Less than six weeks before AT&T is set to
throw the switch on usage-based billing plans for wireline
broadband, the telco is still refining the way it shows
customers how many bits they’ve consumed.
Right now, the AT&T bandwidth-monitoring tools are
wildly off the mark, according to some members of broadband
community site DSLReports.com. One user said
AT&T’s broadband-usage data literally doesn’t add up:
The telco said this subscriber’s total usage from Feb. 18 to
March 17 was 234 Gigabytes, but when the data from each
individual day was tallied up the total was 217 GB.
Asked for a response, AT&T spokesman Seth Bloom
said, “We’re already addressing ways we can make the labels
and information on the online tool more clear for customers
between now and May.” He added that the telco is
performing checks every day “to ensure accuracy.”
AT&T’s caps, effective May 2, are to be 150 GB for regular
digital-subscriber line users and 250 GB for U-verse
Internet customers, with $10 for every 50 GB accessed
above those limits. The telco’s major digital-subscriberline
equipment provider is Alcatel Lucent.
According to AT&T’s estimates, less than 2% of wireline
subscribers are expected to bump into the caps.
Among cable operators, Comcast and Cox Communications
provide data-usage meters. They impose usage caps
but don’t currently charge overage fees.