TDS Telecom has joined the growing ranks of wireline operators beginning to implement or increase usage caps on their broadband customers in four of its rural markets.
The service provider, according to a Stop the Cap report that obtained a customer letter from TDS Telecom, said it will start capping their service at 250 GB a month unless customers increase their usage allowance before June 1.
TDS said it is warning its subscribers in advance based on their current usage behavior. During evening hours, the telco will still allow customers to enjoy unlimited internet use .
Customers who exceed the 250 GB limit will be assessed a $20 overage fee for every 250 GB exceeded (up to $60). The service provider said that any fees incurred in the June billing cycle will appear on their August bill.
Customers have the option to pay an extra $10 a month for 500 GB, $20 for 750 GB or $30 for 1 TB.
Deanne Boegli, a TDS spokeswoman, told FierceTelecom in an e-mail that a large portion of the of these customers won't see any change.
"The vast majority of these customers will not be impacted at all, as they don't use enough data today to qualify," Boegli said. "Over the past year our customers have been able to see their usage amounts on their accounts and we can work with them to add additional data usage for a reasonable amount of just $10 for 250GB, when they work with us proactively."
Boegli added that "we'll evaluate this and other pricing strategies to see what works best for our rural customers until the day when more robust internet access is available."
Broadband overall continues to be a key priority for TDS Telecom and it is expanding availability on two fronts: FTTH and expanding the capabilities of copper.
During the telco's first quarter earnings call, TDS said it plans to continue to expand its FTTH to 21 percent of its ILEC addresses, while using bonding on its existing copper networks to offer higher speeds.
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This article was updated on May 18 with additional information from TDS Telecom.