AT&T to set bandwidth usage quotas in Reno

Bandwidth usage quotas seem to be taking cable and DSL providers by storm lately, with Comcast recently establishing a 250GB monthly limit for all residential users, and Time Warner Cable testing tier-based caps in Texas. Now, Broadband Reports says AT&T will begin similar trials in Reno, Nevada this month.

As the story goes, AT&T will apply monthly quotas ranging from 20GB to 150GB depending on customers’ speed tiers. Presumably, users of the company’s slowest 768Kbps service will get the lowest cap, and those with the 6Mbps service will be able to download up to 150GB per month without problems. Broadband Reports says customers will receive "some kind of automated alert" when they reach 80% of their quota, and they’ll receive another notice when they go over. Folks will apparently get off scot-free the first time, but AT&T mulls charging repeat offenders an additional $1 per extra gigabyte.

New customers should get a written notice when the trial kicks off, and those who don’t want to participate will be able to cancel their service "without an early termination penalty." However, Broadband Reports says AT&T intends to establish a 150GB quota for existing customers later this year, and it might set up a similar trial in another area by the end of this year.

Comments closed
    • ilkhan
    • 11 years ago

    And I was gonna get UVerse to bring my upload bandwidth from .5Mb to 1.5Mb too. Oh well.

    • adam1378
    • 11 years ago

    It specifically says in the uverse documents that Att does not limit bandwidth. I dont know if this is about the same service.

    • Thresher
    • 11 years ago

    If I were Apple, Hulu, Netflix, or any other content provider, I would see this as anticompetitive behavior.

    While people are, rightly, to a large extent, saying this will only affect pirates and other scofflaws, that only describes the situation NOW. If I were a content provider, I would be thinking of ways to subscribe people to see what they want to see, when they want to see it versus the model broadcast TV has established. That way you could get all of your content, not from a channel, but from a provider or two.

    Metering bandwidth will kill this potential model, and I think this is EXACTLY why Comcast, et. al. are doing this.

    I would not be surprised to see a Federal lawsuit at some point regarding this tactic as anticompetitive. I think telephone based providers will have great difficulty with this since they have been defined as a common carrier and get special benefits (like not being sued over the content on their lines) as a result. Cable companies might be on better ground, but the Telecommunications Act of 1996 might actually work against them in this case.

      • marvelous
      • 11 years ago

      What about us video watchers. I download about 100gb a month just on legal videos alone from my motherland.

        • Jon
        • 11 years ago

        What kind of legal videos? 100gigs for videos is a lot.
        Wait let me rephrase that, “What kind of ‘legal’ videos?” 😉

    • albundy
    • 11 years ago

    “AT&T mulls charging repeat offenders an additional $1 per extra gigabyte”

    Repeat offenders? So they treat their paying customers as criminals? LOL! why are they still in business? I’d fire them in split second. They should be paying me to use it! LOL!

      • zaeric19
      • 11 years ago

      Because they probably offer service in areas where nobody else does so people are left with no choice.

    • Kunikos
    • 11 years ago

    This is bull-poop. I would like to start two letter writing campaigns, one to tell AT&T that they need to suck it up and upgrade their bottlenecks and the second one to tell Verizon to give us FiOS out here. 🙁

      • 5150
      • 11 years ago

      Hell, the little communication coop I work for is putting fibre up in Montana, I would think Verizon would be getting on that.

    • gargar
    • 11 years ago

    simply put

    cancel your account.

    • strikeleader
    • 11 years ago

    Don’t worry, Obama will make them spread the wealth…er bandwidth fairly among everyone.

    • kvndoom
    • 11 years ago

    I cringe at the day where I have to pay for my pron.

      • Flying Fox
      • 11 years ago

      Aren’t you paying for it already with your existing internet connection?

        • ludi
        • 11 years ago

        Maybe his neighbors have an unsecured AP, and he’s about to crash their account.

          • dmitriylm
          • 11 years ago

          Time to pick up an FTA receiver for all of your porn demands.

        • kvndoom
        • 11 years ago

        Paying for the connection yes. 😛

        Curiously, why are you guys implying that there would be no caps on FIOS? I’m kinda out of the loop on all this, been happy with my 3Mb DSL, ’cause I never let myself forget the nightmare that is dialup.

    • bcronce
    • 11 years ago

    ISPs in the USA shouldn’t be able to cap bandwidth until we catch up to the rest of the worl with 100+mb/s

      • 5150
      • 11 years ago

      I wish I hadn’t known that, it would make 8mbps much more tolerable.

