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[ NNSquad ] AT&T testing DSL bandwidth caps

------- Forwarded Message

From: David Farber <dfarber@me.com>
To: "ip" <ip@v2.listbox.com>
Subject: [IP] AT&T Monthly Bandwidth Caps Are Here
Date: Tue, 04 Nov 2008 09:26:31 -0500


AT&T's bandwidth caps for its high speed internet customers are here.=20=20
They're conducting a "market trial" in Reno that started on Nov. 1,=20=20
where users get between 20GB and 150GB a month, depending on their=20=20
speed tier. Unlike Time Warner's trial in Beamont, where caps were=20=20
only applied to new customers, existing customers will also be capped,=20=
though they'll get the roomier 150GB cap. If you bust the cap, AT&T=20=20
will charge an extra dollar per gigabyte.

Surveying the broadband landscape in this country, It's either caps=20=20
orslowdowns or filters. (Unless you're on Comcast, then it's a two-for-=20
one.) Caps seem like the lesser of the three evils, if only because=20=20
they're fairly transparent=97filtering and slowdowns are more insidious,=20=
since you might not be immediately aware it's happening. They're=20=20
essentially legitimized forms of sabotage. Verizon is the only major=20=20
ISP leaving traffic totally unfettered, but I wonder how long that=20=20
will last.


    [ And of course it was AT&T who not so long ago in public
      statements noted that their DSL architecture was so superior
      to cable that they saw no need for DSL bandwidth caps -- and
      assumed that people with high bandwidth needs chose AT&T for
      that reason!  Now AT&T's U-verse video is rolling out
      throughout AT&T's network, and directly competes with outside
      video services.  Oops!  Suddenly AT&T needs bandwidth caps!
      As Gomer Pyle would say, "Surprise, surprise, surprise!"
      That $1/GB charge for exceeding the cap is a nice round number
      too.  The justification for that amount is ... oh, gee, I guess
      we don't get to see that.  Probably proprietary information.

          -- Lauren Weinstein
             NNSquad Moderator ]