Sunday, December 25, 2011

2012 - Usage Based Billing Starts for US DSL Services

End of year is the time for either predictions (which I disregard as they usually made by vendors and say that the products they sell will be the hottest trend next year; extreme example - here) or summarizing the year

For the latter,  a story by   to FierceTelecom provides the current status of Usage based Billing in North America DSL services.

Unless we will see last minute changes, AT&T, Frontier and CenturyLink will introduced UBB for "2% of their customers using a disproportionate amount of bandwidth .. will get a 150 GB allowance, while U-verse subscribers have a 250 GB cap on services .. Any subscriber that exceeds the new usage cap three times over the life of their account will be charged $10 for every 50GB over the 150 GB or 250GB limit. (AT&T case). Verizon and are not going to charge overage fees.  

During the year I followed the case of Bell Canada (see "Canada: Final(?) Decision - No UBB for Bell Canada Wholesale Service" - here) in which, during the year long saga, led Netflix to offer optimized streaming video flow that will reduce volume by 66% (here).

To understand the effect of UBB we can learn from an experiment in New Zealand, in which TelstraClear removed data caps for one weekend. The result - "Customers used two and a half times more data overall than the previous weekend" (here and chart).

On the other hand we also saw a research claiming that "Data caps are a very Unfair Tool when Targeting Disruptive Users" - here.
See "Year in review 2011: Usage Based Billing (UBB) will punish all broadband users" - here.

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