Special pricing for Mound broadband customers

I don’t write a lot about broadband caps and metered service because it’s more of a national issue and so much has been happening locally – but as Keith Thelen wrote to me, Minnesota now has a front row seat.

According to Ars Technica, Frontier Communications is piloting metered services in Mound, Minnesota. It seems as if most of the details are coming from StoptheGap, a site that works at “promoting better broadband, fighting usage caps, usage-based billing and other Internet overcharging schemes.”

According to StoptheGap

Stop the Cap! has learned Frontier has begun measuring customers’ broadband usage, and for those in Minnesota who exceed 100GB of usage during a month, Frontier is dispatching e-mail messages telling them they’ll have to agree to pay more — much more — or their service will be cut off in 15 days.

It sounds as if about 50 people received such email messages. The most egregious bump up will be for those achieving 250GB of usage; their new monthly rate is an incredible $249.99 per month.

Again it sounds as if this is a pilot charging program and it sounds as if it’s for DSL customers at this point although representatives have alluded to potentially metered charges for FiOS service as well. (Or at least they haven’t said no to metered service for FiOS.) Unfortunately for Frontier it looks as if their letters to DSL customers preceded policy changes on their web site, that may be added to the confusion and frustration.

This entry was posted in MN, Policy, Vendors by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

3 thoughts on “Special pricing for Mound broadband customers

  1. Hi Ann,
    this post motivated me to find out what Comcast’s policy is. I found out that the monthly limit is 250 Gb before they threaten to cut you off.

    I have a hard time understanding the resistance to bandwidth caps. I cannot think of many products or services, beyond Old Country Buffet, that offer all you can eat.

    I do not understand how anyone could watch all of the video that they are downloading (this morning, I read online that a HD movie is about 5 Gb). Or if they are using their connection to operate a technology business with a server farm in their basement, a $250 monthly expense should not be a burden.

    I would be interested in the perspective who believe that bandwidth caps or tiered pricing is unfair.

  2. I don’t have an issue with broadband caps. I do think consistency and transparency are important. If a provider is going to change a policy, I think they need to change the small print on the web site. And I think a consistent policy across all served areas is a good idea or if there are different policies for different areas, I think they need to at least explain the differences in a way that appeases customers.

    It was interesting to see how ID Insight reported that competition (at least at a statewide level) did not lead to faster speeds or greater take rates. It would be interesting to see if competition has an impact on issues such as broadband caps. https://blandinonbroadband.org/2010/04/23/mn-is-13th-in-terms-of-broadband-competition/

  3. If you stream movies and play online games or even use multiple computers in the home (I have 4) .. going through the 5GB cap (upload and download combined) is pretty quick.

    I live in Ohio and when I found out about the deal between Frontier and Verizon, I was appalled. I have DSL service with no caps and am usually on the internet 24/7 .. I work in the computer field.

    If this deal happens and the caps take effect. I will immediately disconnect the phone and internet. My wife may not like it, but we’ve lived without internet for a good portion of our lives and we can do the same again. I won’t be happy but then again I am the customer and if they do something I don’t agree with then I can take my money elsewhere and I’m not the only one who will think this way.

    I’m pretty sure Frontier will lose a lot of customers if they try to implement this.

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