The end of the free (flat) web has begun

Yesterday i got an email from my internet provider (AT$T) in which i am told, that if i reach the limit of 150GB, i have to pay additional $10 for every 50GB used.

There was a chart that explains how much 150GB is. So if you stream a movie in HD, you can stream about 10 movies and hit the limit. If you do something else maybe more.

This is kind of funny, since everything we supposed to do requires the internet like streaming a movie.
According to AT&T its only about 2% of users that really hit that limit. aha.

Not sure if i am the only one who got that, but no i need to pay even more for the luxury like watching movies and shows.

I’ll guess if you don’t do anything really on the internet, you are well off.

Where is the net neutrality here.

The last time i have seen that, was in the beginning of the internet. At that time there was no flatrate.

Do any other providers enact a similar policy?

That is better than the 5 gig cap they RR were talking about. In AT&T’s case it’s about greed more than cost or profit though.

All US ISPs have not expanded their capability to sustain the amount of use they always have advertise as all you can eat for one price. They put that money in the CEO’s and stock holders pockets instead. That is why for most people they have one choice of ISP for broadband at crappy speeds if they even have that choice at all. Any time anyone wants to put up a cooperative or government owned ISP’s they lobby against it or try and get it made illegal even though they refuse to serve the areas that are trying to COOP most of the time.

Sorry about the rant but I am just fed up with no choices. No Hughes NET is not a valid choice.

You mean RoadRunner i assume.
So its like a wide spread virus going rampage.
At the time they were talking about smartphones and capping i did not care. Maybe i should have.
Yes, i don’t have a choice either. Its been great here. There is only AT&T land all around me, but some better neighborhoods have Verizon.

Maybe we should just boycott the isp and instead use the internet over starbeats or mcdingens.

I am too dependent on the Internet to boycott my ISP.

My ISP is BrightHouse Networks but it’s managed by Road Runner so I get Time Warner’s wonderful policies. My speeds have recently improved but it’s no where near what I am paying for by a wide margin. I do download a lot. I mean a lot but I don’t do 150 gigs a month either. You can get “Earthlink” over the same cable system but the policies would be the same and their repair service is slow.

There is no ADSL here and it would be Verizon if there was.
I have my iPhone but it’s on WIFI over my cable most of the time anyway and 3G speeds suck if you try and do anything over the internet on AT&T’s system. Dial Up is faster.

I see this as part of a “stop netflix now” campaign.

You can stream Netflix on your Linux? Keeps telling me my operating system isn’t supported.

Weighing in from Canada, The CRTC (Canadian radio television commission ) is supposed to regulate things here but they are obviously in the pockets of the big isp providers. We have an active campaign against UBB (usage based billing) which was only in a small part successful. Bell, SHAW, Rogers and Telus are the main players. They argue that their unlimited plans have limits and that this is both accepted by the masses and acceptable business model to prevent lower cost carriers from entering their markets with true unlimited access plans.

I looked up my copies of TOS (terms of service) when I was on telus ADSL. It stated in paragraph 4.7 that unlimited service is defined as 24 hours per day 7 days per week & not to exceed 1.5TB of download per month and 2.5TB of upload per month. I discontinued their service when I was charged for 2 months service in which I was unable to connect even by phone to their call center due to noise on the line. After I cancelled ADSL and phone I received a demand notice to re-activate my phone service or face prosecution (placed to my rogers cell). One call to my lawyer and they went away fast but did send me a wonderful set of offers for 1) ADSL phone and Internet for $10 more per month than my previous plan with a change to the TOS saying unlimited Internet with a cap (limit) at 60GB then $1 per GB for going over the cap. 2) Telus Optic Satellite TV with the statement “after you have signed up for the service and pay your first two month pre-billing you will be informed if your area is serviced or when it may be serviced”!

Similar story on Rogers AirInternet which is a mc950 usb internet stick that basically connects through a cell phone plan and rates under 3G. Their plan says unlimited Internet 24/7 but has a cap of 20GB + $10/GB over that. One year in to their 3 year plan it changed to a cap of 10GB + $15/GB over. Rate plans increased from $50/month to over $75/month in a single year. Obviously, they are long gone too.

