Screw it, we lost.

AT&T released their earnings results yesterday, and I noticed this:

Wireline Broadband Growth Remains Strong. Driven by strength in AT&T U-verse High Speed Internet service and standalone broadband, AT&T posted a 175,000 net gain in wireline broadband connections. About two-thirds of consumers have a broadband plan of 3 Mbps or higher.

I have two words: screw it, we’ve already lost. (Okay, that was five words.) We lost the cause when Comcast put forth a soft cap several years ago with seemingly little fanfare, but we didn’t realize it at the time. With the current broadband market in the US, fighting the carriers directly has little chance for success at this point. I fully expect TWC and any other capless providers that remain in AT&T’s service areas to implement caps within the next year or two, probably along with the rollout of DOCSIS 3.0. What is there for us to do, stop using the Internet?

The fact that people are still purchasing Internet access from AT&T means that either people don’t give a crap about the caps, or have no idea about them/are being convinced by AT&T representatives to sign up anyway. I know that the retentions person I talked to when I cancelled was not aware that they were going to institute caps, so it is within the realm of reason that AT&T has talked people out of cancelling.

At this point, the only way we can turn back the tide at this point is to put pressure on our government to force carriers with monopolies to open their lines to competition. No amount of boycotting is going to do anything unless it actually affects AT&T’s bottom line; they’re simply too big for only a few people to change things. However, this doesn’t mean that you should stop boycotting them; on the contrary, you should continue to no longer purchase services from them, if at all possible. (By the way, I still haven’t received a response to my letter, and doubt I ever will.)

That said, this site is going to be much more than against caps now, with the AT&T and T-Mobile merger awaiting approval from the regulatory agencies. I’m still going to update the list of capless ISPs as the providers announce their policy changes, and I’ll still post news about AT&T’s caps. But now the stakes are much bigger: to stop Ma Bell’s monopolistic behavior.

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