well how will we watch feeds with caps - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 29 Old 03-14-2011, 12:11 PM - Thread Starter
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AT&T (ASDF#$#$%^)
just went to a 150GB a month cap.
It won't be long before all the others can beat that. Probably a 50GB cap by the end of the year.

Now what?

This country and its economy is dying when you can go japan or korea and get 15GB dl speeds and unlimited bandwidth for $25 a month.
just one example...we are being bled to death and instead of saying our politicians are killing us we shout FOOTBALL WHOOOOOO

no wonder we are 24th in the world in education and 8th in health care but we can pay out the ass for crap service and no representation.
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post #2 of 29 Old 03-14-2011, 12:29 PM
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Just curious... when you go to the grocery store do you buy grapes per lb?
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post #3 of 29 Old 03-14-2011, 12:45 PM
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Well, we all know tiers were coming. Surprised it took so long.

Of course, it sucks for people who only have one ISP. Thankfully, I have lots of competition in my area. Right now I have FiOS (no bandwidth cap), but Comcast is here with a 250GB cap and quite a few DSL options. Obviously Comcast will never get my business as long as FiOS with unlimited caps are around.

If I can't get unlimited somewhere, you just go to the person who offers the most for less (and play them like you do for every other service...call, threaten to cancel, get a great deal that beats the competitor).

Of course, much like when TWC tried this and got a HUGE backlash, I'm hoping for the same from AT&T customers. Of course, their cap was ridiculous.

I also would not be overly surprised to see anti-competitive lawsuits filed or the FCC to step in over caps. Not sure they'd have a leg to stand on but won't be surprised to see it anyways.
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post #4 of 29 Old 03-14-2011, 12:45 PM
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(update)
By Sean Hollister posted Mar 13th 2011 7:05PM

NOTE: The statement quoted by Engadget from AT&T is as follows:

We are committed to providing a great experience for all of our Internet customers. Less than 2 percent of our Internet customers could be impacted by this approach - those who are using a disproportionate amount of bandwidth. We will communicate early and often with these customers so they are well aware of their options before they incur any additional usage charges.

The top 2 percent of residential subscribers uses about 20 percent of the bandwidth on our network. Just one of these high-traffic users can utilize the same amount of data capacity as 19 typical households. Lopsided usage patterns can cause congestion at certain points in the network, which can slow Internet speeds and interfere with other customers' access to and use of the network. Our new plan addresses another concern: customers strongly believe that only those who use the most bandwidth should pay more than those who don't use as much. That's exactly what this does – and again, 98% of our customers will not be impacted by this.

Broadband Reports has more: ... 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.

“… Using a notification structure similar to our new wireless data plans, we’ll proactively notify customers when they exceed 65%, 90% and 100% of the monthly usage allowance,’ AT&T tells us.”

http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/13/a...-overage-fees/

http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/E...verages-113149
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post #5 of 29 Old 03-14-2011, 12:58 PM
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It also doesn't surprise me they're setting up for tiers now (surprising they didn't do it months ago though).

Streaming is on the cusp of really taking off in a major way (moreso than it already has), and bandwidth usage and stress on the networks is probably really going to take off this year. Doesn't surprise me ISP's want to be pro-active in getting their tiers under control before it takes off like I expect it to.
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post #6 of 29 Old 03-14-2011, 01:01 PM
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Netflix, 150GB is over 87 hours of 3.8mbps 720p

that's over 20 hours a week .. more if you only do SD ..

Point is, it's to be expected at some point that some or all of the providers are going to place some sort of cap .. while I don't really agree with it, as more and more streaming enabled devices land in homes, it will strain any providers resources .. so, logically, make those that hog up the most bandwidth pay for it ...

Seems to me, if you manage your on line time, it should not be a problem ..

Maybe it will help get some of us away from the PC / TV .. and that's a good thing ..

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post #7 of 29 Old 03-14-2011, 01:44 PM
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By Nate Anderson | Last updated about 3 hours ago

Congestion?

Claims of congestion are notoriously hard to validate from outside the network, but industry analyst Dave Burstein does extensive writing about and consulting for various ISPs; he fired off a tweet this morning saying that AT&T "lied" to the Wall Street Journal. "Congestion is minimal," Burstein said.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/n...-justified.ars
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post #8 of 29 Old 03-14-2011, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgkdragn View Post

Seems to me, if you manage your on line time, it should not be a problem ..

Maybe it will help get some of us away from the PC / TV .. and that's a good thing ..

Kind of my opinion. I don't see this as a "good direction" for the internet to be going. But at the same time, 150GB doesn't sound too onerous right now. It will slow the development/advancement of streaming in general though. Both from the side of businesses that just see one more barrier to entry, and for future customers that see one more disadvantage (real or imagined.)

