It's no secret that providers have been starting to crack down on illegal tethering, but now AT&T is taking a new approach on customers using their device as a hotspot without an appropriate plan.

Back in March, Ma Bell started sending out notices to customers found to be tethering without paying their dues to subtly let them know that their current plan "may need updating." Well, as it turns out, the time for subtleties is over. Users that were grandfathered in on an unlimited data plan that are tethering will now be automatically moved to a 2GB tiered plan with a 2GB tethering package. Currently, the unlimited plan costs $30 per month, and the tiered plan is $15 more, at $45 per month. How does that sound? Higher cost, less data.

There is one way to prevent this change though: stop tethering. You see, AT&T is still being somewhat tolerant of the behavior, offering up one last smack-on-the-hand before the real punishment takes place. If you just can't resist the urge to tether, however, you are left but two options, per AT&T: either manually update your plan, or do nothing and they'll update it for you.

There's not word on when this change is set to happen, so if you don't want to be knocked off of that unlimited horse that you so proudly ride, you should probably stop tethering. It may not be ideal, but at the present time, it seems to be the only way.