    • stoydgen
    • 11 years ago

    Welcome to world of Australian Broadband!

    Where $1 a gigabyte over our limit is actually good value 😛

    • valrandir
    • 11 years ago

    If they expand this, its bye AT&T for me…hopefully Verizon fios will expand here sooner…

    • marvelous
    • 11 years ago

    20gb a month is definitely way too low.

    • TheBob!
    • 11 years ago

    “with Comcast recently establishing a 250GB monthly limit for all residential users”

    That has always been there they are just now telling people though. With HD video and all the new online content companies like Verizon that are spending the money to build out there fios network are going to win out in the long run. Setting limits on your costumers is not the way to go. I have been on FioS since it got rolled out in Richmond, VA. When I move it will be a big part of my decision since its still a bit spotty.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 11 years ago

    Hmph. At least this system lets the home-user get a sense of accountability and amount of usage, but eh… 20GB? That seems a bit tight…

      • setzer
      • 11 years ago

      we, in Portugal, seem to be moving in the oposite direction.

      when i got cable, several years back, with 640kbps/128kpbs (no adsl then, just this) we were capped to 1gb of international downloads and 10gbs of national downloads (of the 10gbs of national downloads users would usualy use say 500mb, because well, we are a small country), eventualy we got upgraded first to 1024/128, then 2048/256, then 4096/256, then 8192/512 (in terms of caps that was upping from 1->10->30), then with the massification of adsl some 5 years back and with the market reaching the current prime we are at usualy 12/1mbps or 24/1mbps for adsl2+ and 20/1mbps upto 30/2mbps in cable with download caps usualy in the 50/60gbs month for the speediest services and half of that for the slower ones, the last two years also saw the coming of “unlimited” connections for the fastest services, unlimited is quoted because users are usualy under a Resposible Usage Policy which efectively turns the unlimited into something like 250gbs/month.
      As a reference for that 640kbps/128kpbs service i initialy had, i paid €35/month with every extra international 100mb costing 1.5€, currently every extra 1gb is usualy costing 1.5€ and a 24/1mbps adsl2+ service usualy costs around €25 with phone included.

      To keep track of things every isp has a web page where you can check how much you have downloaded and where you can configure, usually, 2 warning mails at a given % of your total download limit, usually in the 50% area and in the 90% area.
      Something you will probably find out when they do this, is that the ISP’s usually only update said counters once per day and that warning e-mails can be delivered out of date, and as such users will be responsible for watching their own limits.

      Mobile networks (3.5G) are currently in the 7mbps download rate in urban areas with good service in rural areas (usually around 512~1024kbps) more or less the same prices as adsl2+ services but very very low download caps (i’m talking around 5gb/mo for the 7mbps option).

      Electric network internet was a major flop here.

      Currently we are also introducing fiber at, usually, 30/3, 50/5 and 100/10 (this last one at €65/month with 250gb/mo, the first grade usually goes for €30 with 60gb/mo) and 100/10 cable services for the same price.

      In terms of ISP’s we have 2 or 3 cable ones, 5 or 6 adsl2+ ones and 4 mobile ones.

      In average the rest of europe is more or less in the same page.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 11 years ago

        That seems to be the difference between a goverment that works for the people and one that works for corps and thinks the benefits will trickle down.

        Are all the ISPs and communication services for-profit? Are they tightly regulated? Does the government have to lay in to them to get stuff done or do they push technology forward on their own?

          • ludi
          • 11 years ago

          Keep in mind the distance problem. New York City to Los Angeles is the same distance as Lisbon, Portugal to Moscow, Russia. In the land area of Western Europe encompassed by that span, there are 731 million people compared to about 340 million in the US and southern Canada over a similar land area.

          Part of the reason the US and Canada get such lousy broadband policies is because the providers of the underlying infrastructure don’t get to differentiate by last mile (thanks to regulation, actually) and have to support communications infrastructure over vast areas with low population densities.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 11 years ago

            And yet in the US we’ve built (what was once) among the greatest infrastructure in the industrial world with technology that was also expensive for its time. The power grid which we take for granted is an amazing piece of engineering. The population excuse is just that…an excuse. There are plenty of densely populated areas to install better broadband infrastructure but that’s not being done or being done incredibly slowly, forget about Bum* Alaska.

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