Friday, March 18, 2011

Why AT&T Should Give Me a 93% Discount on U-Verse Internet

So, I recently moved. At my new house, I signed up for AT&T U-Verse TV and Internet. So, what happens this week, before I've even received my first bill? DSLReports and Engadget break the news that AT&T will begin imposing a 250 gigabyte per month cap on U-Verse Internet service. This already has me reconsidering my options.

Switching to DSL (I've heard a lot of good things about DSLExtreme) would be my likely choice, as I've had some pretty bad experiences with Time Warner Cable's Internet offerings. Plus, from what I understand, DSL and U-Verse run over the same copper pair, so I'd also have to change my TV provider. Time Warner Cable isn't all that attractive, and I had some bad experiences with the DirecTV customer service people before deciding on U-Verse. But that's really beside the point, and not why I'm breaking out the Blogger account for the first time in almost a year.

No, I want to lay out why AT&T should be giving me an 93% discount on my U-Verse service. It all boils down to simple math:

I have the U-Verse Max plan, which offers download speeds of 12 megabits per second. I even did the math in AT&T's favor, and used a non-leap year February as the definition of a month, being 28 days. Now we need to do one more division:

In other words, the bandwidth caps allow me to use just 7% of the theoretical maximum amount of Internet usage I could have in a month. And that doesn't account for the 1.5 megabits per second upload speed. So if I can only get 7% of what I signed up for, I should only pay 7% of what I was paying for before. In other words, a 93% discount.

Since the current charge for U-Verse Max is $45/month, that means I'll be paying just $3.15/month if I were to get the discount. Oh, and the folks with the $65/month Max Turbo plan, which offers 24 megabits per second? They'll barely get 4% of what they signed up for. It actually makes Max Turbo the an even better deal, at a mere $2.60/month.

Figuring out how long it would take at 12 megabits per second to consume the 250 gigabyte per month limit is left as an exercise to the reader. It's simple middle school algebra.