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Frontier Online, an incumbent carrier with service in 23 states, updated its acceptable use policy last week to reflect that it now has a 5 GB data cap for its DSL subscribers (hat tip to DSL Reports). Before we all cry foul, however, Frontier wants us to know that with that cap, we can each send half a million emails and download about 1,250 songs from iTunes. Of course, the picture’s less rosy if you’re like me and love Hulu, since then you’re looking at only 10-15 hours of “30 Rock.”
The efforts are in line with those of other ISPs trying to cut down on bandwidth hogs by offering different tiers of service. Time Warner Cable is testing a 5 GB service tier delivered at 768 kbps in Texas, but Frontier doesn’t seem to have an offering with a larger data cap. Granted, a Comcast spokesman told me earlier this year that the cable company’s average broadband subscriber only uses 2 GB per month, but as more and more content goes online, a 5GB cap seems like a recipe for customer loss.