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AT&T DataConnect overage: $480 per gigabyte

Chris Ziegler

As much as we hate that true, no-strings-attached unlimited data plans are being killed off one by one, we appreciate that carriers have had the common decency (well, sometimes) to impose caps as "soft" ones -- going over repeatedly might irk 'em into throttling your bandwidth or tearing up your contract, but at least you wouldn't be getting a bankruptcy-inducing bill in the mail without any warning. Watch yourself, boys and girls, because that's now changed on AT&T, where the one and only domestic DataConnect plan offered for laptops -- 5GB for $60 -- now features an overage charge of $0.00048 per kilobyte. Running the numbers, that works out to a staggering $480 per extra gigabyte -- and on a laptop, a gig isn't hard to burn through at all. We guess AT&T would probably either cut you off or give you a call if you went way over, but by then, you've dug yourself a pretty deep hole. It's all pretty ridiculous, and we're hoping they're only a few lawsuits away from reconsidering the way they're handling this.

[Thanks, Bill]

Update: Several tipsters have written in to let us know that AT&T shuts you down after you've racked up $100 in overage, which seems awfully arbitrary. If we're seriously going to keep going with this per-kilobyte model, can we get a configurable hard cap or something? Thanks, everyone!

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