AT&T Broadband: Or, The Next Five Years Are Going to Suck
AT&T Broadband is quietly going down the tubes: starting May 2, DSL Subscribers will be limited to 150 Gigabytes per month and U-Verse will be limited to 250 Gigabytes per month. Here’s a little context: That puts DSL subscribers at about 35 hours of HD Netflix a week – which is exactly the number of hours of television watched by the average American household, per week. Users will be able to pay for additional service at a rate of $10 per 50 Gigabytes.
AT&T isn’t the only ISP capping its service – Comcast, the second largest contender in the ISP market, imposed a 250-GB cap on their service in August 2008. Together, the two companies account for over 30% of all Internet service in the United States. AT&T carried out trial runs of this capped-data service Reno, NV and Beaumont, TX in 2009 before rolling out the cap nation-wide.
This announcement comes in the midst of an on-going shift towards a cloud-based and streaming service-based Internet. The next five years will suck, because user demand is going to continue to grow inexorably, and the ISPs are going to try to squeeze their users for every penny. Eventually, someone is going to make a bid for truly unlimited data service.
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