or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › AT&T confirms plan to throttle heaviest unlimited data users Oct 1
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

AT&T confirms plan to throttle heaviest unlimited data users Oct 1

post #1 of 65
Thread Starter 
AT&T has released a statement outlining its plans to balance the demands of its grandfathered unlimited data subscribers to protect service capacity of new users via data throttling of the top 5 percent of the heaviest users.

"Like other wireless companies, we're taking steps to manage exploding demand for mobile data. 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," AT&T states in a press release.

The company notes that "Starting October 1, smartphone customers with unlimited data plans may experience reduced speeds once their usage in a billing cycle reaches the level that puts them among the top 5 percent of heaviest data users."

The data throttling will only kick in for users with unlimited data plans, not for newer users who have signed up with tiered data plans. The limits will also only occur once unlimited data users reach the top 5 percent of the company's data users, which AT&T says "you have to use an extraordinary amount of data in a single billing period" to do.

Affected users are already consuming, on average, 12 times more data than other subscribers in general. While the new change distorts the definition of "unlimited data use," the measure is intended to help the carrier accommodate all of its subscribers as fairly as possible.

AT&T discontinued the practice of offering unlimited data contracts this year, offering slightly cheaper plans albeit with a fixed limit of either 200MB ($15) or 2GB ($25) of monthly bandwidth, both of which incur extra fees when that limit is exceeded.

Verizon announced plans to do the same this month, offering plans that cost $30 for 2GB, $50 for 5GB, and $80 for 10GB, with tethering costing $20 extra and including an additional, independent 2 GB bucket of bandwidth.



AT&T, like Verizon, encourages users to use WiFi networks when "streaming very large amounts of video and music daily," the typical reason why a user would fall into the top 5 percent of data consumption.

Unlimited data users who fall into that top 5 percent group will get reduced download speeds throughout the end of their current billing cycle. AT&T suggests that user who do not want to experience slower download speeds opt for using WiFi networks to reduce their demand on the company's mobile network, or choose a tiered plan than enables them to pay for as much mobile data as they can consume with no limits on speed.

The company also reminds users that it desperately wants its $39 billion bid to acquire T-Mobile to go through, stating that "nothing short of completing the T-Mobile merger will provide additional spectrum capacity to address these near term challenges."
post #2 of 65
the bullshit is so thick here I'd have to look at the gov's high school like debt debate to find thicker.
post #3 of 65
It's going to turn out that those top 5% of users are exactly the set of users who use more than 2GB/month, which means that all those Unlimited plan users are paying $30 for what everyone else is paying $25 for.
post #4 of 65
Americans: Welcome to Canada.
post #5 of 65
Unlimited has always had an asterisk on it, they might as well do away with it completely or give better definitions of what will trigger the the throttle. Top 5% is meaningless as it's almost impossible to independently verify or track that, but if you have a GB trigger point, then you can track it.
post #6 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Unlimited has always had an asterisk on it, they might as well do away with it completely.

The asterisk, you mean.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #7 of 65
Not declaring an absolute BW limit (e.g. 4GB/mo) but using a vague measure like "when your usage reaches the level of top 5% of users" is absolutely disgusting.

They might as well have said "we will chose not to offer you service whenever we feel like it".
post #8 of 65
deleted
post #9 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

Your ISP Is Screwing You: As Your Service Costs Go Up, Their Backbone Costs Go Down
http://techcrunch.com/2011/07/29/you...costs-go-down/

problem is not with backbone. Problem is tower beeing too crowded!
post #10 of 65
Thank God I use Sprint.
post #11 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbarriault View Post

Americans: Welcome to Canada.

What does that mean?
post #12 of 65
I thought you got 4GB of data when you elected the tethering plan for $45/month???
post #13 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbarriault View Post

Americans: Welcome to Canada.

Does that mean I have to go to hockey games now?
Get. I meant do I get to go to hockey games.
post #14 of 65
I wonder how long it will be until AT&T cuts off us unlimited data users altogether and forces us onto tiered plans? I'm still on an unlimited plan courtesy of my 3GS days (currently using it with my iPhone 4).

