Most internet users don’t think about the amount of bandwidth they use. In fact, many are oblivious to how much they actually do use. Yet, for those who stream videos live or play interactive PS, Xbox, or Wii games online, just to name a few, high bandwidth usage is a must, and many have no idea just how much they use.
With high bandwidth usage comes a bogged down internet. The FCC has abided by a net-neutrality ruling, which keeps many major ISPs from placing limits on downloads and capped the prices they could charge internet companies for carrying their traffic.
In April of 2010 the FCC changed the policy on free internet. The new ruling allows ISPs to cap the bandwidth usage per user. Fixed line carriers also have the ability to experiment with pricing models.
In light of the new ruling, AT&T is implementing a new policy that will limit the download of users based on the type of connection they use. Customers with DSL connections will be limited to 150 gigabytes of bandwidth. Those with U-verse connections will be limited to 250 gigabytes per month. At these limits, AT&T assumes that only about 2% of its subscribers will hit these limits.
Some companies, though, are not embracing the new ruling. Verizon is challenging the regulation in court. Companies like Verizon hurt because popular websites don’t pay for the traffic jams they cause. These companies strike secret deals with such websites that ensure preferential treatment for the customers of those websites. Deals like that violate the net neutrality agreement, even in its current form.