AT&T Will Cap Internet Use, Charge Overage Fees Starting In May

Heavy AT&T internet users will have to keep an eye on the amount of data they’ve downloaded, because come May they’ll be subject to overages after a preset amount of gigabytes gobbled.

DSL Reports overage charges will run $10 per 50 GB over the limit. The caps will be 150 GB for landline DSL users and 250 GB for U-Verse customers. Before users get stung with overage fees, they’ll get two cap-exceeding months without having to pay.

AT&T, which will send out notices to customers of the changes starting March 18, tells Engadget:

We are committed to providing a great experience for all of our Internet customers. Less than 2 percent of our Internet customers could be impacted by this approach – those who are using a disproportionate amount of bandwidth. We will communicate early and often with these customers so they are well aware of their options before they incur any additional usage charges.

The top 2 percent of residential subscribers uses about 20 percent of the bandwidth on our network. Just one of these high-traffic users can utilize the same amount of data capacity as 19 typical households. Lopsided usage patterns can cause congestion at certain points in the network, which can slow Internet speeds and interfere with other customers’ access to and use of the network. Our new plan addresses another concern: customers strongly believe that only those who use the most bandwidth should pay more than those who don’t use as much. That’s exactly what this does – and again, 98% of our customers will not be impacted by this.

If you use AT&T for your internet needs, will this change your relationship with the company?

AT&T To Impose Caps, Overages
Notices To Go Out This Week, Capping Begins May 2
[DSL Reports via Engadget]