I'm betting that whenver Apple switches to LTE with the iPhone, they're gonna start cutting us off.
post #15 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onhka View Post

What does that mean?

It means that our mobile service providers have never had unlimited data plans -- and they generally rake in the biggest profits in the world because we get charged for every little thing up here. Partly due to lack of competition, and partly because the government doesn't do anything to regulate all of the hidden charges and convoluted contracts which basically set people up for high cellular bills.

Trust me, I believe in buyer beware as much as anyone, but I've seen some pretty shady clauses in cellular contracts here.
 
Reply
 
Reply
post #16 of 65
Dear Americans,

Don't feel bad about getting throttle by AT&T. Here in Canada, even our DSL internet gets throttle by our ISP especially Bell Canada - the master of all throttle. So if you don't go crazy with your mobile data plan, you will be okay. It could have been worst... like being in Canada

Sincerely,

A friend from the North
post #17 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by darren76 View Post

Thank God I use Sprint.

Yeah, how's that iPhone treating you, by the way?

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #18 of 65
I'm boned. Well played, AT&T, well played.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
post #19 of 65
deleted
post #20 of 65
Wait...was I supposed to act suprised?

Ok hold on...
post #21 of 65
This is an outrage! What is the excessive use to AT&T? 2G/month or 5G/month? As a grandfathered AT&T customer I am feeling like they don't appreciate me as a user. The Unlimited account was the only reason I have jumped and AT&T just lost me as a customer (that rarely goes over 2G a month - only during a vacation).

Edit: I actually only use no more the 70MB during the past 5 months.

Mac Pro Dual 2.8 Quad (2nd gen), 14G Ram, Two DVD-RW Drives, OS X 10.9
Mac Book Pro Core 2 Duo 2.16Ghz, SuperDrive, ATI X1600, 2GB RAM, OS X 10.7
1TB Time Capsule

Reply

Mac Pro Dual 2.8 Quad (2nd gen), 14G Ram, Two DVD-RW Drives, OS X 10.9
Mac Book Pro Core 2 Duo 2.16Ghz, SuperDrive, ATI X1600, 2GB RAM, OS X 10.7
1TB Time Capsule

Reply
post #22 of 65
That's how my wired Internet already works. If I download more than 150G/month the speed drops right down until the next month. Not that I have ever hit that limit, but other people I know have.
post #23 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by satcomer View Post

What is the excessive use to AT&T? 2G/month or 5G/month?

Uh, they've CLEARLY stated that it's the top 5% of users... a group of users that will be constantly changing and fluctuate without warning or prior notification. Duh!

Quote:
As a grandfathered AT&T customer I am feeling like they don't appreciate me as a user.

It's a telecom. They don't give a flying frick about users, and they never have. Not even after the monopoly breakup.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #24 of 65
AT&T says the move against unlimited accounts "is designed to improve the experience for the rest of its users. " But they dont' care about the rest of the users if the data guzzler does not have an unlimited account and is paying for it. That is an odd message to send to their customers.

Please update the AppleInsider app to function in landscape mode.

Reply

Please update the AppleInsider app to function in landscape mode.

Reply
post #25 of 65
This is a clear reason for the T-Mobile acquisition to never go through.
post #26 of 65
But I thought we were supposed to embrace the cloud and throw away all physical media and bask in the glory of an unlimited high speed utopia forever?
post #27 of 65
Instead of posting your discontent here and rambling on and on, Put your thoughts to work and try here instead.

Randall Stephenson, AT&T CEO
rs2982@att.com (direct)
randall.stephenson@att.com
fax 210-351-3553
Phone: 210-821-4105 (headquarters, press 3, ask for Mr. Stephenson's office)
175 E. Houston
San Antonio, TX 78205

a ton of good old fashion snail mail does wonders...

Headquarters mailing address is
208 S. Akard St.
Dallas, TX 75202
post #28 of 65
Throttling is such BS, wireless or otherwise.

