View Full Version : News AT&T U-Verse Customers Receive Notice of TOS Change

03-30-2011, 12:24 PM
I received an email this morning from AT&T notifying me of some upcoming changes to the Terms of Service for my Internet Account. I typically just skim through them, not really seeing anything of grave importance, then delete the email. Well this morning's email had something in it that got my attention:

"Usage: We've added a link at www.att.com/internet-usage (http://www.att.com/internet-usage) where customers can
go to get information about AT&T's data usage policy and managing their data
usage. "

I thought to myself, that seems interesting. So I did some digging and found this FAQ BURIED in my AT&T U-Verse account page (pay close attention to the highlighted paragraph):

Broadband Usage FAQs

Are there any usage limits for my broadband service? Yes. As of M.ay 2, 2011, AT&T's residential DSL High Speed Internet plans will have a usage allowance of 150 Gigabytes ("GB") per month, and its residential U-verse High Speed Internet plans will have a usage allowance of 250 Gigabytes ("GB") per month. The usage allowance is the amount of data you can send and receive each month
Why is AT&T implementing a usage allowance? AT&T has experienced a dramatic increase in the amount of data that is sent and received over its wireline broadband networks. This dramatic increase is driven primarily by a small fraction of our customers. In fact, the top 2% of customers use about 20% of the total capacity on our network. A single high traffic user can utilize the same amount of data capacity as 19 typical households. Lopsided usage patterns can cause congestion at certain points in the network, which can slow Internet speeds and interfere with other customers' access to and use of the network.
What is a gigabyte? A gigabyte is a unit of measurement of the amount of data that is transmitted over the Internet. Approximately 50,000 single-page e-mails (without attachments), for example, equate to about 1 GB. It is important to remember that a GB represents the amount of data sent over the network, and not the amount of time spent using the Internet.
How much is 150 GB? 150 GB is far more data than most customers ever use in a month. Our average DSL customer uses only about 18 GB per month. In fact, less than 2% of DSL users utilize more than 150 GB per month. We estimate that 98% of our customers will not be affected by this change because the monthly usage allowance includes so much bandwidth.
Will spending a lot of time on the Internet cause me to exceed my monthly usage allowance? Time alone is not the determining factor; it is the activity that matters. You could spend several hours reading e-mails, for example, and use less than 1 GB of data. You could spend 30 minutes downloading a movie, on the other hand, and use 2 GB of data. It is important to remember that it is what you are doing on the Internet, not how long you do it, that determines the amount of data that you use.
Can anyone other than someone in my immediate household affect my bandwidth usage? If you have not secured your wireless gateway/router, someone nearby with a computer or Wi-Fi enabled device could access your home network and use your High Speed Internet Service, which could increase your monthly usage. AT&T recommends that you secure your wireless router/gateway to prevent others from using your High Speed Internet Service. We suggest that you use common encryption protocols, such as Wireless Encryption Protocol (WEP) or Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) for security. Check www.att.com/esupport (http://www.att.com/esupport) for support with AT&T provided devices, or your manufacturer's support website for help with securing your wireless router/gateway.
What will happen if I exceed my monthly usage allowance? You will receive a notice the first time your usage exceeds the applicable monthly allowance.
In the following months, we will send you additional notices each month when your usage exceeds 65%, 90% and 100% of your monthly usage allowance. If you exceed your monthly allowance a second time, AT&T will send you a notice advising you that the next time you exceed your allowance - the third time - you will be billed $10 for each 50 GB of data over your allowance.

We will continue to send you courtesy notifications when your usage exceeds 65%, 90% and 100% of your monthly usage allowance to keep you informed about your usage patterns. All of these notices will remind you of what your monthly usage allowance is, provide you with information to help you understand broadband data usage, offer you tips on how to effectively control your usage to stay below your monthly allowance, and explain what your options are if you exceed your allowance in future billing periods. For example, you can modify your usage patterns to stay below your monthly usage allowance; continue your normal usage patterns and pay $10 for each additional 50 GB of data over your monthly allowance; or terminate your service, consistent with the terms of any special pricing offer that you previously accepted.

Importantly, if you do not receive a notice from AT&T, it means that you have not exceeded your monthly usage allowance. In some cases, it may mean that we cannot measure your usage yet. Either way, you should not be concerned about your usage patterns for billing purposes.
Where will I receive notices about my broadband usage? You will receive notices about your broadband usage at the primary e-mail address that you set up when you registered for Service. We will send a letter by U.S. mail if we cannot reach you by e-mail or do not have your e-mail address.
How will AT&T help me to monitor my usage? AT&T will provide a website with two options to assist customers in managing their High Speed Internet usage.
First, AT&T will provide a personal usage report at www.MyUsage.att.com (http://www.MyUsage.att.com) where customers can view how much actual data they have used in a given month from the January 2011 bill cycle to the most recent billing cycle. To protect confidential customer information, this site is password-protected. The login process requires your Internet access login and password. The login is your AT&T primary account email address (e.g., John_smith@att.net). The password is the same password used to access your att.net homepage and primary email account.

AT&T initially will report usage data on a weekly basis. When a customer uses 70% of their monthly usage allowance, we will supplement their personal usage report on a daily basis. A customer's usage will be posted on the website within 1 - 4 days after it is collected.

Second, AT&T will provide a website with examples of what kind of Internet activity can impact your actual usage. In addition, on the same site AT&T will provide a usage calculator, which will enable customers to input data about how they typically use their Service and calculate an estimate of how much data they are likely to use in a given month. This website will be available in late April 2011.
I can't seem to access the usage tool. What should I do? Many of our customers have access to this tool already. For those who don't today, until your usage is available for viewing on www.MyUsage.att.com (http://www.MyUsage.att.com), you should not be concerned about your usage patterns for billing purposes. Once the tool is available, you will be notified if you exceed your allowance.
Needless to say this whole new usage limitation is something they are implementing with as little notification as possible. They made it very difficult to get to this FAQ, not to mention it is setup where you cannot post a direct link to it (why I had to cut and paste). Just trying to get the word out to my fellow gamers that may be affected!

05-28-2011, 09:07 AM
Hmm I use U-verse but im not worried about really. I dont think i even use 18 gigs a month, I maybe use 5 lol. Thanks for the heads up though