AT&T inflicts metered billing trial upon Texas town

Poor Beaumont, Texas. First, Time Warner decided to run trial caps between 5 and 40 GB and overage charges of $1 to $1.50 per GB. Now, AT&T has decided to extend its metered broadband trial into the market. It'll be interesting to see if Clearwire decides to accelerate its WiMAX deployment in that area.

AT&T started metered bandwidth in Reno last month, and DSL customers there now face caps from 20 to 150 GB with a $1 per GB charge once you go over the cap. AT&T users are given an online usage tool to track bandwidth consumption and get alerts warning them when they've consumed between 60 to 80 percent of their allocated bandwidth.

Time Warner is trying to convince locals that new billing will deliver guaranteed savings and improve the internet experience, while AT&T says that limiting consumption and charging more for bandwidth (rather than upgrading the network) makes broadband better, and charging more for bandwidth makes it more affordable by targeting "abnormally high usage patterns."

DSLReports opines that both companies are working to cap usage now before Internet video threatens TV revenues, saying data from backbone operators doesn't support AT&T's doomsday scenario of bandwidth running out (Of course, if you call Cisco, the company will tell you that purchasing a zettabyte router or two will fix everything).

For more:
- DSLReports reports on AT&T billing trial. Article.

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