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AT&T says internet data caps and overage fees 'inevitable'

Kyle Horner

Is a time really coming when internet use in America will be capped? AT&T sure seems to think so and we're inclined to wonder if they're right. Internet service providers could go about capping bandwidth in a couple of ways. They could be reasonable (hah!) and set the cap up high where it will only hurt people who're constantly downloading large amounts of files through P2P networks or -- and this is more likely, we think -- they could setup a tiered system. This could be problematic for online gamers depending on how the tiers are setup. A higher cap means a higher price. So then depending on your gaming, surfing and -- most importantly -- downloading habits you could feel some monthly bill-burn. If you were recently involved in the Age of Conan betas just think back to all that downloading you did. Consider all the game trailers you've either streamed or downloaded. Also, one computer playing an online game may not hurt much but we're fairly certain there are plenty of homes with upwards of two or three computers hooked up to the network.

Another issue is how this system reeks foul of classic greed. As time goes on and the internet infrastructure hopefully improves throughout America, will the internet service providers fairly adjust the monthly, weekly or daily caps to represent that? We also have to wonder whether or not this problem is stemming from a lack of infrastructure investment from these companies to begin with, which is a possibility as well.

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