AT&T Institutes Broadband Data Caps of 250GB

| News

AT&T instituted data caps to its DSL and U-Verse broadband customers Wednesday, with the company imposing a 250GB per month cap on how much data U-Verse customers can use. The company’s slower DSL service now has a 150GB cap. The data caps follow the model established by Comcast for its broadband cable Internet access, and customers will be charged US$10 for every 50GB above their data caps they exceed.

Broadband Reports broke the news, and the site said that AT&T’s policy will be to not charge for overages until a customer has exceeded the cap three times during the lifetime of the account. Ma Bell told the site back in March when word of the planned cap first leaked, that the company would , “proactively notify customers when they exceed 65%, 90% and 100% of the monthly usage allowance.”

So there’s that.

Data caps are the hottest potential revenue generator for broadband providers, all of whom have repeatedly claimed that the caps would only effect the top 1% of customers who use a disproportionate amount of bandwdith. AT&T had experimented with 20GB data caps in test markets in Texas and Nevada back in 2008, but quickly backed off in the face of reality.

AT&T’s move to impose a cap means that half of the major broadband providers in the U.S. now have such a cap (Comcast, Charter, and AT&T), leaving Time Warner, Verizon, and Cablevision without, but all three of those companies clearly want such caps based on earlier tests and comments about usage, metering, and comment about consumption-based pricing they have made in the past.



think yourself lucky, here in UK we have caps between 20-40GB month


Yeah, but isn’t your bandwidth speed out of control compared to ours (USA). I’m barely pushing 6 Mbps on a good day. And that costs money!! The usual 3 Mbps.


Please excuse the horrible grammar and punctuation. I know there are some troll grammar nazis out there.


Not having a smart phone, I’m not clear on how “Data” is used or measured. I have Earthlink DSL with no “cap”, but if it did have a cap - how do you burn data? Downloads? Not streaming or surfing I hope. Please s’plain. d:)


if your inner city and close to the exchange, you will get 16Mbps, but here out in the sticks on a good day it’s 6 and can go down to 512Kbps when the kids are at home playing WoW…


I get 5.5 Mbps for $35/month. earthlink leases AT&T wire, but no data cap… ow what is a “data cap” ?


a data cap is the amount of bandwidth you can use in a month on att dsl you get 150g then after you have to pay $10.00 per 50g on att uverse you get 250g then you pay $10.00 per 50 g . But here the thing if your a gamer or watch alot of tv or movies you will use all you bandwidth in less a month the you have to pay for more . Dose that help with what is a data cap

William Biggs


Dose that help with what is a data cap

Zoning in on it I guess…thanx. I was 1st online in ‘91 via compuserve/aol and then earthlink/earthlink DSl ever since. I just never heard of this ‘cap’ thing. So, it’s accumulative usage(?) but do certain things ‘burn’ more bandwidth - i.e. streaming a movie or Youtube vid, vs. surfing web pages reading the news? Suppose I download a 2 gig movie - is that 2 gigs off my bandwidth or not necessarily?  This seems another way to rip us off.

Mister Ed

CudaBoy, think of a data cap as pre-paying for a certain amount of gasoline (or whatever).  You can use up to the amount you pre-purchased before being charged for more.  It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you pump the gasoline.

Before data caps, it was like an all-you-can-eat buffet.  You could consume as much as you liked as fast as you could physically consume it.

Your broadband “Mbps” refers to the maximum rate you can “consume” your data, but says nothing about the total amount you can “consume”.  (A fork in one hand or both?)  grin


That means I have to pay for all the Ads that show in my computer…Damn!!

Bryan Chaffin

Thanks for picking up my slack on explaining the data cap, folks. smile


CudaBoy, think of a data cap as pre-paying for a certain amount of gasoline (or whatever).

Funny you use gas as a comparison….not.

So, being the non-mobile, old fashioned land-line based Mac Pro type dude I should just shut my yap and appreciate e-link isn’t capping my ass though they use A,T&T’s copper. Nice.

OTOH: I think the more “plans” they come up with to separate people from their money, the end user should get an equal amount of NO ADVERTISING.


BTW: Mr. Ed. Thank You for your response. Best answer yet. I was wondering how you’d spend these bandwidth “dollars” - seems like a Utility Meter.  ...back to the buffet, d:)


Beware if you are leaving an open or guest WiFi access point as a friendly service to your neighbors.  If they are riding your bandwidth, they could push you over the monthly caps.

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