Whether you place the blame on ISPs for not upgrading their infrastructure or the small number of bandwidth hogs clogging up the pipes (with all legal content, of course), metered bandwidth looks to become the norm rather than the exception. AT&T becomes the latest to jump on board and will begin trials for metered internet access for subscribers living in Reno, Nevada. But that's not the half of it.
Those of you who were outraged at Comcast for having put a 250GB cap in place might want to stop reading now. According to a letter filed electronically with the FCC, AT&T attorney Jack Zimmerman says the size of his company's bandwidth caps will vary based on the service level. Customers on the 768kbps plan will be hit the hardest and have just 20GB to work with, while 6mbps subscribers will be capped at 150GB, or 100GB less than what Comcast is allowing. Should customers go over their service level's limit, a $1 per gigabyte charge will be assessed to the monthly bill.
Customers who want no part of the caps can choose to cancel their service and have their early termination fee waived. We imagine there are readily available alternatives in Reno, but should AT&T's test run spread to other areas, finding another ISP may not always be as easy. AT&T boasts 14.7 million subscribers, enough to rank the company as the largest ISP in the U.S.