AT&T is set to launch usage caps for DSL and U-Verse customers, according to DSL Reports.
The restrictions will limit DSL customers to 150 GB per month and U-Verse subscribers to 250 GB. AT&T also plans to include overage charges for users who consistently go over their data limits. Customers who exceed data limits more than three times over the course of an account's lifetime will be charged $10 for every extra 50 GBs, DSL Reports says.
AT&T says that the move is aimed not at the average subscriber bur rather at the disproportionate activity of a select few users. According to the company, the average usage is 18GB per month, far below the new restrictions it plans to impose.
The top 2 percent of residential subscribers uses about 20 percent of the bandwidth on our network, the company said in a statement. Just one of these high-traffic users can utilize the same amount of data capacity as 19 typical households.
AT&T plans to roll out the restrictions on May 2, and will send letters notifying subscribers to the change. Similar to its approach with wireless consumers, the company plans to offer a range of ways for subscribers to monitor and track their data usage.
While this isn't the first time AT&T has move to limit the data usage of its consumers, previous efforts by companies like Time Warner have not met with much acclaim. The move is likely to significant impact users of video streaming services like Hulu and Netflix, which account for a significant amount of web traffic. According to data released in December by network management company Sandvine, 20 percent of Internet traffic from 8 to 10 p.m. is due to Netflix.
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