AT&T’s just updated its terms of service for broadband customers, and starting next month, if you’re a heavy downloader, get ready to have your connection squeezed to a trickle. While they haven’t implemented usage caps a la Comcast (yet) they are using a similar traffic management technique starting on Oct. 18 that will slow down your whole connection if you’re “using other U-verse services in a manner that requires high bandwidth.”
In order to provide a consistently high-quality video service, AT&T Uverse High Speed Internet throughput speeds may be temporarily reduced when a customer is using other U-verse services in a manner that requires high bandwidth. This could occur more often with higher speed Internet access products. It may be necessary, for some AT&T High Speed Internet users, for AT&T to set a maximum downstream speed on a customer line to enhance the reliability and consistency of performance.
There’s a bunch of other changes in the updated terms of service that you should read too if you’re an AT&T customer, like regarding the settling of disputes. There are some clauses about not distributing copyrighted content, but I don’t know if those are new, I’m still checking on that. Either way, it’s another step toward crappier internet for all, and it’s not like you’re going to get anything out of it, either. [AT&T]