Study: Broadband Internet caps now covers over half of US Internet users

If you live in the US and get your Internet access at home via some kind of fast broadband service, the chances are good that you are under some kind of data cap via your local provider. According to a study at Multichannel News, 56 percent of all US are now under some kind of broadband cap for their service.

That means that of the 75 million people who currently subscribe to some kind of broadband Internet service in the US, 42 million of them have to deal with a limit of how much data they can download. That includes AT&T customers of its DSL and U-Verse services. Broadband caps for those business just went into effect on Monday. DSL users have a small 150 GB cap while the faster U-Verse service gives its customers a somewhat higher 250 GB limit.

The study points out that AT&T is currently the largest broadband internet provide that charges its customers overage fees if the customers happen to download enough to go over those new caps. AT&T will charge $10 for every 50 GB over the current broadband caps. Other ISPs, including Cox Communications, Comcast and Charter, have their own broadband data limits. However they typically will warn their customers first if they see they are going over those limits. If the warnings don't work, some providers suspend the customer's Internet access or even cut them off permanently.

AT&T and other ISPs have said that only a small fraction of their customers go over their broadband caps currently, but as more and more services move onto the Internet "cloud", including streaming video services like Netflix or even streaming game services like OnLive, it's likely that those broadband caps will be tested by more and more people.

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45 Comments

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They are becoming just like a bank with their nickel and diming their customers to death with fees....

I live in Iran. The best ISP in Iran has 128 Kilobits per second with a monthly cap of 3 gigabytes and you must pay 5$ for 1 extra gigabyte. I pay 13$ per month for this service.

If you want a 1 megabit per second internet with unlimited dowbload you must pay 150$ per month.

Cablevision - no caps still. Them and Verizon are competing very strongly for the North East so neither of them want to dare do caps.

Side note - just upgraded to 50/8Mbps for nothing - free upgrade from 30/5Mbps! Gotta love Optimum!

Charter here, Ultra 60 service so 60 mbps down 5 mbps up. Even using it all the time to do my evil doing the damn thing has yet to cross 250 gb of transfer.....and I have a 500 GB cap per charter TOS.

lol "DSL users have a small 150 GB cap while the faster U-Verse service gives its customers a somewhat higher 250 GB limit" in NZ we get 20gig caps, i have 90gig cap but it cost me alot!

M'eh. We've had caps here in Britain for years. We can pay extra for packages with "unlimited bandwidth", but they usually have a fair use policy, where you get slowed down if you download too much.

No limits and fast speeds is what makes FiOS Internet from Verizon attractive. However, I am led to believe that its availability is rather limited to very urban areas and their surroundings.

Not sure where that article gets their info. Where I am at, there has been so much competition, those that had caps have dumped their caps, and have been raising speeds back and forth.

MaSx said,
I realized that Cableivison does this as well, capped mine for awhile to 1MB down.

Weird, they use to slow you down if you burned up tons of upload (not download) in a short amount of time. File servers aren't allowed says the TOS so that's why they did that but i've never been capped. In the 3 days of May so far i'm already at 100GB

We have soaring gas prices for no good reason, may as well hit us even harder with bandwidth caps, the things that companies and people do when they are filled with greed can be truly boundless and amazing.

Order_66 said,
We have soaring gas prices for no good reason, may as well hit us even harder with bandwidth caps, the things that companies and people do when they are filled with greed can be truly boundless and amazing.
So much for telecommuting to save money

AFAIK there is no limit with COX yet, here in the states... but if it happens I could be edging closer to being in trouble. We stream ALL of our "TV". And I VPN to my work which is on the other side of the country. Granted the data going back and forth is generally minimal, but I do have to test large uploads from time to time.

UK sure does suck, im on a crappy 10mb line with a 30gb cap plus they throttle me 70-75% if im using it at certain times =( Also to upgrade they want £30 to "activate" the line, seriously 30quid to change 10mb to 30mb -.-

"Other ISPs, including Cox Communications, Comcast and Charter, have their own broadband data limis."

How does spell check not catch that? You guys seriously need better writers/editors.

Shouldn't this tittle read:
"Study: Broadband Internet caps now applied to over half of US Internet users"

I don't know about you guys but a 150GB cap would never "affect" me. The tittle is a little misleading.

ermax said,
Shouldn't this tittle read:
"Study: Broadband Internet caps now applied to over half of US Internet users"

I don't know about you guys but a 150GB cap would never "affect" me. The tittle is a little misleading.


