Three months ago, Guy Distaffen switched Internet providers, lured from his cable company to his phone company by a year of free service on a two-year contract. But soon the company quietly updated its policies to say it would limit his Internet activity each month.
“We felt that were suckered,” said Distaffen, who lives in the small village of Silver Springs in upstate New York.
The phone company, Frontier Communications Corp., is one of several Internet service providers that are moving to curb the growth of traffic on their networks, or at least make the subscribers who download the most pay more.
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This could have consequences not just for consumers — who would have to learn to watch how much data their Internet use entails — but also for companies that hope to make the Internet a conduit for movies and other content that comes in huge files.