Most Canadians signing up for broadband service will automatically have data caps slapped on them ranging from 25GB for some of the stupid lite plans up to the maximum in Canada of 150GB with one of the cable providers (mind you Cogeco wants $100 for you to get the plan).
In the U.S. though, while there has been rumblings of stiffer caps coming, most of the broadband providers where staying away from any serious talk of caps although Comcast currently has one set at 250GB. That however is going to change starting May 2, 2011; at least for AT&T customers.
DSLReports has the scoop on this, and has confirmed it with AT&T but starting March 18 and up to March 31 AT&T will be sending notices out to their customers notifying them of the new 150GB usage cap on DSL accounts and 250GB caps on U-Verse account.
AT&T spokesman Seth Bloom confirmed the news to Broadband Reports after we initially contacted him last Friday concerning a leaked copy of the upcoming user notification. According to Bloom, the cap will involve overage charges. However, only users who consistently exceed the new caps will have to deal with these charges.
This is how it will work: only users who exceed the new usage cap three times — across the life of your account, not per month — will be forced to pay these new per byte overages. Overages will be $10 for every 50GB over the 150 GB or 250GB limit they travel.
AT&T claims their average DSL customer uses around 18GB a month, and these changes will only impact about 2% of all DSL customers — who the company states consume “a disproportionate amount of bandwidth.”
I’d like to say that I feel the pain of my U.S. friends on AT&T but I’m still grandfathered in on my unlimited DSL account.