AT&T Caps Their Data Usage

Posted: March 14, 2011
AT&T Caps Their Data Usage

On today's Loop, we discuss AT&T's decision to cap their subscribers' data usage for wireless devices and Uverse, and talk about the reasoning behind it, as well as the impact it will have on users.

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  • Unfamous4_20

    AT&T is lame and they'll take T-mobile's customer service from first to worst.

    Posted: April 25, 2011 12:13 PM
  • wansondove

    What I really dislike about these caps is that AT&T wants its customers tethered to 200 channels stuffed full of aggravating, demoralizing, and completely unwanted commercials.

    Trying listening to a FM radio channel and you will spend most of your time listening to advertising. Unfortunately, most of AT&T's 200 hundred channels have the same problem - an obnoxiously high advertising content such that nothing is really worth watching anymore unless it's seen from a recorded show that can be fast forwarded during the commercial breaks.

    This is what AT&T is protecting and this is the true end result that we will suffer through for another decade. Television content made worthless by endless commercials. Do you like CNN? Actually its called CNNN now - Commercials Not News Network because if you change the channel to CNN, the odds are greater than 50/50 that you will hit a commercial break.

    We are at the threshold of exchanging this tired (and tiresome), ultimately untenable video delivery system with a new model whereby we pay directly for what we want to watch without advertising. We do not need 200 channels. We do not need 500 channels full of content mangled by repetitious, idiotic, insulting advertising. What we do need is five to ten shows we like, some news programs, and the occasional movie without commercials.

    I would pay for that. There are companies poised to provide content directly to viewers commercial free. We have (or had) an Internet that makes that possible. But there are obstacles. First are large ISP's that act like robber barons. Second are the government agencies (FCC, Justice Department, Congress, President) that act like sheriffs on the take. Frankly, I can't tell if those agencies are clueless, gutless, or just plain owned by the corporations..

    We need to quit pretending we are powerless in this situation and realize that with principled and throughout regulation, we can indeed shape the society we want to live in. But first, let's string up the thieves and replace the corrupt sheriffs and corrupt politicians. The sooner the better.

    We live in the 21st century, in the digital age. I will not be dragged back into the last century so some exec can have a bigger bonus and a second vacation home. End the corruption, regulate a vital national resource (a Free Internet is a Free USA), and force ATT and the cable companies to rescind the godforsaken cap.

    Posted: March 29, 2011 2:39 AM
  • ww2_honor

    I can see capping if you're paying for the top tier speeds. I get about 360 KB/s, I should not have a cap with a lower speed than others have.

    Posted: March 22, 2011 3:46 PM
  • wansondove

    We should pay for what we use. We pay for electricity such that financial disincentives kick in for big users. But that is not what is happening here. Instead we are being told that we have stingy quotas that will cause many people to go without service because they are at their cap for the month. Imagine your electric company cutting off power to your home on the 15th because you hit your quota for the month. Really? Is that what you want us to accept?

    Regulation is the answer. ISP's need to become regulated utilities that get audited just like the gas and electric companies. This is a vital step that needs to be taken now. The new draconian usage caps (i.e., quota's) are a sure sign that we have reached that stage where a vital resource cannot be entrusted to private enterprise without regulation and direction.

    The caps are a sure sign that ATT cannot manage this issue on its own. It has taken the wrong steps in dealing with the no free lunch issue. Pay for your lunch - yes. Take away half your lunch - no. Starving America is not the correct solution is you want the country to grow.

    Posted: March 22, 2011 1:34 AM
  • thevogfather

    i'm not sure what all the hype is... comcast has had this 250gb cap for years. and it is true your average user does use less then 18gb I've seen it. and honestly it would be stupid as a business not to.. why? because people want to dump cable tv.. ive seen hulu users go over 1000GB easy so to not to would be shooting themselves in the foot..

    Posted: March 21, 2011 11:12 PM
  • Criminal58369

    Ok now that AT&T is buying Tmobile they do this? They want to limit everything and charge the same!!!! Guess there gonna raise prices too?? Good thing I have Comcast!!! & My unlimited data for my iPhone!!!

    Posted: March 20, 2011 8:55 PM
  • thekanesaw

    This happened 5 years ago in Canada. We have 2 major ISPs and they both have caps I pay $50 per month for 10mbps with a cap of 60gigs and if i go over it is $1.75 per gig. Please don't end up like us. Switch to an unlimited ISP right away or all ISPs will jump on the usage cap bandwagon.

    Posted: March 20, 2011 7:52 PM
  • w2walton

    They are just doing to squeeze their customers and companies like hulu and netflix. The truth is that they don't want to spend the money they should be spending into improving their infrastructure to support more bandwidth. I mean what did they do with the 50 billion they and the rest of the cable/telecom industry received from the federal government years ago to build a nation wide fiberoptic network? With cloud computing growing rapidly they see this as a way to slowly force out companies that compete with them on content as well as tax their customers more and more. The truth is that in the last 10 years the advances in technology have made it ever cheaper for them to provide bandwidth. Since net neutrality hasn't been passed into law yet this is a first volley in a war between ISP companies and content providers. They do not want to spend the money they should be spending to improve their networks. As far as their study thats just disinfornation garbage they know to the bit the usage of every customer everywhere in real time, how do you think they charge you for it.. I f they were being honest they would disclose usage patterns for their total customer base and I am SURE you would find that more than 70% of their customers will go over that cap frequently. Don't forget all of those millions of family households with multiple users, mom, dad, the kids. At&t is being run badly, there is a building backlash to them as a brand as a whole. Look at how they have been screwing Android phone user's by preventing them from performing to spec on their network. Looks to me like they are beginning to act like they did in the early 80's before they were broken up by the federal government for anti-trust reasons it might be time to revisit that.

    Posted: March 15, 2011 2:19 PM
  • sagedro09

    you said people that signed a contract would be safe, but AT&T does not offer Uverse on a contract basis, which is why you are required to supply them with a credit card when starting your service with the company. so no one is safe from this cap.

    Posted: March 15, 2011 1:19 PM
  • TGE0

    In this case it is less that other places have it really good and more that Australia has it HORRIBLE.

    Posted: March 15, 2011 3:00 AM
  • Tesh

    Honestly, calm down really,
    here in australia capping is the norm, and its alot smaller
    i myself pay 60 bucks for 35gigs
    and i just bought a data block (25 gigs) for 30 bucks.

    honestly you guys have has it easy for a long time.

    Posted: March 14, 2011 10:48 PM
  • Chunky_2336

    well time to switch ISPs when May Hits

    Posted: March 14, 2011 7:15 PM