ISPs Pop a Cap in Business Cloud Adoption #datacaps

If you use broadband internet access in your home, then you probably already know that data caps and overage charges are all the rage these days with ISPs. Most of the time when you read some outrageous story about caps, it’s focused on consumers who have an open WiFi access point and some neighbor decided to torrent the entire DVD collection of the Sopranos across it. That may be changing, though.

AT&T just imposed caps on a good chunk of their customer base, including small business DSL customers. Hello, big time barrier to the cloud, especially if other providers follow suit.

AT&T says it will implement a 150GB monthly cap on landline DSL customers and a 250GB cap on subscribers to U-Verse high speed internet starting on May 2nd. AT&T will also charge overage fees of $10 for every additional 50GB of data, with two grace periods to start out — in other words, the third month you go over the cap is when you’ll get charged. (From

As I’ve written in a previous blog post regarding the roadblocks to cloud, there are three barriers to ubiquitous cloud adoption:  

1) institutionalized thinking

2) security

3) bandwidth costs (with what we’ve seen from Amazon and Google lately, I may be adding a fourth, and that’s the providers themselves; that’s another discussion for another day, though).

With an unlimited bandwidth connection, say a 50Mbps down/5Mbps up business cable connection, using cloud services is relatively simple (assuming you can overcome the other two barriers). What difference does it make if you have to restore an entire desktop or server hard drive from your MozyPro subscription? Well, if you chew up half or more of your monthly bandwidth allotment in one restore, it might make a big difference.

What’s so interesting to me is that these bandwidth providers are almost all working to create, or already have, cloud services in their data centers. So for them, cloud is a double win; they hook you by convincing you how much lower your costs will be, and then club you over the head when you actually use the services and go over your bandwidth caps.

We’ll obviously have to see how this goes, but if it heads down the same path the consumer caps have, it isn’t going to be pretty for cloud based infrastructures, that’s for sure.

Further Reading:

Time Warner Monthly Data Caps Detailed

Verizon Data Caps Coming

At&t To Impose Broadband Data Cap

Photo Credit: targuman