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AT&T to throttle unlimited data hogs

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 31 Jul 2011 23:52 User comments (6)

AT&T to throttle unlimited data hogs AT&T has announced this week that it will begin throttling unlimited data hogs on its smartphone networks.
The customers affected will be those in the "top 5 percent" during any billing period and use unlimited plans (which have since been discontinued by the carrier).

Starting on October 1st, the carrier says they will begin reducing speeds on the heaviest users with full speed returned at the end of the billing cycle.

Says AT&T:

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.

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. In fact, these customers on average use 12 times more data than the average of all other smartphone data customers. 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.


Customers will be sent multiple notices via their phones, and given a grace period, before the speeds get throttled.

AT&T notes that customers that get these notices should likely try to get to Wi-Fi more often and not use the 3G so extensively. The carrier offers 26,000 free Wi-Fi hotspots around the nation.

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6 user comments

11.8.2011 0:59

Talk about being cheap.

21.8.2011 5:51

The "top 5 percent" then the rest.
It worked in the Thirties.

32.8.2011 2:05

LoL...didn't AT&T release a figure that said only like 5% go over 2GB anyway?



45.8.2011 13:49
WierdName
Inactive

So... instead of expanding to meet the demand, they cut the demand off again? Well at least they offer some advice; "go use open networks that people can monitor your data on."


Doesnt expecting the unexpected make the unexpected expected and therefore mean youre expecting the expected which was the unexpected until you expected it?
"Opinions are immunities to being told were wrong." - Relient K

57.8.2011 1:10

Originally posted by WierdName:
So... instead of expanding to meet the demand, they cut the demand off again? Well at least they offer some advice; "go use open networks that people can monitor your data on."
You can say there are two different pain points here:

1) AT&T can build out their infrastructure to accommodate unlimited data users. That would cause higher prices for everyone, even those whose data usage is modest. They probably could pass the cost to those unlimited data users, but one could bet there aren't enough of them to cover the cost.

2) Do as they're doing, and slow down those that are using huge amounts of data. It only effects those that are huge consumers of data.

I, for one, don't want to subsidize those who think "unlimited data" is a battle cry for "let's download the Internet.

And in full disclosure: I *am* one of those lucky few with an unlimited data plan.

67.8.2011 1:12

Originally posted by WierdName:
So... instead of expanding to meet the demand, they cut the demand off again? Well at least they offer some advice; "go use open networks that people can monitor your data on."
You can say there are two different pain points here:

1) AT&T can build out their infrastructure to accommodate unlimited data users. That would cause higher prices for everyone, even those whose data usage is modest. They probably could pass the cost to those unlimited data users, but one could bet there aren't enough of them to cover the cost.

2) Do as they're doing, and slow down those that are using huge amounts of data. It only effects those that are huge consumers of data.

I, for one, don't want to subsidize those who think "unlimited data" is a battle cry for "let's download the Internet.

And in full disclosure: I *am* one of those lucky few with an unlimited data plan.

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