Monday, May 30, 2011

AT&T broadband usage cap - should I be worried?

It appears that the answer is no.  For those unaware, AT&T recently instituted a cap on usage for its broadband internet customers - 150 GB per month for DSL (which I have) and 250 GB per month for UVerse (after which there is a $10 fee for each 50 GB over the cap).  My initial reaction to this was of course outrage - especially since even their Elite DSL package (which I have, because UVerse is not available in my area) can be inconsistent at times.

I would have been even more indignant if they did not provide a way to monitor your data usage.  But, fortunately, they do - though I had to do some digging find this out.  You just need to go to, follow the link to "View my usage", then log in.

When I followed these steps, I found the results below.  They did not have any data for me for the current billing cycle, so I pulled up my historical usage data.  Note that I'm missing data for my March-April billing cycle - I do not know the reason for this.

AT&T DSL Data usage over the last few months

So it seems that between two tech-savvy internet users (Chike and me), we top out around 100 GB per month.  So we have about 50% room for growth before worrying about the cap (especially since I've begun streaming more Netflix and Hulu content as of late).

This is obviously not an optimal situation, but I'll have to make do since Charter's required agreement periods and price jumps make them a non-starter for me (though their speeds are faster, and they have no cap that I'm aware of).  It doesn't help either that AT&T has a history of questionable data accounting, at least in their wireless division.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Recycling pick-up...finally...

St. Louis City has been slowly rolling out its new recycling program that includes recyclables as part of the waste pick-up.  And my ward/neighborhood has just joined in the fun - I received my blue recycling roll-cart today.

So instead of 2 trash pick-ups per week, we get 1 for trash (green cart) and 1 for recycling (blue cart).  And this is all included in our refuse charges.  In my hippie opinion (and despite my libertarian tendencies), this is much better than the old opt-in program that cost an extra fee, and only gave you the little blue tub...which I didn't do anyway - I took my recyclables to the recycling center about 5 minutes away.  So now I don't have to load up the car and drive over there every couple of weeks.

More info about the recycling pick-up service: