Rumor: AT&T to start data speed throttling in October

AT&T may have done away with its unlimited data plan for new wireless phone customers a little while ago, but the company still has a number of older customers who have had their unlimited data deals grandfathered into their contracts. That includes older users of the AT&T version of the iPhone. Now there's a rumor that those remaining unlimited data users will find that their data speeds will be cut when it reaches a certain amount.

According to 9to5mac.com, AT&T will begin to throttle data speeds for its remaining unlimited data customers sometime in the first week of October. The article doesn't say what the broadband cap will be when it's put in place, but whatever it turns out to be AT&T wireless customers with the unlimited plan will see their data speeds get cut down after that cap is reached. The speed cut will stay in effect until the end of a customer's billing cycle when the data speeds will be bumped up again.

The new policy will only affect the top five percent of unlimited data users on AT&T's network. It adds that since the launch of the first iPhone in 2007, AT&T has seen its wireless traffic increase by 8,000 percent. The end result is that AT&T has been forced to beef up its network infrastructure to meet the massive demand. Having a data throttling plan would perhaps help the company deal with the increase in demand, especially with the upcoming launch of the next version of the iPhone which is expected to happen sometime this fall.

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49 Comments

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Voice of Buddy Christ said,
Well, time to go to Sprint.

WOW, really? I guess you didn't see where Sprint is slower than AT&T so you leave ATT to go to a slower bandwith, which amounts to the same thing as restricted speed.

Wow, that's brilliant!

rijp said,

WOW, really? I guess you didn't see where Sprint is slower than AT&T so you leave ATT to go to a slower bandwith, which amounts to the same thing as restricted speed.

Wow, that's brilliant!

Actually, the claim that Sprint has a slower network than AT&T is false. Sprint has been offering THEIR clientele 4G speeds and phones for over a year now. Unlimited talk mobile to mobile, unlimited sms, unlimited mms, free gps service, free sprint tv, free sprint digital radio, unlimited bandwidth with no throttling etc, etc. While Verizon and AT&T charge more but offer far less. AT&T charges their customers 20.00 a month for unlimited sms/mms...alone! 80% of high speed internet users have no idea how fast their system actually is. More than 30% of AT&T's Iphone 4 customers actually believe that they are on a 4G network, simply because they are using an Iphone 4. Pity that they have not fathomed that their device actually uses a 3G network.Check out this article in ZDNET about how Tmobile & AT&T had migrated to 4G. http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/...works-out-of-thin-air/43577 Instead of investing in the network, they have found that it is possible to get a bigger return on their investment with a pricey media blitz. Spin it enough, and the consumers will believe anything. You can sell them donkey meat, and say its fresh!

netsendjoe said,
F*** you AT&T ... and F*** you T-Mobile ...
I apologize if I have offended any customers.

No offense, we tend to ignore dweebs that troll for responses and can't add anything positive, and make retarded comments like that.

Ugh what a world 2012 is set to become. Maybe it will all end in 2012 after all.

I for one will be ****ed if TWC starts doing this crap. Of course they wont get away with it for long, as I'm sure it will backfire quickly, again.

Included Data 5 GB $60.00
Additional data {0}.05 per 1 MB
Canadian Data {0}.015/KB
International Data {0}.0195/KB

Cost way too much

Since people are posting the seemingly obligatory "worst carrier in US" comment, I will post my equally obligatory comment attesting to having no major issues with them.

Included Data 5 GB
Additional data $0.05 per 1 MB
Canadian Data $0.015/KB
International Data $0.0195/KB

What a joke. No way will ever buy into ATT

clwright5 said,
Included Data 5 GB
Additional data $0.05 per 1 MB
Canadian Data $0.015/KB
International Data $0.0195/KB

What a joke. No way will ever buy into ATT

Actual cost to the ISP (based on their own public filings and information)...

Each SMS = $0.00. These are always FREE since they are part of the normal cell phone communication network. In other words, your cell phones is ALWAYS sending and receiving these messages packets. SMS just fills the empty/random space with your text.

Each GIGABYTE of data = $0.01. That's right, one penny per gigabyte. According to their own filings.

We are ALL being ripped off by two colluding phone companies acting as a cartel, not as true capitalist competitors.

James Riske said,
I swear att is trying its best to be the worst wireless provider on earth, not just the worst in the US.

Is there someone else at the bottom of the list they are competing with here? LOL AT&T seems to be pretty secure in the worst carrier title...

M_Lyons10 said,

Is there someone else at the bottom of the list they are competing with here? LOL AT&T seems to be pretty secure in the worst carrier title...

True...

0V3RS1GHT said,
So AT&T was already the worst carrier in the US, so what does this make them now?