Also, it's a slippery slope, I'd have a little more comfort if they pledged that they would set their caps such that they never target more than the top 2% of "offenders" (gotta love the market that would use that to describe any part of their customer base. ) and set up a legitimate system for transparency.

But for today, I could watch nothing but netflix for *all* the hours that we watch stuff (cut out OTA and discs completely) and still not hit the limit.

I think some people just watch too much TV.

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post #9 of 29 Old 03-14-2011, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan View Post

It will slow the development/advancement of streaming in general though. Both from the side of businesses that just see one more barrier to entry, and for future customers that see one more disadvantage (real or imagined.)

In some ways it could help. If it allows them to offer low(er) priced plans. AT&T currently offers a $14.99 plan and my 6Mbps plan is $19.99. Without caps how long could they afford to offer this pricing? I remember the old days... $6.25 per hour at 300 baud ($12.50 via 1200 baud) for CompuServe.
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post #10 of 29 Old 03-14-2011, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

In some ways it could help. If it allows them to offer low(er) priced plans. AT&T currently offers a $14.99 plan and my 6Mbps plan is $19.99. Without caps how long could they afford to offer this pricing? I remember the old days... $6.25 per hour at 300 baud ($12.50 via 1200 baud) for CompuServe.

How does using caps relate to lower prices for slower speed tiers? Especially when most every ISP out there, including AT&T, claims that less than 2% of their subscriber base ever even reaches these arbitrarily set cap levels? Maybe investing some of that 90% profit that ISPs are getting on their internet service into building out and improving their networks might justify caps, but not when they're raking in that sort of profit, and every ISP out there has been scaling back infrastructure expenditures for a few years now. In my opinion, caps as implemented by AT&T, are nothing but a money grab with no sound justification for their implementation beyond protecting their own wireline video services.
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post #11 of 29 Old 03-14-2011, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keenan View Post

How does using caps relate to lower prices for slower speed tiers? Especially when most every ISP out there, including AT&T, claims that less than 2% of their subscriber base ever even reaches these arbitrarily set cap levels?

If you lose money with some customers you make it up with others. According to one report that 2% use 20% of their total bandwidth.

The top 2 percent of residential subscribers uses about 20 percent of the bandwidth on our network.

http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/13/a...-overage-fees/

Quote:


In my opinion, caps as implemented by AT&T, are nothing but a money grab with no sound justification for their implementation beyond protecting their own wireline video services.

It appears they are trying to recap landline telephone loses.
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post #12 of 29 Old 03-14-2011, 10:13 PM
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AT&T DSL -

6 Mbps plan: $19.95 for the first 12 months - $40.00 regular price

3.0 Mbps plan: $14.95 for the first 12 months - $35.00 regular price

1.5 Mbps plan: $14.99 for the first 12 months - $30.00 regular price
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post #13 of 29 Old 03-14-2011, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

If you lose money with some customers you make it up with others. According to one report that 2% use 20% of their total bandwidth.

The top 2 percent of residential subscribers uses about 20 percent of the bandwidth on our network.

http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/13/a...-overage-fees/

It appears they are trying to recap landline telephone loses.

20%? Big deal, so they're saying the other 98% use up the other 80% of capacity? Bollocks, AT&T has wanted to have UBB for years, and the recent capitulation by the FCC as to any real authority to govern broadband has given them the opening to implement it. This is about the large profit margins on Internet service and the dwindling revenues from linear video, why invest when you can just charge the customer more. As more and more providers implement UBB watch what that will do to the Netflix's of the industry. The comment about the psychological effect that people will be concerned about going over the cap will be huge in my opinion, I believe they will definitely cut back on their streaming usage, even if they're not in danger of reaching the cap limit.
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post #14 of 29 Old 03-15-2011, 06:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keenan View Post

20%? Big deal, so they're saying the other 98% use up the other 80% of capacity?

I'm sure the all you can eat restaurants would think it's a big deal that 2% of their customers account for 20% of their food costs. I'd try to get rid of them myself.
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post #15 of 29 Old 03-15-2011, 09:30 AM
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We all know this (caps) was coming, it was only a matter of time. A look at the FCC broadband coverage map will show there is a good part of the US without highspeed access. Just be glad you do not have to use a service like Wild Blue. For those users (and dialup) IPTV is out of the question.
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post #16 of 29 Old 03-15-2011, 12:16 PM
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We need more choice for broadband. In France the cable line is open by law to any company that wants to use it not just the company that installed it. There are much better deals and faster broadband there. We need the same here for real competition.

