(KCBS) – AT&T is introducing caps on free bandwidth for its Internet users. CNET Editor-at-Large Brian Cooley explains what this means.

AT&T says this will only affect 2 percent of their customers right now; and these are the so-called “data hogs” who do a lot of movie downloading. The other 98 percent should not be affected.

“For example, if you have a 255 gigabyte limit which is the upper limit in this new plan you’ll be able to download 125 standard definition movies,” Cooley explains this new plan. “But if you do this and a combination of other things that may not be so unusual.”

Customers will also be getting hit with an onslaught in the near future of new televisions, Blu-ray players, and set top boxes that all connect to your broadband connection and bring you television and movies, Cooley adds.

“These companies are making this new cap at a rather interesting time
and this could cause trouble in the future,” Cooley speculates. “They’re noticing that more people are watching video on broadband so they’re getting a pricing structure in place.”

Customers will be charged another $10 for every 50 gigabytes they go over. AT&T will be sending customers warnings when they get close to their allocation.

You can hear his Tech Watch report Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1:50 P.M. on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (4)
  1. FedUp says:

    I hate AT&T – they RAISE rates, but do NOT provide better service for most users. I’ll definitely be looking at an alternative ISP.

  2. Mike says:

    I find this more than a coinsidence that not too long ago congress passed a bill during the whole “almost gov’t shutdown” that stated that the Cable companies control internet regulation and that it not be handed over to the FCC to regulate internet usage… as this will allow compaines better to compete and offer customers packages.

    It is a sad day. All ISPs are going to be doing this as Comcast has also recently announced a 250GB limit on bandwith.

    My thoughts are that if they are doing this to “improve” the internet experience and lighten the load, why are they doing something that only affects 2% of their users? Wow, my internet experience will be 2% better… that equates to what? a blink of an eye… maybe they should help invest in bettering the internet/data infrastruction of the country, because lord knows that the extra $$$ they get will only go into the pockets of the CEO and big wig congress people that gave the compaies the power to do this about a month ago.

  3. DeanC says:

    ATT is blocking competition for their Cable and Movie services by putting a limit on monthly bandwidth. You can get free channels and discounted movies (Netflix) throught the internet connection and ATT would lose money if everyone turns off Uverse and gets the content cheaper somewhere else. They are shutting this down or making customers pay ATT whether ATT provides service or not. Clever on ATT’s part to shift the attention away from what is really going on. ATT can’t get away from their monopoly mentality. ATT should compete instead of taking out the competition by lobbying, forced mergers and legislation.

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