AT&T offers unlimited data on U-verse, with a catch

You have to subscribe to TV to avoid paying extra for the feature.

Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

AT&T's U-verse internet service has had data transfer caps for years, but they're about to come off... if you're fiercely loyal to the company, anyway. The telecom is re-introducing unlimited data on May 23rd that will be free of charge, but only as long as you're also subscribing to either DirecTV or U-verse TV on the same bill. Determined to cut the cord? Unfortunately, it'll cost you $30 extra to get that same privilege.

This isn't to say that the carrier is throwing you under the bus if you're an internet-only customer, as it's increasing U-verse caps across the board. Users on the more common tiers will jump from 250GB to either 300GB (for the under-6Mbps crowd) or 600GB (12Mbps to 75Mbps), while those with 100Mbps and up will move from a 500GB cap to 1TB. Should that not be enough, you'll pay $10 for every 50GB you need over the limit; the provider will waive that overage fee the first two times.

AT&T notes that most people probably won't run into those ceilings -- just 4 percent of U-verse customers use more, it says. While that's true, the move isn't quite as generous as it seems. As with Comcast's data cap tests, this is more about softening the blow as more people ditch conventional TV, whether by discouraging internet-only service or making more money if you insist on making the leap.