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AT&T Ups Throttling Threshold to 3GB

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Mar 1, 2012, 12:21 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

AT&T today reacted to customer dissatisfaction regarding its network management and data usage policies by changing the threshold at which it will throttle customers. Last year, AT&T said that it would throttle the data of its heaviest 5% of users. The amount of monthly data consumed by those users is approximately 2GB. Customers who have unlimited data plans were seeing their data speeds throttled once they reached that threshold. Now, AT&T said it will not throttle the data of its 3G unlimited data plan customers until they reach 3GB of data usage in one billing cycle. They will be warned when they approach the limit, and throttled for the remainder of the billing cycle if they exceed it. The next time customers exceed 3GB in a month, their speeds will be reduced without a text message warning. For customers with LTE 4G phones, the throttling threshold is 5GB, and the same terms apply.

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Mar 1, 2012, 5:50 PM

I would feel better if

AT&T had anything resembling a functioning network where I live. Yet their service is still ridiculously bad after their prior month of throttling.

That said, 3GB is still low. I've used between 4-5 GB/mo ever since I got my iPhone. When I signed this contract, there was nothing wrong with 4-5GB, now there is.
Your contract for services does not guarantee speed on the network.
If you are an unlimited customer, you have had that for probably over 2 years.

If you are talking about the contract related to the phone, that is a different animal and has nothi...
"When I signed this contract, there was nothing wrong with 4-5GB, now there is."
When you signed your contract most users were not using as much data as they are *today*, but with data usage increasing 2000% in metro NYC and SF a...

Mar 2, 2012, 9:19 PM

Here is the article AT&T reffers to in regards to customer's initial outcry about the policy.

By PETER SVENSSON,AP Technology Writer

NEW YORK (AP) โ€” Mike Trang likes to use his iPhone 4 as a GPS device, helping him get around in his job. Now and then, his younger cousins get ahold of it, and play some YouTube videos and games.

But in the past few weeks, there has been none of that, because AT&T Inc. put a virtual wheel clamp on his phone. Web pages wouldn't load and maps wouldn't render. Forget about YouTube videos โ€” Trang's data speeds were reduced to dial-up levels.

"It basically makes my phone useless," said Trang, an Orange County, Calif. property manager.

The reason: AT&T considers Trang to be among the top 5 percent of the heaviest cellular data users in his area. Under a new policy, AT&T has started cutting their d...
And this is exactly the point

"They just guaranteed the highway. They didn't guarantee the speed limit,"

The fact of the matter is, if you review the terms and conditions of the contract, not only do they not guarantee speed, they also state c...
Dey Terkuh Jobes

Mar 5, 2012, 8:55 AM

Why so negative?

This makes business sense and it is the way of the future. It is indeed unfortunate that we consumers have to modify our usage habits, but let's not be so myopic as to overlook the business aspect of this.

Providing infinite data costs a lot of money. AT&T is expected to maintain a certain profit margin and it cannot do so with rising costs. Therefore, it must cut costs in any way it can. Plus, the overages on extra GBs on the limited plans are lucrative, I'm sure.

Sprint remains the only carrier to not throttle its users, but that will change soon enough. Either that, or they will increase their premium. I'm also curious to see what Verizon has in store for us with their family data plans. The next few years will be quite interestin...
Dey Terkuh Jobes said:
Sprint remains the only carrier to not throttle its users, but that will change soon enough. Either that, or they will increase it.

Sprint is committed to providing their subscribers an UNL...
Dey Terkuh Jobes said:
that will change soon enough

I hear a lot of that speculation but its just that, speculation. If you look at the history of decision making made by Hesse as CEO, you'll know that he likes bil...

Mar 1, 2012, 11:54 PM

Unlimited is Unlimited

It's reasons like this that reinforce per Yahoo news that AT&T is one of the top 3 hated companies in America. This is not limited to Telecom IT'S THE TOP 3 MOST HATED of all companies period.

Although At&t has an iron clad protection against class actions lawsuits built into their terms and conditions. One man successfully SUED BIG BLUE and won an $850 claim. (big blue is currently appealing this) ... All because of at&t throttleing practices on their estimated 17 million "unlimited data" subscribers .

But based on that precedent if the perfect storm were to hit AT&T where all 17 million subscribers followed suit that would be approximately $14.5 BILLION. That would send a huge messgae to big blue and if there was a mass exodus as a...
๐Ÿคจ A just also said OJ Simpson wasn't a murderer.......
Also not stating the AT&T is the best company or that the policies are the best when it comes to throttling, but there has to be at some point some kind of throttling. AT&T offers unlimited data, but at what point is too much. The more you use the mor...

Mar 1, 2012, 3:38 PM


AT&T needs to man up and either stop the throttle game or let the estimated 14,000,000 subscribers with a grandfathered unlimited data plans out of their contracts.
No. Contract provisions include the right to throttle. There is no violation of contract.
Then I guess Verison should also, along with Sprint.

Each and every one of those who still have an unlimited plan can leave any time they wish.

If they have a contract that has penalties involved, that contract was for a 'new shiny thing' and ha...
ummm where are you going to go? Verizon is only tiered data now and no longer provides unlimited and have higher data prices...tmobile thottles data at 2 GB...and while sprint is unlimited...they trottle at 5 GB.. ๐Ÿ™„ ๐Ÿคฃ where are you going ...