Let a few of us come on over and tap into your connection LOL...

ermax said,
Shouldn't this tittle read:
"Study: Broadband Internet caps now applied to over half of US Internet users"

I don't know about you guys but a 150GB cap would never "affect" me. The tittle is a little misleading.

Then you aren't using your internet to it's full potential..

Wow, am I glad I live in Bulgaria. I pay about the equivalent of US$17 for a 40 Mbit connection speed and with no limits.

devHead said,
Wow, am I glad I live in Bulgaria. I pay about the equivalent of US$17 for a 40 Mbit connection speed and with no limits.

Oh man!

devHead said,
Wow, am I glad I live in Bulgaria. I pay about the equivalent of US$17 for a 40 Mbit connection speed and with no limits.

Lol same. For 15-ish € i got really fast and stable connection (say 2 megabytes/second download from abroad). I feel sorry for the americans

Val Thе Awеsome said,

Lol same. For 15-ish € i got really fast and stable connection (say 2 megabytes/second download from abroad). I feel sorry for the americans

Not sure how much the services in Bulgaria have improved... I usually don't keep track on those, but if you live anywhere but the three major cities, your internet access won't be so cheap and nearly not as fast as that. I do recall hitting a DL limit within 3 days over a broadband connection that cost me $45/month and worked at the sluggish 1Mbit. And no, I'm not talking about 11 years ago either, more like 3-4.

Last time I spoke with a friend from my home town (say about 9 months ago), he was complaining about his slow connection that he was paying in the excess of $40/month for. And then there was the annoyance of how reliable the services actually were... 9 out of 10 ISPs in Sofia would drop you every 5 minutes off pretty much any MMO game/chat service.

devHead said,
Wow, am I glad I live in Bulgaria. I pay about the equivalent of US$17 for a 40 Mbit connection speed and with no limits.

Blimey! I'm on 50Mb here in the UK with no download and upload limits (although a fairly generous upload limit will be implemented once the upload speed has been upgraded from 1.5Mb to 5Mb), and it costs about £35 a month, or about $57 a month.

devHead said,
Wow, am I glad I live in Bulgaria. I pay about the equivalent of US$17 for a 40 Mbit connection speed and with no limits.

we only pay 7.05 eur or 10.4$ in romania, for 50 mb line no limit

MightyJordan said,

Blimey! I'm on 50Mb here in the UK with no download and upload limits (although a fairly generous upload limit will be implemented once the upload speed has been upgraded from 1.5Mb to 5Mb), and it costs about £35 a month, or about $57 a month.

I've got the 50meg service and have had 5meg upload since around December.. I'm guessing they're waiting for the upload increase to roll out across the whole network, because i've uploaded about 620Gb since then

Sawyer 99 said,
About dam time, Canadians shouldnt be the only one suffering

Wrong thinking mate!
I'm happy I finally have unlimited internet here in Belgium (although I pay 60€ (90$) for it :@) and I wish everybody could enjoy this!

Sawyer 99 said,
About dam time, Canadians shouldnt be the only one suffering
Speak for yourself, I'm on Eastlink in Atlantic Canada and have no caps

TrOjAn. said,

Wrong thinking mate!
I'm happy I finally have unlimited internet here in Belgium (although I pay 60€ (90$) for it :@) and I wish everybody could enjoy this!

Agreed. The proper way of thinking would be: "Ugh, so we won't get our caps removed if others are doing it too. Let's hope someone actually makes a stand."

TrOjAn. said,

Wrong thinking mate!
I'm happy I finally have unlimited internet here in Belgium (although I pay 60€ (90$) for it :@) and I wish everybody could enjoy this!

How's your download speed. But I get the same price for a 250 kb/s connection.

Sawyer 99 said,
About dam time, Canadians shouldnt be the only one suffering

Correction. It's mainly Robbers/Bell/Shaw that have caps. I am with Eastlink and have no caps. Winning!

Jose_49 said,

How's your download speed. But I get the same price for a 250 kb/s connection.

30Mbps up and 6 Mbps down
My ISP is Belgacom (aka Skynet) and my internet is called 'Internet Intense'

Sawyer 99 said,
About dam time, Canadians shouldnt be the only one suffering

Its true that my ISP up here in Canada does have caps, but only on the top two tiers (30 and 100 Mbps). I'm still on 15 Mbps and that is cap free.

leo221 said,
google should invest in free internet or their future will get capped by these M****F**ker ISPs.

Well oh no. Looks like I now have to worry about blowing through my 250 GB data cap. Poor, poor me.
/s

Seriously, I don't think all the web browsing and downloading I do in 6 months even adds up to 50 GB, but to be fair, I don't use streaming video much either.