SHAW is no better, signed up for Cable Internet $21.95/month bundled with Cable TV at $31.95/month basic. TOS said unlimited 24/7 access with no limit on bandwidth & no cap. Promotion said get 3 months Internet for free & 6 months of Cable TV at $59.95 for the reduced price of $31.95/month. What I got was as stated but when the 3 month Internet free period ended, they up’d the monthly rate to 31.95 plus $5 for modem rental (I owned my own modem so after some heated talks they changed the charge to 31.95 plus $2.50 service fee for owning my own modem). When the reduced cable tv promo ended, my basic plan was increased to 41.95 plus $5 for cable tv modem. reason for the change “were sorry you didn’t decide to keep our value added package and because of the immense extra costs of provided basic cable we have no choice but to pass this expense onto you”. They sent me a new TOS for the internet and it now states that “since people are choosing to view streaming video rather than paying for more cable packs we have no choice but pass our loss onto all customers. You will still receive 24/7 access but bandwidth will be restricted to 60GB / month under your full access unlimited plan. extra GB will cost $10/5GB in increments. At our option high use users may have there access speed temporarily or permanently capped at a lower speed.”

Stop the Cap! has petitions in both canada and the usa to stop Usage Based Billing (UBB)

I no longer have the references at my fingertips to some TV interviews and programs examining things so I can only recite from memory, so please don’t jump all over me. In short, these programs examined the real costs of providing various services and levels of services and included costs of cell phone during roaming abroad, costs of local roaming vs plain local, costs of ISP related data transmission vs overhead, and costs of providing cable tv / satellite tv.

Just as it is for the oil companies, the prices we pay are well scripted in a manor that could be taken as unfair business practice. Under US and Canadian laws, it is supposedly illegal for two or more competing vendors to price fix to the end users so as to give an unfair burden to those end users. From me; (ever wonder how it is that we have 6 , 8, or 12 vendors all selling the same product which is supposed to be at a price based upon cost of manufacture + costs of labor + costs of facilities + costs of research etc, but they all come out at close to the same price and same TOS and same excuses but yet there is no collaboration?)

Anyways, the programs did make some interesting points. Cell phones used abroad are at a negotiated rate between the carriers on both sides of the big pond. The only reason that the UK, EU, Asia which are heavily regulated are so expensive when talking to Canada and USA is because our carriers are using a mark-up scale of cost plus 2500%. For Cell use with-in Canada/USA the real cost per hour of use is under $0.04 cents as confirmed by spokesmen of University of Toronto, University of Calgary, University of Vancouver, MIT, Harvard, and Washington State U. Each program sited different ones but these were the common ones used. Real costs of texting/tweeting and email averages to about $0.01 per 2GB of transfer. Real cost of Internet browsing (without upload/download of huge content ) averages at under $0.02 per month and increases to about $5/320GB of streaming, upload, and downloads. There conclusions which are mine too; is if cell, and Internet are so low in cost why are we held hostage to such extortion with full government consent.

Up here in Canada the question was posed “Is basic Internet a right or privilege?” The government is now doing almost everything using Internet access only and to maintain economic feasibility would like to expand Internet use. The government has just made the statement, that Basic Internet is a necessity and thusly constitutes as a ‘right’ but providers argue 'rights should be reserved to such things as “a right can not be removed from any person just as life and liberty is protected and can not be removed without due process”, the Internet is a privilege because those who can not pay do not deserve the freedom of it’s use.

No matter what we think, someway, somehow, the people I think will be the losers just like at the pumps.

That is a horrible story. I can not compare myself with that.

But it seems like, once we got addicted to the internet and the smartphones and all the other c***, we just keep paying whatever they ask. Just like at the pump.

Its kind of a sad story, if you ask me.

One thing is, like with CC agreements, you can reject them but cancel your contract also. So even if i dispute anything, i lose my service.
So in the end, i have to keep paying whatever they tell me too.
Maybe i don’t reach the limit, but why should i care that i may reach it anyway.

I think in todays world, it defiantly qualities for a right. Without Internet you like without a car. More and more transaction are done over the internet. It is even the one place they don’t charge you anything so far, besides sending a check.
Most correspondence is over the internet as well. Seems like these business are like speedbumbs just lurking somewhere in the dark and taking some more money out of you.

Probably not. I don’t actually use netflix. However, most of AT&T’s customers are not using linux and quite a few do use netflix.

I have a 60 gig limit. I am from Toronto. Since December 2010 I’ve been over the limit and have paid 20 to 30 $Canadian. The reason, refer to techwiz03 post on top.
I just tried the test for a cable connection for techsavvy in my area and it’s now available, their bandwith limit is 300 gigs and cheaper than my present provider by approximately 10 bucks.

I consider basic internet access a human right and I am slightly to the right in my political leanings. You should not be raped for basic internet access and the incumbents should not be making 2000%+ markups on internet access.

Correction to my post.
20 to 30 $ more because because I used a few more gigs over the limit.:’(

I’d jump ship so fast my pants would take a week to catch up to me.


