AT&T Drops Broadband Caps to Help Remote Workers

Remote-working AT&T customers will have one less worry

Why This Matters:

By dropping data caps and fees, AT&T is acknowledging the difficult situation many of its customers find themselves in. When you work from home, you can eat a lot of data. Now, at least AT&T customers won’t face extra fees, but will other ISPs follow suit?

woman working at home
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AT&T has capped its caps. The internet service provider has said it's dropping broadband data caps and fees for its ISP customers, according to Motherboard.

A relief for remote workers. AT&T made the decision to help customers who have been forced to work from home over Coronavirus fears. “Many of our AT&T Internet customers already have unlimited home internet access, and we are waiving internet data overage for the remaining customers,” a company spokesperson told Motherboard.

Are data caps necessary? ISPs have often made the case that capping data usages was to prevent, for instance, a small group of high-data users from impacting the experience of other users on the same network. However, with most broadband networks backed by high-speed, fiber optic cable its seems unlikely that such caps are necessary.

By the Numbers:

  • AT&T Broadband customers: 15.7 million
  • 73% of Americans are home broadband users

Who’s next? AT&T, consumer groups, and U.S. Senators are pressing for other ISPs to follow suit and drop their caps as well. That could happen in short order.

Will it last? Since many of us will probably be working from home for at least the next few weeks, the need for managing home broadband data costs will continue at least into April.

Bottom line: The Coronavirus outbreak is triggering a real social and economic shift that may impact long term policies like data caps. It’s possible that, after all this is over, they never come back at all.

Via: Motherboard

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