How does throttling back a certain group of users *after* an arbitrary point each month "improve the experience" for everyone else *before* that point is reached?

What, do their routers overheat after they've passed X amount of data and have to cool down for the rest of the month?

But up until that tragic point in time, they're fine and can run at full speed 24/7.
post #29 of 65
So because they don't like the plan they sold me, I have to be penalized?

The consumer as second-class citizen. Teabagger heaven.
post #30 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbarriault View Post

Americans: Welcome to Canada.

Ok, but we get Canada's universal health care too. Right?
post #31 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleZilla View Post

Ok, but we get Canada's universal health care too. Right?

Provided the Second Great Depression doesn't start in four days, I think.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #32 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Provided the Second Great Depression doesn't start in four days, I think.

True that. As soon as seniors, who helped vote these idiots in, miss a SS check or a Medicare reimbursement, they will realize their mistake.

Or not.

Oh well. Somebody has to supply the Soylent Green.
post #33 of 65
Well I guess as the provider they can do what they want. I as the consumer can do as I wish. To me it is not the cost or the limits. For me it is the secrecy. My unlimited plan does not show me how much I have used. As pointed out in previous posts, saying top the 5% is vague and cannot be verified. Since I can't see how much I have used, I will have absolutely no way of knowing if I am getting close. It is just important for me to remember that I made it through the first 59 years of my life without a 3G iPad. I guess I won't parish if I give it up and let AT&T make their money off of someone else.

post #34 of 65
Maybe if the AT&T mucky-mucks didn't take umpteen millions in bonuses, they could afford to live up to their agreement to provide unlimited data. What language do you have to translate "unlimited" into to get it to mean "limited."
post #35 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by nanonanu View Post

Throttling is such BS, wireless or otherwise.

How does throttling back a certain group of users *after* an arbitrary point each month "improve the experience" for everyone else *before* that point is reached?

What, do their routers overheat after they've passed X amount of data and have to cool down for the rest of the month?

But up until that tragic point in time, they're fine and can run at full speed 24/7.

Hypothetically, the point is that one heavy user takes the bandwidth of a dozen other users, a tower can only transmit so much bitrate. Some cities are really at a choking point, or at least were, SF was one, but that is more due to the regulatory environment that lets NIMBYs block cell towers on over hyped and likely irrational radiation fears.

But do I trust them to be telling the truth? Nah.
post #36 of 65
How does one tell, unless they ran a speed test, that they have been throttled?

My iPad with Unlimited ATT 3G at times just spins it's wheels pulling up a standard web page or checking e-mail and I know I don't use 3G that often thanks to wifi at home and elsewhere.

Does throttling revert 3G back to Edge speeds? Curious to know if anyone has been throttled? How they knew and how their device acted (ie slooooow)
/
/
/

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

Reply

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

Reply
post #37 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by faxthat View Post

Maybe if the AT&T mucky-mucks didn't take umpteen millions in bonuses, they could afford to live up to their agreement to provide unlimited data. What language do you have to translate "unlimited" into to get it to mean "limited."

Let's find out! Google Translate, ho!

Well, starting with 'unlimited' and moving from English-Dutch-Macedonian-Swahili-Croatian-Slovenian-Hindi-Bulgarian-Slovenian-English-Korean-Tamil-Belarusian-Irish–Yiddish-English...

...we get 'manifest'.

Well, can't win them all, AT&T.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #38 of 65
Civil lawsuit.

Class-action this mofo, stat.
post #39 of 65
Does anyone, beside me, think it's funny how usa cell phone customers pay more than customer in other countries. Add to that the fact that you never hear anything about over seas users being throttled. Could it be because they have anywhere from 15% to 50% more throughput because those cell phone companies spent "real" money on infrastructure. It's such a shame that we keep paying more & getting less but no one in Washington cares to do anything about it.
post #40 of 65
How much do you have to consume to be not he 5%? I got unlimited and I average about 6gigs a month.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: iPhone
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › AT&T confirms plan to throttle heaviest unlimited data users Oct 1