I have 30GB limit at peak time: 8am to Midnight
Between Midnight and 8am : No limit

I get a service known as adsl-max
HD TV streaming is not good really and that’s true for most of the UK, only a few of the larger cities have cable services

As it is, my service is excellent and my ISP is second to none

this situation with AT&T has been brewing for months as they try to move to bandwidth tiered pricing model on both DSL and mobile phone rates… for the record i think they are breaking previous contractual promises and should be sued forthwith.

from where i sit, the only promise they really keep is delivering a bill in a timely manner.

In the UK monthly limits on downloads linked to subscription level are commonplace. They are likely to become even more common with 4G mobile networks. My provider operates differently; it allows unlimited downloads during off-peak periods and, if you exceed a prescribed limit during peak periods, halves your download speed to reduce the amount of bandwidth you are consuming. In practice, during peak periods congestion reduces download speed to about two thirds. So I am used to limiting my downloads to off-peak periods anyway

Note that this is not the same as giving priority to certain types of Internet use which is what some people regard as abandoning ‘net neutrality.’

BT, (one of the major ISP’s in UK) have a habit of sending a nasty warning re. ‘fair usage’ and ‘in future we will bill you for per Mb’ if you use over 6Gb in a month! I used to get it regular, and just ignore it. They never invoiced for the extra, I think you have to be a real torrent farmer to invoke the actual sanction!
I stayed with my parents over a couple of weeks, and dl’ed a few TV episodes etc (this was the time when 11.4 went gold, so I torrented that as well), and my father got this email, he receives about 20 emails per week, NEVER uses YouTube, let alone streaming or Bit Torrenting movies or TV, but he was worried and promptly signed up to 18 months of Fibre-to-the-Cabinet 40Mb/s unlimited Broadband @ about £40.00 per month (‘Infinity Broadband’). A great result for me, as I am staying with the parents ATM, but even better result for BT’s threatening letter dept. I have to say that the ‘Infinity Broadband’ is excellent, with speeds at or very near the advertised max, but I wonder how many people have been cowed or conned into buying an expensive product for which they have no need by these nasty letters.

I work for Comcast. I am generally here 10 hours per day. So my home usage is limited because I am not there much to begin with. However, my wife works for a major internet company and I have teenagers that are internet saavy…sooo…I probably will get hit one day for usage restrictions…etc.

Here are some interesting facts.

You get a 250 Gb limit, you can not purchase any more. If you go over the 250 more than 2 times, they will reduce the 250 and reduce the bandwidth (speed) you can purchase (they say this is stop anyone running servers to create their own internet provider company, or illegal p2p stuff). If the overage is exteme or you hit a 3rd time in one month, they will stop your service for a year before you can sign up again for internet service.

For example: there are many customers on netflix that will sit down on a weekend and watch an entire series of shows back to back all weekend…whooopsss, they are now screwed. In fact that kind of overage will cost them to have no service from Comcast for a year.

Comcast puports that most people use 10-20G per month and 250 is extremely generous…really? In this day and age with Netflix etc…?

Anyways…the answer on this concern for our customers is that we would happily sell them business class service (even if at a residential address) with absolutely no limits, at full price, and much more expensive pricing plans than residential.

Anyone on Comcast…hope this helps your understanding of your current situation.

Note: Also, Comcast will send you copyright infrigement letters if you are caught downloading things from a p2p site that is clearly tagged (somehow verifiable).

Another Note: Comcast subscribers can log into their account and at any time check their usage for the month…I personally never have done it…but I understand it is very easy to do.

On Wed, 15 Jun 2011 04:36:03 +0000, caf4926 wrote:

> UK.
> I have 30GB limit at peak time: 8am to Midnight Between Midnight and 8am
> : No limit
> I get a service known as adsl-max
> HD TV streaming is not good really and that’s true for most of the UK,
> only a few of the larger cities have cable services
> As it is, my service is excellent and my ISP is second to none

My DSL connection is uncapped, but relatively slow at only 3 Mbps down
(384 Kbps up). Been with Earthlink for a little over 10 years now. If/
when we move, I hope I can get them in the new area with the same terms.

The support is only so-so, but I’ve only needed to call them about 3
times in 10 years, so not that big of a deal.


Jim Henderson
openSUSE Forums Administrator
Forum Use Terms & Conditions at

> That is a horrible story. I can not compare myself with that.
> But it seems like, once we got addicted to the internet and the
> smartphones and all the other c***, we just keep paying whatever they
> ask. Just like at the pump.
> Its kind of a sad story, if you ask me.

Well like all things there will be a peak usage and it will decline from
there. The underserved will remain underserved and the internet will
just become another pricey luxury or extra depending on your view of the
world. Some people think cable tv is an optional extra, for others it’s HBO,
for others HD programming. Ultimately somone pays for the infrastructure to
deliver the product or it goes away and if the pricing is too much so do the