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ISPs consider bandwidth surcharges

NEW YORK, June 15 (UPI) -- Three of the largest U.S. Internet service providers are threatening to restrict their most active subscribers' online activity, companies say.

Time Warner Cable, Comcast and AT&T are considering charging those who use their services more than the average user, The New York Times reported Sunday.

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Time Warner began an "Internet metering" trial this month in Beaumont, Texas, asking customers to select a monthly plan and pay surcharges when they exceed their bandwidth limit.

For its part, Comcast said it may slow down the connections of the heaviest users, so-called bandwidth hogs.

The newspaper reported AT&T said limits on heavy use were inevitable and that it was considering pricing based on use.

"Based on current trends, total bandwidth in the AT&T network will increase by four times over the next three years," the company said in a statement.

"Average customers are way below the caps," said Kevin Leddy, executive vice president for advanced technology at Time Warner Cable. "These caps give them years' worth of growth before they'd ever pay any surcharges."

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