Say goodbye to unlimited data transfers. AT&T is now testing the idea of implementing monthly data caps for its broadband users and could result in a more widespread rollout in the near future.
The trail run is being put to the test in the city of Reno, Nevada. Beginning November 1st, 2008 users will be capped at a monthly rate between 20GB – 150GB depending on your DSL service speed. Any data transferred above this limit will be bill at $1 per gigabyte, following a one-month grace period.
“We have previously stated that some type of usage-based model, for those customers who have abnormally high usage patterns, seems inevitable,” spokesman Michael Coe indicates. “Customers, for example, who are uploading and downloading the equivalent of more than 40,000 YouTube videos or 40 million e-mails a month,” Coe explains. “This kind of heavy usage has an impact on all of our customers.”
You can’t blame AT&T for going to this model, Comcast and many other large cable providers have already had such models in place for a few months. However, many users have indicated concerns over these limiting models because of the new TV over IP services, VoIP, and other high bandwidth usage services that take up bandwidth. Only time will tell if these caps going to actually affect users who are using all of these services.