Just last week, AT&T took the wraps off its new selectively constrained unlimited plans. While the second largest carrier in the United States sets its sites on a new era of nickeling and diming customers, its sins of the past have finally come to collect their due. As per an unlimited data throttling complaint filed back in 2014, the FTC has determined that AT&T must cough up $60 million in damages, plus openly disclose all future restrictions placed on its data plans. Read More
Data throttling has been standard practice by carriers for years. At first it mostly applied to customers going over their data limits, but recently carriers have begun throttling certain content (like streaming services) for everyone by default, especially in the face of a less strict FCC. Project Fi has been experimenting with an opt-in (not default) throttling feature, which ended up disabling the SIM cards of some customers. Read More
The Federal Communications Commission has been taking some quite visible actions to keep American carriers in line. Chairman Tom Wheeler took Verizon to task about its plans to throttle unlimited data users, which it then scrapped. The FCC assisted the Federal Trade Commission in its case against AT&T for throttling "unlimited" customers. Today the FCC announced that T-Mobile will report more accurate data speeds to customers who are being actively slowed down.
Here's the deal: T-Mobile offers a variety of plans and prices, including an unlimited data option (the real kind, not the AT&T kind). But for the lower-tiered plans, data itself is unlimited, but you only get a certain amount of high-speed LTE or HSPA+ data, after which you're limited to 2G speeds (128kbps at the fastest) until the end of the billing cycle, with no extra charges. Read More
The war on data throttling has been raging on for what seems like forever, with many users left furious that their carrier would slow data speeds to a crawl after X amount of gigabytes (usually two). While most carriers draw a clear line as to when throttling will occur, AT&T has taken a rather shady approach with its unlimited customers in the past, simply stating that "the top five percent of users" will be throttled. The problem is, most users want to know their exact data limit, so this ambiguous barrier just hasn't been good enough.
Today, however, AT&T announced a change to its policy that finally gives a real 'data cap', leaving users with no doubt as to when throttling will begin. Read More
Here's a shocker: in order to conserve precious bandwidth, AT&T plans to start throttling data for the top 5% of users that were grandfathered in on unlimited data plans back in the day. An AT&T spokesperson danced around the subject quite delicately, making sure to note that most users won't be affected by the change:
One new measure is a step that may reduce the data throughput speed experienced by a very small minority of smartphone customers who are on unlimited plans – those whose extraordinary level of data usage puts them in the top 5 percent of our heaviest data users in a billing period.