AT&T Bandwidth Caps Will Ruin the Internet

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I recently switched from AT&T to Comcast because the former was cheaping out on DSL customers, trying to nudge them toward U-Verse, an alternative that is faster, but more expensive, requiring you to sign up for at least TV service (if not also phone service as well).

I was pleased when I found my new Comcast connection could hit 20Mbps without problem, a speed that was higher than the 15Mbps they advertised.  Nevertheless, it was not long before I found out Comcast had instituted a bandwidth cap of 250GB per month.  If you go over, they do not just charge you, they may actually terminate your service.

Now AT&T has thrown their hat into the ring with their own similar bandwidth cap for U-Verse customers – 250GB, and if you go over, the slap a $10 fee on for each 50GB over (makes me wonder what they’ll charge for 1 KB overage).

The ISPs obviously think they can bully people into sticking with cable TV, because that is what this is really about.  They want us to keep on paying for channels we do not watch and only get because they come with bloated, overpriced packages.  With online streaming (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon OnDemand, etc), we can watch whatever we want, whenever we want, and the big ISPs will do anything to stop us form doing that and costing them money.

Comcast: The Toll-Bridge Troll

posted in: The Web | 1

The Toll-Bridge Troll cover (cropped)When I was a media specialist (school librarian), I used to read a book called The Toll-Bridge Troll (say that three times fast). It was about a mean little troll that would stop people, usually poor innocent children, at his bridge and demand they pay him a fee for crossing. One smart little boy decided that he couldn’t afford the “penny a day” fees the troll demanded from him, and came up with a plan to use riddles to trick the troll into letting him across.

What does this have to do with Comcast? I’m so glad you asked. The executives of the giant cable company apparently are not satisfied with their large pots of gold and believe they need to charge Internet companies for sending data through their network. One such company, Level 3, is a particularly big blip on their radar, and they are demanding that the Internet media business pay them a toll to use their bridge: your cable Internet service.

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