4.01.2011

This is how the internet ended...

If you're reading this, it means my website has successfully moved to its new host at iPage. For $45 per year I get unlimited bandwidth and hosting, as well as 100% uptime.  Up till now I've been hosting on my server at home for free through No-IP.  So why not stick with free hosting?  Why move to a paid provider?  Well the answer to that riddle is AT&T.

For five years now I've enjoyed unlimited DSL through AT&T.  The service has been mostly good, minor hiccups here and there, but at least it wasn't Comcast.  Comcast, in addition to their horrible prices, service and tech support had started limiting the amount of bandwidth their customers were allowed to use per month.  This bandwidth cap was set to 250GB per month.  For those that don't understand them computer gizmos, GB stands for Gigabytes.  It's a way of measuring data.  250GB can be an enormous amount of data, but also very little data depending on how you USE your data. AT&T was gracious enough to put it in perspective:

Monthly Activity150 GB250 GB
Send/receive one page emails
10,000 emails
 -and-
10,000 emails
 -and-
Download/upload a medium resolution photo to social media site like Facebook
3,000 photos
 -and-
4,000 photos
 -and-
MP3 Songs downloaded
2,000 songs
 -and-
3,000 songs
 -and-
Stream a one-minute YouTube video (standard quality)
5,000 views
 -and-
5,000 views
 -and-
Watch hour-long TV Shows (high quality)
100 shows
 -and -
200 shows
 -and -
Stream full length movies (Standard Definition: SD; High Definition: HD)20 SD or 10 HD movies25 SD or 13 HD movies

Guess what I use my internet for a LOT...  Yep HD movies and TV shows.  But who cares, I have AT&T, they don't have any such cap right?  Well starting May 2, 2011, AT&T jumps on the fail train with Comcast and will begin capping their bandwidth as well.  But, not to 250GB like Comcast.  For our hard-earned money we get a 150GB bandwidth cap!  Yep, 100GB LESS than Cockcast.

So how does this affect me and why should I care Radd?  Well my fine feathered friends, if you use your internet for anything other than web, e-mail , or the occasional short YouTube video, you're screwed.  How bad can it be you ask?  Well, AT&T set up a page where you can view your current usage for the past few months: http://myusage.att.com/  Let's look at mine:


As you can see, I'm fucked.  Obviously this month I've gone well above my just under 250GB average because upon hearing about the upcoming cap, I've been stockpiling movies and TV to watch later, and this will continue right up to May 2nd, by which time I hope my massive downloads have started my internet lines on fire.

So at 150GB/mo, I can now download 10 movies per month, and that's as long as I do NOTHING ELSE with my internet all month.  Isn't America great?  So now the entire Chicago area internet is crippled by these greedy Comcast and AT&T assholes.  So long to streaming video services like Netflix in Chicago.  And all this after Comcast imposed outrageous fees on Netflix for bandwidth costs, which Netflix had to pass along to their customers. Apparently Comcast's monopoly on cable internet doesn't make them enough money to get by.  Don't worry though, Comcast's deeds pale in comparison to AT&T...  If you ask AT&T, they'll tell you the cap on internet is because they're running out of bandwidth.  If you ask any network engineer, this is bullshit lie.  AT&T's 150GB/mo cap is only for their DSL customers as an incentive to get them to move up to AT&T Uverse, their new TV/Phone/Internet service, which by the way happens to have a 250GB/mo cap like Comcast...  Hmmm, what a coincidence!  And the 250GB cap on Uverse is completely outrageous, as Uverse is a brand new network still being installed in many neighborhoods, and they're already running out of bandwidth?!  Forgive me for this, but LOL.  
But remember how I said Uverse is a TV/Phone service as well?  What competes with Uverse TV?  Why streaming services like Netflix of course!  What better way to stifle these services and force people to use Uverse TV than to cap the internet in Chicago?

Here's another act of sabotage by AT&T's corporate machine:  They're measuring customers' bandwidth on THEIR end, rather than customer's end, which for technical reasons too complicated to explain here, the numbers are NOT EVEN ACCURATE!  I compared my monthly usage on my router to the monthly usage reports above, and they are off by quite enough to cause me great concern.  So by May 2nd, I have to decide whether to return to Comcast for more accurate reporting and a 250GB cap, or to stay with AT&T and try to change my internet lifestyle. If you've been paying attention, you might be asking why I don't just upgrade to AT&T Uverse to get a 250GB cap.  Well, Uverse isn't available in my area yet.  It's been available for my pal @Olaf330 2 miles away for a while, but not here.  So the ploy by AT&T corporate to get me to upgrade for a higher cap has failed.  I may call and appeal to them to raise my cap to 250GB since I don't have the Uverse option, or I may switch to the slightly lesser of two evils, VERY slightly lesser... Cockcast.

So, to bring my latest crybaby rant full-circle, I switched my website to a paid web host to save bandwidth.  Hosting my website at home costs bandwidth, which before was no problem at all...  But internet bandwidth is now a precious commodity...  Or so the elders of the internet would have you believe.

So thanks for ruining the internets, evil corporate executives.  I hope you die in a fire.  This is why I'll never be successful, I'm not evil enough.  Signing off to get to work on that immediately... 

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