Coffee Talk #348: Internet Bandwidth Caps Revisited
Welcome to Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, “Sugar” Shane Mosley running away from the smaller Manny Pacquiao, Phil Jackson’s future, or the latest episode of Game of Thrones, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.
As I mentioned in March, AT&T has started bandwidth caps for its DSL and U-Verse Internet services. DSL customers are now capped at 150GB per month, while U-Verse customers are now capped at 250GB per month. The typical (BS) reasons of “network management” and “avoiding congestion” were the reasons given for the caps. The reality is that AT&T will make money from overage fees. Conveniently, the caps also help protect the company’s U-Verse television service from Internet streaming services like Hulu and Netflix.
On the cable side, Comcast remains capped at 250GB per month — you know, the cap that it introduced in 2008. Internet use has only gotten heavier since then, with streaming video and downloadable games really taking off over the last few years. Meanwhile the cap remains the same. Certainly Comcast has improved its network capacity, throughput, and efficiency, but for some reason it hasn’t increased its cap.
If you’re an AT&T or Comcast customer then you should be pissed off by these bogus practices. If you’re not, you should be pissed off by the trend. Bandwidth caps stifle innovation in Internet services. If you like being able to download a full Xbox 360 game as an impulse purchase or want to maximize the value of your Netflix subscription then you should act. Write your Internet service provider and your congressman about AT&T’s caps (pure money grab) and Comcast’s laziness. Let’s start of Monday with some righteous anger and kick this week’s ass!!!