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Streaming 4K yet? AT&T adds unlimited data option to U-Verse

After announcing an increase in standard data caps for multiple U-Verse home Internet plans today, AT&T will also be adding a new option for anyone that’s blasting through data caps by hundreds of gigs of data. The new unlimited data option can be added to any of the existing plans for an additional $30 per month, as detailed on the AT&T Consumer Blog.

Specifically, speed tiers between 768 Kbps – 6 Mbps have been upgraded from a 250GB data cap to a 300GB data cap. As the plans get faster, anyone paying for speeds between 12 Mbps – 75 Mbps will see data caps rise from 250GB to 600GB and plans between 100 Mbps – 1 Gbps will see a new data cap of 1TB, previously at 500GB.

Assuming those data caps are too small, households have the option of the unlimited plans. Of course, that’s likely far beyond the needs of most households. Streaming high definition, 1080p video off services like Netflix eats up about 3GB of data per hour. Watching 10 hours of Netflix per week would rack up about 120GB of data per month.

However, streaming 4K video is going to require more data. Even with the h.265 codec, an hour of streaming in 4K will eat up at least 7GB of data and get closer to using up 300GB of data per month (assuming 10 hours of streaming 4K video per week). That figure will rise even higher in households that have mulitple people in the family streaming video at the same time or playing online video games.

The new data caps and the option for unlimited data will go into effect on May 23, 2016 according to AT&T. Anyone that exceeds their data allowance will be charged $10 for an additional 50GB of data. Of course, AT&T sends out warnings to anyone that’s getting close to their data cap for the month. According to an AT&T representative, roughly four percent of AT&T U-Verse subscribers are already exceeding the levels of the new data caps.