• Following FTC Lawsuit, AT&T Limits Unlimited Data Throttling to Congested Areas



    In October of last year, the FTC filed a complaint and sued AT&T for imposing unfair data throttling on grandfathered unlimited data customers after they reached 5GB of data usage. Obviously, unlimited data isn't truly "unlimited" if it's only useful within the first 5GB bracket and then slowed to a nearly unusable crawl after that.

    AT&T has finally taken action against the throttling. Under one of the cellular carrier's policies, an updated paragraph notes that AT&T customers on the grandfathered unlimited data plan that had experienced slower speeds after 3-5GB of data usage will have their speeds restored at the start of the next billing cycle and that reduced speeds will only occur in congested areas to help with data flow for everybody else:

    As a result of AT&T's network management process, customers on a 3G or 4G smartphone or on a 4G LTE smartphone with an unlimited data plan who have exceeded 3 gigabytes (3G/4G) or 5 gigabytes (4G LTE) of data in a billing period may experience reduced speeds when using data services at times and in areas that are experiencing network congestion. All such customers can still use unlimited data without incurring overage charges, and their speeds will be restored with the start of the next billing cycle.
    As Ars Technica reports, this is what AT&T's policy said before the change:

    ...customers on a 3G or 4G [HSPA+] smartphone with an unlimited data plan who have exceeded 3 gigabytes of data in a billing period may experience reduced speeds when using data services at times and in areas that are experiencing network congestion. Customers on a 4G LTE smartphone will experience reduced speeds once their usage in a billing cycle exceeds 5 gigabytes of data.
    So now it just brings into question, what will AT&T use to determine "network congestion" before beginning to throttle some more?

    Sources: Ars Technica
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Following FTC Lawsuit, AT&T Limits Unlimited Data Throttling to Congested Areas started by Anthony Bouchard View original post
    Comments 20 Comments
    1. psxcancer's Avatar
      psxcancer -
      I think AT&T should make unlimited data after, say after 9:00pm until 6:00am and unlimited data weekends. That would get them so much more in new customers as well as customer loyalty
    1. Silverado1987's Avatar
      Silverado1987 -
      Well maybe they shouldn't have gave us unlimited to begin with. But too bad so sad
    1. edwilk55's Avatar
      edwilk55 -
      They lost my business over this...never been happier than I am with Verizon! Good to have coverage everywhere finally.
    1. CptPalmer's Avatar
      CptPalmer -
      So is the FTC complaint still in effect? I hope so, I don't support this new position that AT&T has taken.
    1. rhino_81's Avatar
      rhino_81 -
      Same old hat just a new fancy way to say your just gonna have to live with throttling data[emoji53]

      Makes a smartphone a dumb phone and work related tasks almost impossible to complete with the phone.
    1. Sniper488's Avatar
      Sniper488 -
      Out of curiosity, wonder if iPad unlimited data gets throttled or not...?
    1. buggsy2's Avatar
      buggsy2 -
      The FTC is way too late. I know people who gave up the unlimited plan because it was useless. Those people should be allowed to return to it.
    1. Silverado1987's Avatar
      Silverado1987 -
      My data in my area has been getting better and our wifi sucks at home. Last month I used 12gb I don't remember getting any throttling though
    1. IamAi's Avatar
      IamAi -
      Unlimited data my ***. I left that company for charging me a lot of $ for their so called unlimited data.
    1. rolandgabor's Avatar
      rolandgabor -
      Quote Originally Posted by psxcancer View Post
      I think AT&T should make unlimited data after, say after 9:00pm until 6:00am and unlimited data weekends. That would get them so much more in new customers as well as customer loyalty
      We all use data while we sleep. Seriously?
    1. SpiderManAPV's Avatar
      SpiderManAPV -
      Quote Originally Posted by rolandgabor View Post
      We all use data while we sleep. Seriously?
      I imagine it would work similar to cheap/free nights and weekends that phone plans of old had. Back in the days where minutes were the only thing that came with a phone plan. If I remember right that actually ended up working out quite well.
    1. Eonhpi's Avatar
      Eonhpi -
      I got verizons grandfather plan and its amazing i had att and garbage *** sprint never been so glad to be with Verizon
    1. NewD's Avatar
      NewD -
      Quote Originally Posted by Silverado1987 View Post
      My data in my area has been getting better and our wifi sucks at home. Last month I used 12gb I don't remember getting any throttling though
      That could only happen if your 12GB happened after ATT's new guidelines went into effect and if you're in an uncongested area. No one on ATT went unthrottled past 5GB on old guidelines.
    1. DieselVexx's Avatar
      DieselVexx -
      What NewD said.
    1. mboojigga's Avatar
      mboojigga -
      Quote Originally Posted by IamAi View Post
      Unlimited data my ***. I left that company for charging me a lot of $ for their so called unlimited data.
      I am still on the unlimited data plan and only pay $30. What were u paying them because my is still the same and I got a 6 Plus.
    1. towboattrash34's Avatar
      towboattrash34 -
      Quote Originally Posted by mboojigga View Post
      I am still on the unlimited data plan and only pay $30. What were u paying them because my is still the same and I got a 6 Plus.
      ********. Your bill is more than 30.
    1. mboojigga's Avatar
      mboojigga -
      Quote Originally Posted by towboattrash34 View Post
      ********. Your bill is more than 30.
      My DATA PLAN is $30 dollars. I mean that is exactly what this discussion is right?
    1. erayser's Avatar
      erayser -
      Quote Originally Posted by mboojigga View Post
      My DATA PLAN is $30 dollars. I mean that is exactly what this discussion is right?
      Yup... I'm still on the original UDP plan, and data is only $30 on my bill. That's the reason why I stuck with UDP because even at limited 5gb LTE speeds, it was still cheaper than my 5gb Verizon plan for my mifi device.

      Anyhow... I turned off wifi yesterday, and went out all over San Diego and burned through over 7 gigs of my unlimited data today streaming Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, downloading themes, uploading pics, and web browsing. Speeds never slowed down once, and I didn't even get the 5gb usage warning message from AT&T. At least in San Diego... it appears AT&T scaled back on throttling... or it isn't congested in areas I've been. When I got home, I checked the speed test app, and I was still above 11 Mbps... which is normal at my home. It's faster in other areas in San Diego.



      I don't use a lot of data since I have fast wifi and work and home... so I never get throttled... but glad I still have the speed when I need it. I guess I'm one UDP customer that is happy with the new changes.
    1. NewD's Avatar
      NewD -
      Yep. Clearly they've changed their policy and its in effect in your area, Ray. So nice for you! It's about damn time ATT made good on the term "unlimited".
    1. Raptor2213's Avatar
      Raptor2213 -
      So they're going to 'fix' the problem by turning off the contract-violating part of it to the smallest number of their users?
      This, right here, is why I dropped AT&T a while back. I'm currently with T-Mobile, the only decent company out of the big 4.

      For the record:
      AT&T screws their customers and is against net neutrality.
      Sprint has horrifically slow data speeds compared to everyone else (Speed-wise, O = 0, 3G = Edge, LTE = 3G).
      Verizon is also pro-throttling and is against net neutrality (AT&T clone).
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