Skip to main content

AT&T begins monthly data caps for broadband Internet

AT&T Logo LargeToday marks the beginning of AT&T’s limited monthly data allotments for subscribers to its DSL and U-Verse broadband Internet services. AT&T announced that it would be imposing the data caps last month and becomes the second American telecom company to do so after Comcast launched its own metering policy nearly three years ago.

Subscribers to AT&T’s DSL service will now face a 150 GB monthly limit and AT&T’s U-Verse customers will be capped at 250 GB per month.  Users of both services who exceed their monthly limits three times will be forced to begin paying $10 for every additional 50 GB.

AT&T’s reasoning behind the caps is that it reckons that the average broadband cusomter only uses about 18 GB a month. When AT&T tested data caps in parts of Texas and Nevada, it experimented with caps as low as 20 GB. AT&T decided to abandon low caps after Time Warner was lambasted for imposing similarly low limits.

AT&T has instead opted to go with higher limits that are ostensibly meant to curb so-called “data hogs” or customers  who consume a “disproportionate amount of bandwidth.” AT&T says it will alert users as they reach 65, 90 and 100 percent of their monthly allotments. Customers can also check their monthly usage online.

Critics of high-speed Internet caps say that they’re an example of telecom companies trying pad profits by charging more for a service that costs little to provide in an unlimited format (text messaging plans are another often cited example). Some users fear that over time AT&T will impose lower and lower limits while charging more and more for usage. AT&T hasn’t indicated its commitment to its current cap structure. Critics also say that there’s little incentive for AT&T to ensure that its metering tools work effectively and that customers could wind up being charged for data that they didn’t use.

Like it or not, if you’re an AT&T broadband customer who tirelessly streams movies or gorges on torrents files, better keep an eye on your data gauge starting today.

Editors' Recommendations

Aemon Malone
Former Digital Trends Contributor
How to do hanging indent on Google Docs
Google Docs in Firefox on a MacBook.

The hanging indent is a classic staple of word processing software. One such platform is Google Docs, which is completely free to start using. Google Docs is packed with all kinds of features and settings, to the point where some of its more basic capabilities are overlooked. Sure, there are plenty of interface elements you may never use, but something as useful as the hanging indent option should receive some kind of limelight.

Read more
How to disable VBS in Windows 11 to improve gaming
Highlighting VBS is disabled in Windows 11.

Windows 11's Virtualization Based Security features have been shown to have some impact on gaming performance — even if it isn't drastic. While you will be putting your system more at risk, if you're looking to min-max your gaming PC's performance, you can always disable it. Just follow the steps below to disable VBS in a few quick clicks.

Plus, later in this guide, we discuss if disabling VBS is really worth it, what you'd be losing if you choose to disable it, and other options for boosting your PCs gaming performance that don't necessarily involve messing with VBS.

Read more
How to do a hanging indent in Microsoft Word
A person typing on a keyboard, connected to a Pixel Tablet.

Microsoft Word is one of the most feature-rich word processing tools gifted to us human beings. In fact, the very word “Word” has invaded nomenclature to the point where any discussion of this type of software, regardless of what the product is actually called, typically results in at least one person calling the software “Word.”

Read more