Mar 4, 2012, 7:56 AM

Sympathy for the Devil

I've made it all to clear in my years on Phonescoop how I feel about AT&T.

They are overpriced, that's why I don't have them as a carrier and this is my choice as with any other consumer.

Their network network coverage is insufficient for my primary places of usage and this is fine as coverage is regional as well as peoples opinions of their coverage for example if I lived in NYC I would HATE it but I would have to go Verizon even though they are the HIGHEST priced of the majors and likewise if I was in the northwestern US like Oregon or Washington state I would use AT&T. But my preference would be Sprint whenever possible. I would suck it up and muscle through a lot before I would port my number to Red or Big Blue.

With that being...

Mar 1, 2012, 7:45 PM

Unlimited means Unlimited

I am sick of companies twisting the english language. It's time for companies get off their greedy pedestal and show some genuine and authentic care for the people they serve.

Unlimited by definition: not limited or restricted in terms of number, quantity, or extent

If a product is limited in any way shape for form companies need to state this! If someone is sucking down to much date force a change in their plan. It's that simple. Enough of the politics when it comes to our data access!
wellinator said:
I am sick of companies twisting the english language. It's time for companies get off their greedy pedestal and show some genuine and authentic care for the people they serve.

Unlimited by definition: not limit

Mar 1, 2012, 1:10 PM


not agreeing with throttles, but I do like this better than the top 5% crap... at least the policy is now more black and white and less gray than the previous method.
This is a much better and more clear approach
Tomdg07 said:
not agreeing with throttles, but I do like this better than the top 5% crap... at least the policy is now more black and white and less gray than the previous method.

It's definitely a step towards the...

Mar 1, 2012, 8:14 PM

Business 101

You all seem to not understand that AT&T is a business...if you have service with AT&T or any other provider this is no different. You should all consider what you are agreeing to when you start service and sign contracts...if you dont, that is your fault, not AT&Ts. Go to their website and search for Terms and conditions (or Verizon or Tmo or your regional carrier). It is no different than any other provider of services. If there are no policies in place, then there is no consistency which is worse than having a few people not able to download torrents or stream movies. This is AT&Ts business. When it is FredT&T or AmyT&T or when you get to own a business that provides internet access for over 100 million connected devices...you make the ru...
Is this an utter impossibilty with A Fee & Fee? If you can't handle your 100 million connected devices, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile would be glad to help them out. How is it bandwidth at AT&T "magically" increases when an app maker would pay them to ...

Mar 3, 2012, 10:18 AM

You know who doesn't have to worry about this?

Sprint customers ๐Ÿ˜ฒ I laugh at their claim that somehow only 5% of their customers exceed 2 gigs of use a month. I'm reguarly in the 4-6 gigs of use each month and I don't use data in a way I think anyone would consider excessive.

AT&T says "Here's some great devices that allow you to do just about anything you could want through a cell phone....but please don't actually use any of it."

As long as the coverage works for you, I don't why anyone sticks with a company that has these kinds of policies.

Mar 2, 2012, 7:38 PM

My $.02

It's been a while since I've posted; however, I see that folks are still nitpicking over the same things. Personally, I don't see an issue with throttling heavy users PROVIDED their access remains unlimited. I understand the reasons behind restricted data and speeds, but this comes at a time when people need more of both. Eventually, this will all be ancient history.
good point. I just wish they would throttle it back to speeds that are still somewhat *usable* like EDGE speeds or early 3G speeds.....instead of slowing it down to slower than dial-up circa 1993 ; ' (

Mar 2, 2012, 6:16 PM

Throttled at 2gb is a lie....

At least in Michigan. I consistently use 2gb-4gb a month on my unlimited plan and have never received the throttle text. On the other hand, a friend of mine consistently uses over 7gb each month and receives the message between 5gb and 6gb on average. So not sure where ATT is getting this throttle at 2gb crap but as a Michigan unlimited user, I have never seen this.
I think that the reason this thread has blown up so badly is because people have focused on the 2GB and not the time that it took to get to 2GB. If you use 2-4GB in a month, then you aren't using as much as someone that hits 2GB in a week, obviously....
I got hit at the 2gb mark two straight months as soon as they instituted the policy. I live in a rural area in a small state. In the past I've routinely used 5-6gb a month with no problem. Unfortunately, cell-based internet is the only kind availab...

Mar 2, 2012, 3:23 PM

How kind of AT&T to give an extra 1GB of "unthrottled" unimited data

Previously, it seemed like the majority of people were getting throttled at only 2GB of data. They are such a great and generous company to give an extra 1GB of unlimited data for no additional charge!

Mar 2, 2012, 1:05 PM

Heavy AT&T users should AOL a truly UNLIMITED LTE Data Plan on Ebay

I just checked and there are maybe 4 or 5 Ebayers auctioning off their Verizon unlimited data plans right now on Ebay. Some are including phones and some not but if you do need unlimited data, get a Verizon 4G LTE phone not a 3G. They "network optimize" 3G but LTE is completely unlimited. I use 10 to 15 gigs a month at 10-20 Meg speeds on both my lines with no overage charges, just $29.99 a month minus corp discount. Anyone can assume a line at Verizon that has grandfathered unlimited data if they credit qualify and they can keep it indefinitely. Much better deal to be on a network that has 7 times the LTE coverage be able to use 15GB+ vs 3GB foe the same $30. Call them at 888-832-4540 if you dont believe what I'm saying.
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