AT&T will expand their metered bandwidth trial to Beaumont, TX. They began trialing bandwidth caps in Reno, NV in early November. Like in Reno, Beaumont AT&T broadband customers will see broadband caps ranging from 20 Gpbs to 150 Gbps, depending on their DSL subscription tier. Unlike in Reno, the Beaumont market is well aware of metered bandwidth, since Time Warner Cable introduced them earlier this year. It sets up an interesting competitive laboratory. For the first time, the two dominant broadband carriers in a given market will have bandwidth caps. Some analysts have suggested that metered bandwidth will not work in a competitive environment. The thinking being that competitors will simply aggressively compete with unlimited bandwidth plans, and materially impact metered bandwidth plans. But what happens if most broadband carriers decide to institute caps? So much for that argument. Is Beaumont a leading indicator of things to come for all markets?
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