Now that Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Rogers have weathered the initial blowback for schemes to meter subscriber downloads and charge for excessive usage, AT&T said it expects to do the same.
“A form of usage-based pricing for those customers who have abnormally high usage patterns is inevitable,” according to an AT&T spokesman, though the company does not yet have a specific plan or policy.
AT&T said the Top 5 percent of its DSL customers use 46 percent of the total bandwidth, which is consistent with cable industry experience.
Cable networks are set up so that bandwidth on a node is a shared resource, so if one or two subscribers is using a large percentage of the available bandwidth, that can compromise the performance for other subscribers in the node.
That is not the case for DSL, however, so the impetus for a DSL provider to impose a usage cap and charge extra for consumption above that cap may be less technological than it is a matter of simple pricing policy.
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