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AT&T Contemplates Heavy Web Use Charge

12 Jun, 2008 By: Erik Gruenwedel

AT&T Inc. is reportedly considering joining a growing list of cable operators and telecommunications companies that want to charge subscribers for downloading excessive amounts of data, including video.

Similar to other ISPs and cable operators, AT&T said a small percentage (5%) of its consumers use nearly 50% of its available bandwidth, which is doubling in capacity every 18 months.

Caps on digital capacity could adversely affect companies such as Netflix and Apple, which hope to deliver increasing rich media via the Internet.

“A form of usage-based pricing for customers who have abnormally high usage patterns is inevitable,” AT%T spokesperson Michael Coe told The Associated Press.Time Warner Cable last week in Texas began charging select heavy-use customers who exceed monthly bandwidth allowances.

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