We have U-Verse in the neighborhood but they haven't brought the fiber down this street yet so subscribers are getting copper from the fiber a block away or so (I suspect -- should have asked the tech when he was here). Otherwise the utility poles around here now have the thick fiber cable on them, the thinner twisted pair and then Comcast's cable weighing them down.

The people like Netflix and if AT&T acts nasty we can maybe get their franchises revoked. That said I'm not sure I even use over 150 GB a month even watching HD movies on Netflix. And as I posted elsewhere they should move to more efficient codecs than Silverlight (which they are probably using so them can use one set of streams for computers and streaming devices). BTW, they are playing games with me by charging more for my POTS phone than broadband. $10 for caller id? Maybe I'll just start letting all calls go to the answering machine.
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post #17 of 29 Old 03-15-2011, 12:34 PM
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This may have gotten lost in the posts, but the limit for U-verse is 250GB/month.

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post #18 of 29 Old 03-15-2011, 12:46 PM
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It appears to me it's turned out to be a bad thing that cable and telephone companies control so much of the Internet. Especially the ones offering video. These caps in my opinion is just a way to make more money, and they already have huge profits from broadband.

I've heard that 2% of users take up a "whatever" percent of the bandwidth for so long, that I think its just a number that sounds good. Its been proven not to be true, but I'm not going to go looking for links or whatever on something I've read in time past. Anyway, how it can it always be 2% of users? i personally don't believe it and usage is going up for most people.

I use a computer for a router and can get detailed information from it. I noticed a couple of months ago that I had used 450GB in about a month. I was amused on how I could have done that. It appears most of it was coming from a IP camera that I had snapping pictures a few miles away, and it would only happen from motion. So, thats kind of growing market yet caps like this will hurt it, along with streaming services. Plus it didn't really cost them anything much because of what it was doing.

I have Fios, 25/25 and still do but unfortunately Verizon sold 13 states to backwards thinking Frontier. But so far they haven't changed anything for people already using fiber. So I just got a really bad opinion of anything that comes out of any companies mouth about using caps because of stupid reasons.

They keep fussing about 'clogging' their network, referencin*g stem from oversellin*g bandwidth on the assumption that not everyone can use the service at the same time. There is nothing about these applicatio*ns/service*s that inherently 'hog' bandwidth, unless of course their equipment secretly can't handle the bandwidths they promise to customers.

They could handle these services if they poured an appropriat*e amount of capital into their infrastruc*ture for developmen*t and expansion, but they just want to keep the profits and continue to sell on a network that can't handle its current load. The way people use the internet is changing rapidly and they are trying to shape the customer to the service, not the other way around. If you can't provide the service, DON'T SELL IT); and, 2) The way that internet usage is changing threatens the market share of their other services (i.e. cable tv is being replaced by Netflix, ********** downloads, etc.). So, rather than change to suit the demand, they want to inhibit these other services, make them virtually unusable on their own networks, and not have to tell anyone or let government regulation*s threaten their plan (and therefore their bottom line). Basically, wanting to keep all the money and not have to invest in any pesky 'maintenan*ce' or 'expansion*'.
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post #19 of 29 Old 03-16-2011, 01:11 PM
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Well, I just did a little ciphering, as I am mulling over switching to Charter for my local ISP and their express tier has a 100GB/month cap.

Looking at my Netflix instant history for the last 3 months, and assuming that *all* of it was available at 720p/3.8Mbps (which I'd say only half of it actually was) I'd have only averaged 38GB/month over the last 3 months.

Even if we doubled our streaming usage, we'd still have over 20GB left for other internet things.

I don't see a 150 GB cap being too onerous unless you're watching a couple Vudu HDX movies a night or torrenting BR rips.

-Suntan
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post #20 of 29 Old 03-16-2011, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan View Post

Well, I just did a little ciphering, as I am mulling over switching to Charter for my local ISP and their express tier has a 100GB/month cap.

Looking at my Netflix instant history for the last 3 months, and assuming that *all* of it was available at 720p/3.8Mbps (which I'd say only half of it actually was) I'd have only averaged 38GB/month over the last 3 months.

Even if we doubled our streaming usage, we'd still have over 20GB left for other internet things.

I don't see a 150 GB cap being too onerous unless you're watching a couple Vudu HDX movies a night or torrenting BR rips.

