Fees for heavy Internet use “inevitable”, says AT&T
AT&T representative Michael Coe has said the company believes it is “inevitable” that heavy Internet users will eventually have to pay some sort of surcharge for the extra bandwidth demand placed on the network.
The ISP along with other providers have been seeing a huge surge in traffic for its DSL services, which can be attributed to a small group of users. Coe added that only 5 percent of customers are currently accounting for 46 percent of overall bandwidth used per month. These users may need to be charged extra.
Although DSL is switch-based unlike cable Internet access Coe says the highly disproportionate use is still affecting other users.
The new stance is similar to other ISPs, such as Rogers in Canada and Comcast in the States which has said it is considering using a 250GB softcap and charging overage fees for users who cross that bandwidth cap.
Critics complain however, that the caps would unfairly punish users who use tons of bandwidth legitimately to, for example, watch movies through Hulu or Netflix, download movies from iTunes or play online multiplayer gaming. The critics do have a point, not everyone is a BitTorrent user.