ATT & Data Overage Charges
March 15, 2011 | ~2 mins read time.

A friend posted an article in chat the other day that was about AT&T imposing usage overage charges on customers who go over their monthly data cap on their DSL and U-Verse plans.

The articles stated that any customer who goes over their data cap will be charged $10/50GB of data. This means that if your plan includes 200GB of data and you go over to 201GB - 250GB, you will be charged an additional $10/mo. I have no problem with this implementation.

Heavy bandwidth users on a node can mess up regular usage for customers who don't use as much data. Most ISPs in North America, if they bother to monitor their data usage caps (some do, some don't seem to or don't seem to care if you go over) and you go over will cut your internet connection off, or throttle your speeds.

I game. We watch Netflix in HD. My husband watches streaming video. Our roommate streams video as well. There is a netbook, a PC desktop, an Apple computer, and an XBox 360 all connected to the internet in our apartment. Sometimes 3 out of 4 are using some sort of bandwidth all the time. We have Charter and I believe our cap is something like 200GB/mo. Either we've never gone over it yet or if we have, Charter hasn't said a thing.

With that many devices using the internet at any given time, the chances are we would run into a wall as far as the cap is concerned. I will have no issue with it if we have to pay for overage. If we use it, we should pay for it. It's pretty much the same thing as if you go over on your cellular minutes, use long distance on a land line, or want more food at a restaurant.

People just have a hard time with it because, unfortunately, most of the ISPs here don't bother to give customers a way to check their data usage as the month goes on. Why, I don't know. In Canada, I had this option with Shaw Cable, but I had to ask for it and I wouldn't have known it even existed had I not gone over my usage two months in a row. I didn't have the option of paying for extra bandwidth at the time and it was either scale back my streaming, video editing business (wedding and birthday videos can be -huge-), and gaming or be without internet.

I think if people have the ability to accurately monitor their usage from the ISPs end (via their account services, or something of that nature), there may be less outrage about this issue. We like to know what we're "getting into trouble" for or what we're paying for. Just a thought for the ISPs who plan on implementing similar policies.