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    In the technology era, there are a million-and-one ways to connect with the world. With a million-and-one different needs and personalities, it is difficult to choose just one channel that will allow us to most effectively listen to and communicate with our customers and partners.

    Through the wisdom of experts and research by the authors, The Listening Post offers insights into a variety of aspects of today’s communication with a more specific focus on communicating effectively G2G (geek-to-geek).

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    Darcy Pierce

    I’m actually just a kid trapped in a semi-adult body, I love cartoons, coloring and mac and cheese. I enjoy listening to Claire de Lune while taking ballet classes, but at the same time, a well-tuned muscle car is like music to my ears. I thrive on opportunities to spin what others find to be completely boring (or overly technical like microchips) into exciting and engaging marketing programs, because of this, Synopsys is my Disneyland and social media is my platform.

    Geeky Confession: I secretly love math and numbers. I can recall phone numbers after only a short glance, and for some reason find it necessary to memorize my credit card numbers.

    Hannah Watanabe

    The “jaw-dropper” fact that most people are surprised to learn is that I was homeschooled K-12. I have never regretted this, and in the end, I am still just your everyday California girl—can’t get enough beach or sun. Whether it’s a day trip to Santa Cruz, a weekend in L.A., or an adventure on the other side of the world, I love to travel. My favorite outdoor activity is camping, and my true love is tap dancing. Other than social media, my passion is working with children because I’m reminded of the days when a crisis was not getting a second cup of animal crackers at snack time.

    Geeky Confession: I occasionally spend an hour clicking on the ads on my Facebook page trying to figure out why they are targeting me. Then, I enter keywords into my profile in an attempt to capture ads that I’m actually interested in.

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High Speed Internet with a Limit

Posted by Darcy Pierce on April 4th, 2011

Many of those who have AT&T’s residential DSL High Speed Internet have probably already heard the news that AT&T is putting a monthly usage cap on their broadband service. The average AT&T customer will not be affected by this. In fact, only the top 2% of users may be affected. Interestingly though, this group of customers use about 20% of the totally capacity of the network.

According to AT&T their average customer uses only 18 GB per month. This means that 150 or 250 GB is more than enough for 98% of customers. However, if you are in the 2%, you will be charged $10 for every 50 GB over your usage allowance. AT&T is being courteous though, giving users a grace period of 2 months to change their usage habits, and then subsequently will begin to charge overage fees.

Although we understand why internet providers like AT&T and Comcast have a cap on their broadband services, we can’t help thinking about who might be included in the top 2% and how their communication and business habits might be affected. Being that we are Social Media Specialists, we sympathize greatly with the large amount of social media consultants and contractors that work out of their homes. Since going over your usage relates greatly to how much you upload and download various content, we feel that any social media contractor, or any individual working out of their home may be affected by this.

On the non-business side, others who may be affected are those who do not have cable television and instead stream all of their movies and regular TV shows from the internet. Some groups of college students may be affected as well, such as film production and photography students who may frequently upload and download large files.

Another issue that could arise with this new usage cap is the increased importance of network security. Although most people already have their wireless networks password protected, there is now an added risk if they do get hacked with the addition of overage charges.

Internet usage caps like the ones we just described can also have an influence on less obvious areas. GigaOm, who posted a similar article about the issue, expresses how caps like these may potentially hinder innovation.

Here is a chart provided by AT&T that breaks down what you can get out of you allowed monthly usage.

What are your thought on broadband usage caps?

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One Response to “High Speed Internet with a Limit”

  1. Eric Huang says:

    First, the movie studios have been criminally incompetent in not protecting their content. They don’t want their fancy lunches interrupted when they can just pay lawyers to sue everyone. They’re lazy.

    Having said that, the CAPS are completely justified. As an IP Marketeer, I’m interested in stopping pirating of IP. In this case, Movies, probably Blu-Ray versions. I’m told that Comcast actually will look at what you’ve been downloading. They can see that. Since the only people that really hit that upper limit are people using Bit Torrent to steam movies, I think that it’s okay to limit their usage. I couldn’t say, but I’m betting that the most demanding, on-line gaming experience wouldn’t hit the cap. The 2 hour movie, compressed from iTunes is 1.6 to 2GB in size. Assuming a BluRay disk is the same or even 2x per month, We are talking about people that pirate 70-125 movies or more in 1 month. I’m just saying it’s okay to cap usage when it’s clearly for illegal purposes.

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