Ways To Avoid Hitting AT&T's New Bandwidth Caps

Like suddenly cool again hypercolor shirts, AT&T has brought back another retro trend back from the dead – metered bandwidth with charges for overages. The ISP yesterday imposed a 150 GB a month cap on all DSL customers. If you go over it more than three times in your account lifetime, you will get a $10 charge for every 50 GB in excess. U-verse customers will have a 250 GB cap. Ah, nostalgia, it feels just like Compuserve all over again! So how do you go on a bandwidth diet?

While 56% of the country has some kind of capped bandwidth, AT&T is the first to impose overage charges. AT&T swears the change will only affect 2% of its users, so if you’re one of the special ones, here’s some things you can do.

For starters, AT&T is going to have bandwidth monitors for each account. Make checking it part of your weekly, or daily, routine. Watch your Netflix and Hulu usage. If you always stream your content online, switch it up every once it a while with a physical DVD. Install an extension that blocks bandwidth-slurping Flash on websites. If you use torrents, set them to stop uploading after you hit a 1:1 ratio. And don’t keep a Wi-Fi connection freely available “for the good of the Republic,” make sure it’s password protected.

Now, there’s no bandwidth rollover. So if you don’t use up to your cap one month, you lose it. You may want to save big downloads or torrent seeding until the end of the month, going on a last-minute bandwidth binge.

For more ideas, check out “Bandwidth Diet? 10 Tips for Managing Your Capped Bandwidth” at GigaOm. (Thanks to Mike!)

AT&T Caps Have Arrived [DSL Reports]