Frontier slips back on its broadband usage cap

Bandwidth metering is not popular with any broadband consumer as proven by the outcry against the trials conducted by AT&T (NYSE: T) and Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC-WI), but Frontier (NYSE: FTR) is okay with imposing bandwidth limits by softening the language of what's deemed excessive use in its terms of service (TOS).   

With much of the controversy over Time Warner Cable's metering and cap trials over, Frontier is now maintaining its 5 GB cap on its DSL tiers but it has removed references to 5 GB as being "excessive." How generous of them. Interestingly, when Time Warner launched its metering trials, Frontier ran an ad decrying cable's unfair bandwidth caps to get consumers to sign up for their DSL service.

Of course, when the furor over TWC's cap trial ended, Frontier went right back to imposing their bandwidth caps. In one case, the ILEC conducted a metering trial in Minnesota that would impose an up to $250 a month fee on any user that violated the 5 GB cap on its 3-6 Mbps DSL service.

Frontier has justified its 5GB cap by pointing out that the majority of its DSL user base barely uses 1.5 gigabytes. Nonetheless, customers in its largest serving area--Rochester, N.Y.--did not like being told how much bandwidth they could use.

Instead of saying that you'll be penalized if you go over their bandwidth cap, Frontier simply says that it's happy to offer users 5 GB of usage, which it says is the equivalent of 500,000 e-mails. While it may be true that not every user will even come close to the 5 GB limit, users also don't want to live in fear of usage penalties either.   

For more:
- Broadband DSL Reports has this post

Related articles
Broadband metering: A misguided struggle for bandwidth control
AT&T shuts down DSL metered billing experiment
Congressman drafting bill to ban metered bandwidth billing
AT&T inflicts metered billing trial upon Texas town
AT&T puts bandwidth squeeze on Reno
Time Warner Cable puts wider metered broadband billing implementation on the shelf