AT&T’s “Unlimited” Data Plans Won’t Keep You From Getting Throttled
So much for AT&T’s grandfathered unlimited data plans.
Confirming a report in 9to5Mac yesterday, the carrier said Friday that it will soon throttle its heaviest data users as part of an effort to alleviate congestion on its network.
“Like other wireless companies, we’re taking steps to manage exploding demand for mobile data,” the company explained in a statement. “Many experts agree the country is facing a serious wireless spectrum crunch. We’re responding on many levels, including investing billions in our wireless network this year and working to acquire additional network capacity. We’re also taking additional, more immediate measures to help address network congestion.”
And so, beginning Oct. 1, customers on an unlimited plan whose monthly use puts them into the top 5 percent of data consumption may have their data speeds reduced until the end of that billing cycle. Normal speeds will resume at the beginning of the next cycle.
Just as T-Mobile did before it, AT&T insists the move will affect only a small subset of its customers, while improving service for everyone else. “These customers on average use 12 times more data than the average of all other smartphone data customers,” AT&T said in a statement. “This step will not apply to our 15 million smartphone customers on a tiered data plan or the vast majority of smartphone customers who still have unlimited data plans. … To rank among the top 5 percent, you have to use an extraordinary amount of data in a single billing period.”
Something for users of Spotify, Netflix and Hulu to consider…