-Suntan

At my house, generally, if the TV is on it's streaming something. We are at almost 100% streaming now other than the odd disc. At 3.8Mbps, we would be burning through almost 300GB a month. Realistically, I think the stream rate is more like half that, so I would say 150GB is what my minimum requirement is now.
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post #21 of 29 Old 03-17-2011, 12:32 AM
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How does a DSL line even get congested since it's a dedicated "private" line to the DSLAM? Once there it's fed to the Internet backbone, usually via 10GBit switches, so where's the congestion?
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post #22 of 29 Old 03-17-2011, 06:28 AM
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Quote:
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How does a DSL line even get congested since it's a dedicated "private" line to the DSLAM? Once there it's fed to the Internet backbone, usually via 10GBit switches, so where's the congestion?

There isn't a 1:1 ratio or direct connection to the Internet. Rather your line is connected to a circuit of limited capacity (within their internal network). By design the circuit can only handle x amount of traffic. When they connect too many lines to the circuit or customers use more bandwidth than expected it becomes a bottleneck. Assuming the connection point itself isn't already a bottleneck (more circuits (traffic) than the connection point can handle).

In my case 6pm to 11pm I would often lose up to 80% of my other wise bandwidth. That is until a nice gentleman at AT&T researched for several days and found a circuit not overloaded. Also keep in mind ISPs will often have three or four redundant connection points at different locations (often states) available as you go further up the stream. Your traffic has to be able to be instantly redirected to any of them (when required).
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post #23 of 29 Old 03-17-2011, 10:47 AM
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Cox is my ISP and since I learned that I have a 250GB monthly cap I have been curious -- actually, obsessed is a better word -- about how much we (my teenage son and I) use. We average between 80 and 90GB a month. Now there are only 2 of us and my son's viewing is 95% YouTube but we could add another 3 hours of Netflix HD a night and still not be near our cap.

The problem is that we are smaller than most families: I imagine a household with several teenagers could eat up that cap. And who wants to be on their kids' backs about bandwidth usage? As if life weren't stressful enough already.
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post #24 of 29 Old 03-17-2011, 11:25 AM
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Thanks for that real-use feedback of your household. Only one in my household--so I know it would be a lot less. No caps from Bright House but I honestly had no idea what any realistic usage figure would be.

Bob

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post #25 of 29 Old 03-17-2011, 11:57 AM
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My bandwidth problems tended to occur over school holidays when I suspect kids were at home watching things on Netflix.
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post #26 of 29 Old 03-17-2011, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spiritfox View Post

Thanks for that real-use feedback of your household. Only one in my household--so I know it would be a lot less. No caps from Bright House but I honestly had no idea what any realistic usage figure would be.

You're welcome. I can't help but think that this is primarily a shot across Netflix's bow. It's a way of saying "you may have plans to conquer the home viewing universe but don't forget whose network is carrying your content the last mile."

I'm always amazed at Netflix's share price: don't investors appreciate just how vulnerable their business plan is? They clearly want to get out of the disc rental business and become a content streamer but they don't control their customer's access to the internet. What's more the people who do control it want to stream content themselves! Throw in the lack of competition in the broadband market and I'm not as bullish on Netflix's future as many people seem to be.
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post #27 of 29 Old 03-17-2011, 02:18 PM
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By Josh Levy, March 17, 2011

Unlimited data? It's so 2010. For AT&T, the future is in data caps.

That's why this week, in line with its recently announced wireless data plan caps, AT&T announced it will limit the amount of data its DSL and UVerse broadband subscribers can access per month.

AT&T will cap broadband use at 150 gigabytes a month for DSL and 250 gigabytes for UVerse (fiber optic line) users, and will charge $10 for each additional increment of 50 gigabytes.

These are lots of numbers and bytes to throw around, so to make it simple: AT&T is throwing into question the future of online movies and TV, sharing audio and video, real-time online gaming, streaming live sports and pretty much every other bandwidth-intensive online activity. Roughly translated, that's just about everything we do on the Web these days, and much of what innovators are trying to create.

Take online video. Every day, more Americans cut the TV cable cord, opting instead to watch "Glee" or "The Office" on Netflix or Hulu on their own schedule, without having to pay for a DVR. While you still can't get every show or movie you want online, these sites are growing quickly, they're convenient, they're much cheaper than one-size-fits-all cable packages, and all you need is a high-speed Internet connection to access them.

We still pay broadband providers a fee for Internet access, of course, and the video services pay on the other end to put their products online. But these cable/telephone/ISP conglomerates are accustomed to having captive audiences who they force to pay for expensive "bundled" cable packages with hundreds of channels they don't want in order to get the few that they do. Now, with the cord cutters only asking for Internet service, the telecoms are feeling threatened.

AT&T is doing everything it can to prop up the walls of its cable fortress, including capping those cord cutters' data usage. It claims that these caps will only affect about 2% of DSL consumers, and they won't impose fees until you hit the cap three times.

