Fair warning for anyone who consumes a ton of bandwidth, ISPs are watching, and if you're an AT&T broadband subscriber, starting today the mandatory dress code calls for a data cap to be worn. DSLs users must squeeze into a 150GB cap every month, and if that's not enough, be ready to fork over $10 for every 50GB over that limit. U-verse users get a little more wiggle room to play with and are capped at 250GB per month. Should you be worried, or does this only affect out-of-control BitTorrent users clogging up the pipelines?
Unfortunately, AT&T's timing really sucks. We're at a point where streaming media is just starting to take off, with services like Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO / MAX GO, and the list goes on. If you or someone in your household is a movie buff, that seemingly spacious 150GB cap might be tighter than you think.
As The Huffington Post points out, watching a single streaming high-definition movie consumes about 2GB per hour, while standard definition movies typically range anywhere from 0.3GB per hour to 1GB per hour. Throw in game downloads, cloud services, and everything else you use your Internet connection for, and it's easy to see how even average users could pop out of their data caps.
If it comes as any consolation, AT&T maintains that the caps will only affect about 2 percent of its DSL subscribers, claiming that the average person goes through just 18GB per month.
Do you think 150GB/month is enough?