With video streaming and conferencing growing more popular, AT&T is increasing its monthly data allotment to 1 terabyte or more for two key AT&T U-verse home internet customer groups beginning on Aug. 21.
Customers subscribing to internet speeds tiers up to and including 300 megabits per second (Mbps) will receive the 1 TB monthly allowance. Also on Aug. 21, AT&T GigaPower customers subscribing to the internet speed tier up to 1Gbps will receive unlimited home internet data. The previous allowance was 1 TB per month. Customers with certain types of bundles will also receive unlimited data, AT&T said in its announcement.
A terabyte is enough data for a customer to stream up to 400 hours of HD video a month – or more than 13 hours daily, AT&T said. Tools on att.com/InternetUsage can help customers estimate, monitor and manage data usage.
AT&T’s move follows on the heels of Comcast’s announcement in April that all its customers in data trial markets, including South Florida, would move from a 300-gigabyte data cap per month to a terabyte beginning June 1, regardless of the speed of their internet plan.
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In April, AT&T effectively instituted data caps on all its plans. AT&T’s caps had technically been in place since 2011, but in the past caps were not enforced on most plans. Before the expansion that begins Aug. 21, customers received 300 or 600 gigabytes or one terabyte of data per month, depending upon the plan.
Both companies have said their customers average far less usage than the data cap, yet with “cutting the cord” — or dropping cable services — becoming more popular, more customers are streaming movies and television shows from services like Netflix and Amazon heavily, and large multi-device households can eat up data quickly. Nevertheless, the moves to increase the controversial data caps come on the heels of thousands of customer complaints nationwide.