Friday, June 13, 2008 AT&T mulls surcharge for high bandwidth DSL customers

Robert Holmes of reports today AT&T is considering surcharging high volume DSL customers. "Usage-based pricing is one way to deal fairly with Internet usage, which is very uneven among broadband users," AT&T spokesman Michael Coe told According to AT&T, a small percentage of customers account for a large percentage of total bandwidth used, with the top 5 percent of residential DSL subscribers using 46 percent of the total bandwidth and the top one percent consuming 21 percent of bandwidth.

"Broadband use is surging," Coe says. "Based on current trends, total bandwidth in the AT&T network will increase by four times over the next three years."

Ma Bell has two likely motivations for considering the yet to be deterined surcharge, disclosed a little more than four months after she raised most residential DSL pricing tiers by $5 a month. As with the DSL rate increase, the goal is to milk additional incremental revenue out of DSL and secondarily, to drive high bandwidth residential subscribers over to AT&T's higher priced U-Verse bundled service.

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