps.

    They also have 20mbps and 40mbps services, but they're available only in limited areas.

    Sonic also has better policies than AT&T. "Sonic.net, Inc. functions as a common carrier and does not censor." They don't require arbitration; you can go to Small Claims Court if you have to.

  • After deregulation, In all EU countries there is an "infrastructure manager" (IM) They are responsible for maintaining and expanding the telecom infrastructure. They charge ISPs for using their infrastructure. The ISPs buy this capacity and resell to individual consumers.

    Why does this work? The IM is ONLY responsible for infrastructure and it's in their interest to fulfill the market need for more capacity if such a demand exists. Thus it's in their interest to EXPAND coverage and infrastructure because
  • But I use Clear.com -- and I've got 4G mobile and a home WiMax for ~$60 a month. If you just want home -- that's about $40 depending on deal.
    You can get 7 mps and 1mps up -- and it has no bandwidth caps (except on the Mobile).

    I got rid of AT&T/Bellsouth a while ago and it is cheaper.

    I'm also using MagicJack -- which now has a software-only option (rather than using the usb jack) - but I'm not a fan of requiring people to press a series of numbers after using the star key (*).

    >> On the downside, I

  • We have Uverse here and honestly I don't use up 250GB a month worth of bandwidth, the problem occurs because my roommates do. 250GB a month may be perfectly normal for one person but when you have a lot of people living in the same apt trying to save money this way, this is going to become absurd, and I know if we start getting charged extra for going over the cap per a month, even if I suggest switching to another company it likely won't happen because of my roommates stubbornly not wanting to switch cabl
  • Although they're pushing caps on everyone, many are still not affected due to AT&T's slow adoption of giving customers tools to monitor their bandwidth. DSLreports has had quite a few complaining about how their first attempt at giving a meter for bandwidth monitoring was horribly inaccurate so I assume that is why many still do not have it.

    I am on their DSL where I am and I just checked today and there is no tool for me to monitor my bandwidth yet. Since there isn't one, it says that "I do not need to

  • The only reason AT&T is doing this is to try to force you to buy cable TV from them instead of using online streaming services.

    This is why Internet needs to be considered a public utility and regulated as such.

  • by blind biker (1066130) on Saturday April 30, 2011 @01:57PM (#35985468) Journal

    ...in a country where you're charged for incoming calls! And the most outrageous/hilarious thing about it is, USians think that's completely normal.

  • by pushf popf (741049) on Saturday April 30, 2011 @05:51PM (#35986956)

    When most of the long haul and medium haul fiber was laid, they didn't just bury what they needed, they buried a bunch of it. However most was never connected to equipment (lit up).

    This dark fiber is still sitting in trenches and conduits (many were taxpayer funded) running along a huge number of US superhighways, and has not seen a single byte of data.

    This is mostly because having additional capacity would remove the artifical limits, increase the supply and cause prices for internet access to drop.

    While some companies have problems with "the last mile" (to the home), companies that ran fiber to the home like Verizon, are still attempting to limit bandwidth and create artifical shortages.

  • by Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) on Saturday April 30, 2011 @10:45PM (#35988152)

    This is proof that AT&T is not a broadband company. If AT&T is going to cap its users, this is AT&T's fault, not the users.

    If AT&T cant provide its users with broadband without capping data usage, they are NOT providing broadband, they are simply a shit company incapable of delivering service to its customers.

    My advice, CANCEL your AT&T immediately.

    Put it this way. Only a shitty ISP/Broadband provider fails to understand that users will always demand increased bandwidth as technology advances.

    AT&T is trying to fuck you over. CANCEL your accounts immediately, and TELL THEM EXACTLY WHY.

    My advice to AT&T, start improving your shitty networks (internet and cellphone) or go out of business. Light is pretty much easy to produce. Lay down more fiber, and stop being a shitty fucking company trying to rape its subscribers.

    I will use this time to acknowledge and praise Verizon for FIOS. I've been with them for years now. I was an early adopter of FIOS, I knew when it was coming. I anxiously awaited FIOS, and gladly left Cablevision to get on FIOS because like AT&T... Cablevision started to cap their users secretly, rather than upgrade their shitty networks.

    Verizon brought Fiber to my house. AT&T.. Where the fuck were you?

    SEE THE PROBLEM?

    AT&T... You're LATE TO THE GAME, and you cant provide service because you refuse to be a quality company. Go out of buisness, the consumer doesnt give a shit if you cant provide a quality service.

Swap read error. You lose your mind.

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