The latest ISP to pile on is AT&T, with an automatic US$5-per-month increase in price for DSL service, impacting 13 states, effective in April. Exempt are those who already subscribe to exclusive or premium services such as "U-Verse" (a pilot all-inclusive system) and "Elite" (6 MiB/s). "Basic" users will see an increase of 33% from $14.99 to 19.95. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson fairly pointed out that when presented with a financial choice between a land line and a wireless one, consumers will choose the cellphone; DSL subscribership has suffered as a result.
Also a fair assessment:
"Even with this adjustment, our pricing still beats cable's standard pricing across the majority of our markets," AT&T spokesman Brad Mays said in an e-mail. "We're confident that customers will see the value in the service and that we'll continue to grow our customer base."
What remains to be seen is if AT&T might also achieve the litigiously acrobatic maneuver of implementing copyright filtering. One thing is now certain, though: an internet subscriber must now put a price on the ability to use P2P networks.