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Reader Comments (13)

Posted: Jun 17th 2008 10:05AM Askgar said

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I can't really see the problem in this, we've had capped internet for a long time here in the UK (3+ years?), as long as you shop around and get the correct service then it usually doesn't cost you much more... although I don't know how the US system works, in the UK we have a huge number of service providers so competition is strong. If there wasn't all the competition I hate to imagine how much it would cost.

Posted: Jun 17th 2008 10:19AM Slob Zombie said

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What kind of shopping around can I do?

I can only choose from one cable company. Traditional DSL is too slow. Higher-end DSL like Speakeasy is overpriced. FiOS isn't available in my area.

H'oh yeah, plenty of options.

Posted: Jun 17th 2008 10:37AM Wgraves said

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US internet service is heavily monopolized and thus our carriers could charge whatever they please and get away with it.

This is bad.

Posted: Jun 17th 2008 11:49AM (Unverified) said

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Sorry, I'm down on the 'reeks of greed' side. Like years ago when the Postal Service was trying to charge a fee for every email sent, even though they have absolutely nothing to do with email, AT&T is feeling the crunch of advancing technology leaving them behind. With widespread usage of mobile phones and VOIP systems on the rise, they are feeling the pinch as fewer people use their land line phone system. Instead of trying to update their ideas and services, they are trying to get a bigger cut from these people.

Posted: Jun 17th 2008 12:07PM RogueJedi86 said

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I don't like AT&T. They absorbed BellSouth(my provider), and since then, I've had my internet cut out multiple times a day every day. It's only for a few minutes at a time, but it seriously cuts down on my MMO fun, like being able to do instances in MMOs. Spending 2 hours running a dungeon, only to fail a quest because I disconnected on an escort in one of the last rooms? Booo. /rant

Posted: Jun 17th 2008 2:31PM Anatidae said

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The technology is there for far greater bandwidth, but the big companies don't want to pay here in the US. Look at our cell phone tech, you are lucky to get 3G while overseas 5G is being tested.

What they really want is a piece of the streaming entertainment pie. You see, all TV and movie rentals will be internet sourced within 10 years max (probably 5) and the traditional cable will start fading away. So, if AT&T can cap downloads and then start charging more after a certain amount, then they have the potential to gain billions from overages when everyone gets on the internet TV bandwagon.

I don't have cable anymore, I just go to the networks and download their shows. My living room entertainment center is now just another monitor on a media PC. It seriously rocks and works great. I even stream shows like Lost in HD. I love it.

Of course, AT&T just wants me to pay them something for doing that (even known I am on Comcast at the moment as I wait for FIOS to drop here) because it is likely that some of that traffic crosses over their massive network.

Posted: Jun 17th 2008 2:59PM (Unverified) said

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So wait... we go from AOL "10 Hours Free," to broadband all the time, back to now AT&T "10 Hours Free" again?

Does this mean each household is gonna get plagued with 10,000 of those stupid discs again?

Posted: Jun 17th 2008 4:13PM Softserve said

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Welcome to what will be part of the future. There's a reason why people were trying to fight the telecom businesses and secure Internet "freedom". All of us lost, unfortunately. It's really just the beginning of extra fees, I'm sure. I dread the day when paying for Internet is like paying for a cell phone.

Posted: Jun 17th 2008 5:56PM (Unverified) said

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Australia started out without caps, then Telstra added draconian caps (3gig/mth with humongous excess fees and a high standard fee), then eventually it all got relaxed to the point now where a good ISP will offer a softcap. The softcaps involve throttling download speed if you exceed, and the caps are definitely high enough that a normal user will struggle to reach them (especially for those ISP's who offer separate peak and offpeak softcaps).

If the US chooses to go for the draconian hardcaps with excess fees route, they're going to be a good long way behind the times and need to take a good hard look at what happened in Australia. Telstra's actions were the trigger to their virtual monopoly crumbling over a period of time.

Posted: Jun 18th 2008 1:39AM (Unverified) said

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The USA is beating itself to death and becoming a third world country without rights run by dictators so no surprise they will shut down the internet too. Please someone invade and save us from the oligarchy.

Posted: Jun 18th 2008 6:06AM (Unverified) said

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Coming from South Africa, we currently have a maximum ADSL speed of 4mb/s (which you never see, but anyway) and we pay on average $140/month for an ADSL line and a 10Gb cap. We were part of the AoC Beta and paid an additional $150/month for extra bandwidth to download the game and the patches.

If you consider that our average internet fees already count for nearly 10% of our monthly income, the extra really bites.

Having said that, I can understand where the company is coming from - unlimited downloads, especially at the speeds you have in the US, do encourage some people to go wild.

I think if the caps are reasonable and the prices are still attractive, there's no reason not to introduce them...just don't do what they've done here.

Posted: Jun 19th 2008 5:14AM (Unverified) said

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Ireland yo-yoed for a while.

When we got 56k modems (gasp shock!) there was one company that offered off peak unlimited downloads. Then they realised there was more money in perminute billing and scrapped the service.

Now I am on a crowd called Digiweb. Radio internet to the house, reasonable fee, large download speed and I think a 30gig download cap. I upped it to 40gigs for a wee fee. They do the same as someone above mentioned, break your cap and they cripple your speed till the bill is paid. Seems fair to me in that regard.

Hardcaps though with massive evil bills. I thought we all got out of that dark age.

Posted: Aug 22nd 2008 11:05AM (Unverified) said

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I do not fit in the category of users that these companies describe, but if I get online and I cannot move about the web, I will cancel with AT&T in a heartbeat. If there is no other provider without caps, I will go without internet until there is one.

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