AT&T (NYSE: T) is one of the early adopters of broadband usage caps, but only subscribers to its legacy DSL services are targeted, not its U-verse broadband service.
In 2011, a Broadband Reports article revealed that the telco would impose a 150 GB monthly cap on DSL and then a 250 GB cap on U-verse services. Any user that went over their limit would have to pay $10 for every additional 50 GB data they consumed.
Although users were given a meter to track usage, a number of users recently said in Broadband Reports' forums said that the meters were not accurate and AT&T could not share how it collected data because they said it was proprietary.
A new article said that only traditional AT&T DSL users are being penalized for going over their monthly allowance.
"Due to the greater capacity of the U-verse architecture as compared to legacy DSL, we have not prioritized implementation of applicable usage allowances," an AT&T spokesperson told Broadband Reports.
One possible reason that AT&T does not want to impose usage caps on U-verse is that could hamper their marketing campaign for their higher 45 Mbps and later 75 Mbps U-verse offerings. Even when these new speeds appear later this year, AT&T will still trail cable operators such as Comcast which offer 50 and even 100 Mbps data plans in various markets.
Broadband data caps are not just a problem for AT&T. Customers at CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) are reporting similar problems.
One of the telco's customers said that he was disconnected for consuming 250 GB for various months, while another was told "they absolutely don't have a data cap even on their slower speeds."
Regardless of the reasoning for the data caps, the lack of information on how much data is being consumed paints an inconsistent picture for users who are trying to abide by their service provider's rules.
- Broadband Reports has this article
AT&T slammed for not including microcell traffic in U-verse cap
CenturyLink DSL usage caps cause subscriber confusion
Telus lowers its broadband usage caps