They gotta make sure no one catches up

Not sure if AT&T wants to play with customer's speeds. That would be a violation of the terms of the contract by AT&T and the customers that have those old contracts still in force.

However...if the customer wanted...they could start monitoring their speeds within the next few months till the throttling starts...then take more readings...and show the before and after speeds to a court for a class action lawsuit.

It's not the customers fault they had unlimited data speed contracts...and AT&T is going to punish them for paying a fee to have their unlimited speed throttled?

I would be finding myself a good lawyer very soon.

texasghost said,
Not sure if AT&T wants to play with customer's speeds. That would be a violation of the terms of the contract by AT&T and the customers that have those old contracts still in force.

However...if the customer wanted...they could start monitoring their speeds within the next few months till the throttling starts...then take more readings...and show the before and after speeds to a court for a class action lawsuit.

It's not the customers fault they had unlimited data speed contracts...and AT&T is going to punish them for paying a fee to have their unlimited speed throttled?

I would be finding myself a good lawyer very soon.

If their TOS is like every other mobile carrier out there, they reserve the right to change their TOS at any time.. which you agree to when you sign up. Customers have no case.

0V3RS1GHT said,

If their TOS is like every other mobile carrier out there, they reserve the right to change their TOS at any time.. which you agree to when you sign up. Customers have no case.

Well...apparantly they couldnt change the TOS of the contracts that had unlimited download speeds or they wouldn't have been grandfathered in.

If I'm not mistaken... you as a consumer have the right to terminate your contract at no additional charge if you can prove that the changes to your plan are detrimental to your wallet - i.e. them putting a limit on what you can download... probably means you will have to spend more to get the service from the phone for which you signed up for, which could then give a person a way out. Im not certain about US consumer laws though

texasghost said,

Well...apparantly they couldnt change the TOS of the contracts that had unlimited download speeds or they wouldn't have been grandfathered in.

Oh they absolutely could have. They would have just lost a lot of customers that way. Verizon played the same card when they switched from unlimited data.

texasghost said,
Not sure if AT&T wants to play with customer's speeds. That would be a violation of the terms of the contract by AT&T and the customers that have those old contracts still in force..

go ahead, get that lawyer. WASTE your money. They are NOT capping the limits of the download, they are keeping you from being a BANDWIDTH HOG, why the hell you people can't READ is beyond me..

READ the article, if you get 2Mb download today, and they double it to 4Mb tomorrow, how is that in ANY way a violation of TOS? SHOW me where it says you are GUARANTEED speed, you aren't.. and it' doesn't say that.

So go ahead get that pinhead lawyer of yours, I will challenge that myself, and I don't have a law degree, and this will be EASILY shot down.

alfadon said,
I bet Verizon will end up following AT&Ts trend and begin throttling there network to.

I hope not. The caps were ridiculous to be honest.

alfadon said,
I bet Verizon will end up following AT&Ts trend and begin throttling there network to.

Verizon has been doing this for sometime now on their customers with unlimited....

Probably me. Since I got a tethering letter, I stopped tethering, but since have used 3G for everything. I don't even use my own wifi at home. Screw them. I might as well download and delete a 1.4GB navigation program everyday. My3G lets me do that and watch HD Youtube all I want on 3G. Really, ATT has forced me to do this.

So let me get this straight....you offered unlimited data, then launched a very popular device, which, at its core, is about VIDEO, MUSIC & INTERNET, which put an "undue demand" on your network, which required you to spend money to beef it up....and that is somehow OUR fault how?
Well, with only two real nationwide carriers with coverage, look for more of this CRAP to continue.

since the launch of the first iPhone in 2007, AT&T has seen its wireless traffic increase by 8,000 percent. The end result is that AT&T has been forced to beef up its network infrastructure to meet the massive demand.

naap51stang said,
So let me get this straight....you offered unlimited data, then launched a very popular device, which, at its core, is about VIDEO, MUSIC & INTERNET, which put an "undue demand" on your network, which required you to spend money to beef it up....and that is somehow OUR fault how?.

Let me get THIS straight you have ZERO comprehension skills.

It's not about DATA amount it's BANDWIDTH. If you sit and tether your phone at the strip club for 24 hours a day.. that's YOUR problem, however when it affects other users from getting quality service because YOU can't do it during OFF-PEAK hours that's MY problem and ATT is doing something about it.

LEARN how to READ! It says they are THROTTLING not CAPPING, you dunce!

When you signed up for that "unlimited plan" the speed was half of what it is now, so they aren't REMOVING anything just simply keeping you from downloading ALL the TIME with faster speed, and since they can't cap your data, they CAN restrict your speed.