AT&T capping upload data speeds?

uploadlimit

Angry users over at the Macrumors.com forum have noticed that AT&T is throttling their upload speeds to 100kbps.

This doesn't appear to be an isolated problem, but affecting over 20 cities and counting. The forum members are reporting that the following cities have been affected:
NYC, Central Jersey, Boston, Orlando, Seattle, South Jersey/Philly, Columbus, Cleveland, West Houston, Phoenix, Northern Colorado, St. Paul/Minesota, Suffolk County/Long Island, Quad Cities, South Jersey, Denver, Detroit Metro, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Fairfax, Minneapolis, Washington D.C., Des Moines

Reports show that download speeds have not been affected, yet, but users are experiencing slow upload speeds. Not every user with an iPhone has been affected, some are still showing lightly fast download and upload speeds, while others are receiving less than 100kbps. There is also word that AT&T might possibly be updating their network to HSUPA, which will allow for faster upload speeds, up to 1Mbps. So users may have to settle for slow uploads speeds for the time being.

What’s not clear is why AT&T has recently begun this practice (if true) and why this issue has never occurred in the past.  Is this AT&T’s new way of ensuring its network doesn’t collapse under the weight of the iPhone and its media heavy users?  You can try this out for yourself by visiting Speedtest.net and run the test that will tell you your upload and download speeds. 
 

AT&T has yet to comment on the issue.

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25 Comments

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Oh come on! These people are ridiculous! First, the monthly download data cap and now that? It is obvious that their network is indeed going to *collapse*..

Verizon FTW!

I thought that the network was already HSUPA but there is a limiter on the phone. I have a Windows Mobile based phone and one of the mods done was to enable the HSUPA phone and remove the upload speed cap on the device.

Actually....iPhone users never really got fast upload speeds, it was just the phone reporting it incorrectly since it was using the same bad formula as the Antenna signal....AT&T just updated the formula and now users are seeing the true speed (/Sarcasm of course)

TechGuyPA said,
Actually....iPhone users never really got fast upload speeds, it was just the phone reporting it incorrectly since it was using the same bad formula as the Antenna signal....AT&T just updated the formula and now users are seeing the true speed (/Sarcasm of course)

OMG...I was so preparing to rip on you for that. But I ended with a good laugh. Good one!

All things considered, we don't exactly use our smartphones for file-sharing, and nobody would even be using P2P on a tethered connection (unless they're retarded and asking for it). If throttling upload speeds stabilizes the data network, I don't see the problem (and I'm a Sprint customer, so this isn't apologism).

If the speed is enough to handle VOIP and video chat, that's all that matters. Sending mms messages doesn't need high speed (if it really matters to you that an image finishes sending in 1 sec instead of 4 sec, your priorities are seriously out of whack).

2.4Mb/1.3Mb here in Jacksonville, FL on my iPhone 4. 310ms ping. I am getting these results just about anywhere in town too.

ermax said,
2.4Mb/1.3Mb here in Jacksonville, FL on my iPhone 4. 310ms ping. I am getting these results just about anywhere in town too.

People like to rip on AT&T because it has now become the cool thing to do. Truth-be-told if you are covered they are the fastest 3G in USA (if you are covered).

Shadrack said,

People like to rip on AT&T because it has now become the cool thing to do. Truth-be-told if you are covered they are the fastest 3G in USA (if you are covered).


Big if, but you're definitely right. I frequently get speeds within the range for average 4G speeds.

A test I just took: http://i.imgur.com/HBycN.png

Other than posting pictures on Facebook, what the hell are you going to be UPLOADING from your iPhone that you would need a fast upload speed anyway?

roadwarrior said,
Other than posting pictures on Facebook, what the hell are you going to be UPLOADING from your iPhone that you would need a fast upload speed anyway?

If this was intentional throttling, the whining is probably from hacked tethering users.

I would switch back to Sprint in a moment if they had coverage out here. Their coverage where I live is spotty at best.

My ping sucks (typically 500+ms), but I'm getting 1.0 - 1.5mbps up and 2.0 - 3.5mbps down in my area on AT&T on iPhone 4. But I live in a relatively smaller town than those mentioned...not only that but AT&T isn't very popular here and so I don't deal with saturated network issues.

I just ran 2 tests over 3g on my phone. both started fast then averaged to be 54kbps. It never used to be that slow... *sigh*

I am in the Pittsburgh area btw. I will try again later to see if it was just from congestion, at 2:45 in the afternoon.

I wish I would have done some 3G speed tests awhile ago and not just today.. But I definitely see a cap on my upload on my unlimited data plan.

I can barely hit over 60kbps for upload although my download is pretty decent. Mind you I don't have an iPhone 4 yet; Just my iPhone 3G: http://www.imgftw.net/img/323658818.jpg

I got better speeds than the tests in the article, but I'm on an iPhone 3G, and I'm sure an iPhone 4 could do much better with the hardware it has compared to mine. Lowest speeds were 639kbps down and 203kbps up with 484ms ping. Highest speeds were 2043kbps down and 225kbps up with 1852ms ping.

thealexweb said,
Speed test data is probably prioritised anyway, this is why we need net neutrality.

net nutrality...people keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means

thealexweb said,
Speed test data is probably prioritised anyway, this is why we need net neutrality.

Net neutrality is a lose-lose situation.
Seriously, would you rather have the ISPs controlling the internet or the government controlling it?

lordcanti86 said,

Net neutrality is a lose-lose situation.
Seriously, would you rather have the ISPs controlling the internet or the government controlling it?

Depends what sort of regulator you got in your country

thealexweb said,
Speed test data is probably prioritised anyway, this is why we need net neutrality.

I would suggest that Neowin readers run the FCC Mobile Broadband Speed Test app instead of SpeedTest. It uses the same engine as the latter service (Ookla) but it reports performance metrics to the FCC's national mobile broadband database so the commission can get a better understanding of network coverage throughout the country and - hopefully - use it in their power against the ISP oligopoly for tighter regulation someday.