Ladies and gentlemen, the days of unlimited broadband may be numbered in the United States, and we're not talking wireless this time -- AT&T says it will implement a 150GB monthly cap on landline DSL customers and a 250GB cap on subscribers to U-Verse high speed internet starting on May 2nd. AT&T will also charge overage fees of $10 for every additional 50GB of data, with two grace periods to start out -- in other words, the third month you go over the cap is when you'll get charged. DSLReports says it has confirmation from AT&T that these rates are legitimate, and that letters will go out to customers starting March 18th.
How does AT&T defend the move? The company explains it will only impact two percent of consumers who use "a disproportionate amount of bandwidth," and poses the caps as an alternative to throttling transfer speeds or disconnecting excessive users from the service completely. Customers will be able to check their usage with an online tool, and get notifications when they reach 65 percent, 90 percent and 100 percent of their monthly rates.
We just spoke with AT&T representative Seth Bloom and confirmed the whole thing -- rates are exactly as described above, and the company will actually begin notifying customers this week. He also told us that those customers who don't yet have access to the bandwidth usage tool won't get charged until they do, and that AT&T U-Verse TV service won't count towards the GB cap.
Update: What prompted this change to begin with? That's what we just asked AT&T. Read the company's statement after the break.