TDS Telecom is just the latest ISP to hit its customers with usage caps as a way to boost revenue. A notice being sent to users first spotted by Stop the Cap! informs the company’s customers that because “each customer’s Internet’s needs are unique” the company has decided to implement a 250 GB monthly cap on DSL customers starting in June. Consumers that exceed the cap will pay over fees of $20 for every additional 250 GB consumed over the cap — up to a maximum of $60 more per month.
To avoid the cap users are being given a few options, including the ability to bump the cap to 500 GB for an additional $10 per month, 750 GB for an additional $20 per month, or 1 TB for an additional $30 per month.
Over the years as ISPs have struggled to defend the implementation of usage caps. Initially, they claimed the caps were needed due to congestion. Most now either give no real justification for the price hikes at all, or try to vaguely imply they’re doing consumers a favor by providing them with more “flexible” pricing options.
“As technology and Internet activities have evolved, so have customer demands for speed and performance,” TDS claims.
Granted by now most of our regular readers realize that usage caps have nothing to do with speed, flexibility, or performance, and everything to do with taking advantage of a lack of competition to raise historically already high US broadband pricing further still. The lion’s share of TDS Telecom’s 1.2 million customers live in 150 rural or suburban communities where customers lack real options for broadband service.
According to the notice being sent subscribers, any charges incurred in June will show up on customers’ August bill. Just as a reminder, customers tired of the growing expansion in usage caps can file a complaint with the FCC.