AT&T Broadband Metering is Anti Competitive
In May, 2011, AT&T began metering residential bandwidth and applying usage caps. If you have AT&T DSL your monthly usage limit is 150 gigabytes of data per month and if you have AT&T U-Verse your data usage is limited to 250 gigs per month. If you exceed these limits you will be charged $10 for each block of 50 gigs over the limit. AT&T claims that these caps are because some users consume an abusively high amount of bandwidth which negatively affects the quality of service for other users. If this were true, why would AT&T not limit the usage of these abusers by disconnecting their service after they reach a certain level of use? Instead, AT&T simply charges these users for the overage. This really diminishes the argument that excessive bandwidth usage causes negative effects on other users, or it is a clear statement that AT&T is willing to allow a degradation of service for everyone for $10. The real reason that AT&T has imposed these limits is because AT&T is attempting to limit access to competitive services. AT&T sells telephone service and companies like MagicJack and Vonage sell internet based phone service for much less. Google Voice will allow you to make and receive high quality telephone calls for free, and you can even use your AT&T smartphone with their service. AT&T sells video on demand services through their U-Verse system and through their partnership with DirecTV. Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube offer free and low-cost access to video programming. All of these services rely on your broadband internet connection and AT&T is, by limiting broadband usage, making it more difficult for consumers to use these services and making it more profitable for AT&T when they use them. Please log your opposition to these acts of anti-trust. In order for the economy to grow and for technology to advance, restrictions like these must be opposed. The results of this petition will be delivered to Randall Stephenson, AT&T CEO, by certified mail.