I recently signed up for AT&T’s UVerse service. What I didn’t realize when I switched from my cable provider to UVerse, was that beginning May 1, 2011 caps would be going in place on my internet service broadband usage. Because I am a UVerse customer, my cap will be 250 GB per month. I will be allowed to exceed my broadband limits, with courtesy reminders, of my excessive usage up to three times. After that, AT&T will begin to charge me an additional $10.00 per 50 GB used over my limit each month.
I must have been sleeping under a rock not to have known this beforehand, and of course there was no discussion of this when the salesman came to my home and sold me the service. I was just so excited to have another choice in my TV and internet service.
What triggered my awareness of this issue was an email that I received from AT&T about the terms of service agreement changes. What would be your first inclination if you received an email with a new service agreement. Most likely it would be, big deal — delete—.
Even the service agreement didn’t exactly spell out the information on the caps that will be going into effect. I was just kind of glancing through the agreement and in the message under the caption Usage there was a link. I clicked on the link and landed on a page that was for Broadband Usage FAQ. There it was, it spelled out everything about the caps that will be going into affect.
My reaction was anger. Last year I had written an article on “Net Neutrality” . In that article I wrote the following, ” As part of the National Broadband Plan, the FCC wants to institute new Net Neutrality rules that would allow internet providers reasonable management controls in order to lessen internet congestion. The new rules would also require that the internet providers inform their subscribers of what restrictions would apply . “
AT&T gives their reasoning that 2% of their biggest broadband users are using 20% of the broadband that they provide. This kind of action is not aimed at controlling internet congestion. It is aimed at controlling internet usage.
Companies like AT&T are worried that online streaming will bite into their TV business. Instead of watching their programming you and I will cancel their TV, and go strictly for cheaper streaming on movies and TV shows through companies like Netflix and Hulu.
So in December of last year what happened with net neutrality. The FCC with congress’s approval passed a set of rules that allowed what was feared the most to happen. Big providers, under the guise of controlling over usage and congestion of their broadband are going to put caps on your usage.
This could affect your usage of companies like Netflix and Skype. I don’t know how much broadband usage my household currently uses per month, but I can guarantee that as soon as we exceed the usage cap we will go back to our previous provider who does not offer caps at this time on usage.
This is what happens when government steps in to help us. They aren’t helping their citizens. They are helping the big interests of companies. President Obama and the democrats support this type of regulation. I’m not making this up. Check it out for yourself.