But if you're moving to a life of nothing but online video, you could incur those fees quickly. Here's how:

According to a GigaOM report, streaming a single movie like Moulin Rouge uses about 3.5 GB in data, and a single TV show like "Weeds" uses about 800 MB. With a data cap of 150 GB a month, this works out to a maximum of about three hours a day of video watching.

However, the typical American watches five hours of TV a day. If that viewing takes place online, that's five hours of streaming video per person, which would hit AT&T's cap rather quickly. And that's just now; online video consumption particularly Netflix is rising at a terrific pace.

AT&T is keenly aware of this. If it can slowly nickel and dime consumers, making it more expensive to try to escape from its old, outmoded cable fortress than to stay put, it can prop up those walls, and make consumers "enjoy" its cable services once again.

That's the future not only for Netflix and Hulu users, but also the millions of sports fans watching their favorite teams online and online gamers dependent on high-bandwidth connections.

And here's the rub: AT&T doesn't need to cap data to keep making money. As British Telecom (BT) has shown, it's possible to do away with usage caps completely and still run a profitable business. In fact, BT owes its profitability to investing in better service. Compare that to AT&T's apparent strategy: do nothing and hope your customers don't notice that they're paying more for worse service.

Rather than trying to outdo its competitors by investing in better pipes, AT&T is taking advantage of its status as the owner of the outmoded pipes to squeeze out video upstarts like Netflix and Hulu, and making it harder and more expensive for its customers to access their services online. It's a terrible model, and one we can be sure the rest of industry will be following in short order.

AT&T knows it's losing the future. Its strategy? To slow down the future's inevitable arrival, one overage charge at a time. Squeeze a few more dollars out of the customer, while squeezing the life out of budding competitors.

Washington, are you listening? If not for the consumers, then at least for the entrepreneurs who politicians on both sides of the aisle claim to love, it's time for the Government Accountability Office -- and possibly even Congress -- to investigate these anti-competition, anti-innovation, anti-free market practices.

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March 17, 2011
3 hours a day By Kris Selbekk (not verified)

Hey,

Interesting article, and I love your spirit. However, I think some of your arguments are kind of weak and ridiculous. For example - you mention that 3 hours of streaming video (in HD, I presume) a day ON AVERAGE would be the "surfing cap" of these new terms from AT & T. You also mention that 5 hours of TV watching is the norm in the US

1) Just because one has access to streaming video, doesn't mean you won't watch television the regular way.
2) I'm sorry, but unless you're watching a marathon of series on Netflix every single day, you won't be watching live streaming videos 3 hours a day every single day.
3) Much of what users stream is regular 340p youtube videos - and thus not as demanding on the network.
4) Perhaps 5 hours of television watching or video streaming is a bit too much - physically - for most people.

Besides, you have to remember that ISPs like AT & T don't want to steal all their customer's moneys and put them in their pockets. Like all companies they are going to keep on innovating, offering higher bandwidth speeds and expand their services. Perhaps the 2 % of people (or 5 % or 10 %) using that amount of bandwidth should pay more than people using a tenth of those resources.

I've not yet decided which side I'll stand on in this debate, but I think both sides have good points. Everything isn't always black and white - good and evil. Just sayin'

Kris Selbekk

http://www.savetheinternet.com/blog/...x-online-video
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post #28 of 29 Old 03-17-2011, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by bgooch View Post

As British Telecom (BT) has shown, it's possible to do away with usage caps completely and still run a profitable business. In fact, BT owes its profitability to investing in better service.

To my way of thinking this article is beyond slanted. As an example they fail to mention BT currently throttles customers (speed wise versus caps). With past headlines such as this perhaps AT&T isn't completely evil.

When 8Mbps Is Really 896kbps
British Telecom employs new throttles from 5PM to 12AM....


Users who sign up for the company's 8Mbps DSL service now find their service throttled back to 896kbps between 5PM and midnight with a specific focus on reducing video content consumption.
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post #29 of 29 Old 03-17-2011, 02:57 PM
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I've not yet decided which side I'll stand on in this debate, but I think both sides have good points. Everything isn't always black and white - good and evil. Just sayin'

Neither have I. Although, I suspect that AT&T's move was prompted, at least in part, by their loss of iPhone exclusivity. I read that wireless services account for the lion's share of their net earnings.

I've never thought of streaming video as an alternative to cable -- I've regarded it as a supplement. For less than the price of premium channel like HBO, which I rarely watch, I can get Netflix. For a little more I can get Netflix and Hulu Plus and have a lot of stuff to choose from.
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