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AT&T U-Verse Was Cool Before Usage Caps

CAUTION: If you are easily offended, stop reading NOW. I'm about to go on a rant.

Sooooo... Apparently, AT&T is implementing 250 GB usage caps for all U-Verse subscribers. I'm mad. It's already $60/month for the highest speed Internet (around 24 Mbps). Why should I have a usage cap? Ironically, I have unlimited bandwidth on my Verizon iPhone...

Bandwidth caps are bad. Video streaming eats bandwidth. Downloading games on Steam eats bandwidth. Hosting a website eats bandwidth. Uploading photos eats bandwidth. The list goes on.

Now that there's a cap, what am I going to do? Use those services less.

Now, many people would say at this point, "get another ISP!" Ok, in my area, that's... Optimum? No, thanks. Slow Internet + no free DVR + bad support = Blergh. Those same people would say now, "cancel your internet plan/switch to the minimum!" Ok, cut myself off from the Internet entirely, that sounds good—I can go to the library for that! Yippee! We're going backwards!

Let's say you lease a car. You drive around 30,000 miles per month. The car lender, lacking funds, decides to add a new part to your lease that charges you $2000 if you drive over a limit of 50,000 miles and $2000 every extra 5,000 miles you drive over that. You may not be affected and think, "Well, I don't drive much, so I don't have to worry about that charge." But what if you want to take a road trip, touring the U.S.? Well, you can, but be prepared to pay $2000 or more purely because you drove a lot—and that's IN ADDITION to the money you'll spend on gas! Want to go on a road trip now? Now that you're not going on that road trip, the towns you were going to visit aren't going to get your money (or that of many others, for that matter). Eventually, those towns will become deserted and will die. Some would say at this point, "Why don't you take a plane?" Well, plane trips are expensive and there are often long delays, making them somewhat inconvenient.

To sum up that extended metaphor, the car lender is AT&T, the amount you drive in a month is your average bandwidth usage, the mile cap is the bandwidth cap, the towns you would visit are the Internet services you would use, and the plane is a box full of 50 DVDs—its capacity is almost 250GB (if you mailed it, you have effectively created a high-bandwidth, high-latency connection).


I know it's fully within your right to do so, but really, AT&T, thanks for stifling innovation!