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AT&T to Top 5 Percenters: We Warned You

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Feb 6, 2012, 2:16 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

AT&T today responded to reports of throttling from users who have unlimited data plans. The company announced in July of last year that it would throttle the data speeds of its top 5% of users — even those who have unlimited data plans. "Smartphone customers with unlimited data plans may experience reduced speeds once their usage puts them in the top 5% of our heaviest data users," said AT&T spokesperson Seth Bloom in an email to Phone Scoop. "We will continue to send reminders and communicate with these customers ahead of time as their usage approaches the top 5%. For 95% of our smartphone customers this continues to present no impact." According to AT&T, the actual amount of data used by the top 5% changes each month. Customers who are throttled during a portion of their billing period due t heavy use will be restored to full-speed service at the start of the next billing cycle.

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Feb 6, 2012, 3:45 PM

Bandwidth management

Is there truly any need at all, network integrity wise, to throttle and cap data, or is it purely a money grab by the carriers? 👿
After the 2007 fiasco with AT&T's release of the iPhone...I would say that data traffic deffinately makes a difference.
they are throttling existing Unlimited plans....not capped plans. some of the top 5% of users are using their phone as their primary form of internet...while most may use less than 2gb per month (even those on Unlimited plans) , some of these people a...
Gyms oversell their memberships, expecting more people will sign up than actually use the network. For awhile, this is how cellular data was engineered. Nobody with a Pocket PC used much data because the process was so miserable.

However, since th...

Feb 8, 2012, 1:44 AM

Just Switch To Sprint...

Use your device the way that the manufacturer designed it to be used.

$30 / month is ridiculous to have a cap or be told you have to use your home networks wifi or sit in a McDonalds with screaming kids.

AT&T isnt even playing FAIR with thier billing practices... If you go even one MB or less over their 2GB threshold you are charged $20 for the next tier of 2gb of data...

Would you buy a muscle car with a 2 gallon fuel tank?

Switch to Sprint, and stop this nonsensical head game or being told HOW and WHEN you can use your handset/smartphone....
Tmobile is better

Feb 7, 2012, 12:11 AM

If disgusted with AT&T, check out Ebay & P/U unlimited grandfathered data with Verizon

Like the people saying "I'm not a data hog, I only use 2GB per month" or whatever. Well to someone who uses 1GB, wouldn't you be a data hog? Read one guy using 30GB and someone using 12GB called him a "data hog". I'm sure companies like AT&T love everyone fighting amongst themselves rather than focusing their anger on AT&T's lies, greed and lack of infrastructure investment. Their end game is to just get everyone off unlimited data. Glad I have Verizon 4G LTE with unlimited data for now. Used 13GB last month and 7GB this month so far, no throttle whatsoever. Average about 8MB download speed. Verizon has been GREAT with grandfathered unlimited data customers. My advice to people disgusted with AT&T is to go on Ebay and do an AOL of a VZW acc...
Just wanted to clarify AOL. Just means assumption of liability. Basically, you take over someones contract. You pick your own calling & text plan & get to keep their unlimited data plan. I did this myself twice in mid-December 2011 and merged the two ...

Feb 7, 2012, 11:29 AM

way to go atyt!

😉 nice way of recovering the billions you will have to pay to t-mobile for the failed merger, devils!!!! 👿

Feb 7, 2012, 2:21 AM

nonsensical... top 5%, there ALWAYS will be a top 5%...

"We warned you" "top 5%"...

How does that work exactly as there ALWAYS will be a top 5%, even if everyone just uses about 1MB/mo. So what, this is a way to continually ratchet EVERYONE's data usage down??? The top 5% will first be at 10GB, then 5GB, then 2GB, then 1GB, then 500MB... always still there will be a top 5%...

Feb 6, 2012, 3:11 PM

Screw you AT&T!

Whatever 🙄

I'm not a fan of Sprint but at least they offer unlimited data. Whether or not they'll continue to do that once they deploy LTE remains to be seen.

Why can't AT&T and Verizon do what T-Mobile does. Instead of capping, just slow down the users speed. I much prefer that system. I personally would not care if AT&T and Verizon slowed down the user to something reasonable like 1Mbps for the reminder of their billing cycle.

The current system AT&T and Verizon use just plain sucks. 2GB is ridiculously low nowadays. This is not 2007. 2GB is unrealistic especially if you use a tablet.
Why can't AT&T and Verizon do what T-Mobile does. Instead of capping, just slow down the users speed. I much prefer that system. I personally would not care if AT&T and Verizon slowed down the user to something reasonable like 1Mbps for th
Throttling means "slows you down." Also, throttling is to Edge now 1MBPS...Verizons 3G network wouldn't give you 1MB even without being throttled...Also, AT&T no longer has the 2GB plan...it's 3GB.
Agreed with 2 dudes above on definition of throttling. However, AT&T doesn't throttle you to EDGE, they throttle you too 149 kbps on download. That's where I'm at right now: City of Throttlesville. Population:me.
Sprint has unlimited data - with an *. While I agree with your point, SPCS's UL data is on their network only. I live and work in OR and WA - the roaming data cap for SPCS devices is at 300 MB - I can drive 50-75 miles with my SPCS phone and roam the ...

Feb 6, 2012, 7:42 PM

Great PR, though...

I like their ballsiness: they just got their assess handed to them for trying to create a duopoly (the first step to a monopoly), and how do they respond? "STFU, YOU STUPID CUSTOMERS! YOU'RE ALL DOODOO HEADS!" When it's easily the most disliked carrier, and customer satisfaction is in the hole, AT&T doubles down on antagonism! Yeah, baby! :-D

Seriously, some folks at AT&T need to join the swelling ranks of the unemployed. Verizon is currently doing something just as shady with the cable companies, but no one bats an eye. Why? They don't publicly dismiss their customers might be a start.
VZW has been much more courteous and helpful whenever I had a problem compared to AT&T.
De La Vega should be the first at AT&T on the unemployment line.
Sure VZW is no angel either but they do not forget where the $$$$ comes from to a point.
God fo...

Feb 6, 2012, 2:35 PM

What the "Top 5%" translates to...

On day 29 of my billing cycle, I got the warning text from AT&T. Total usage? 4.9 GB on the nose.

Usage per month since the iPhone 3G has been between 3 and 6 GB. None of which I'd consider to be excessive.
I use less than 2GB..and I often tether...3-6 is excessive.

What kill is streaming radio and video...which, I do neither. I have an iPhone, so no need to stream music...I'll watch movies on my TV thanks.
I too got this message with 500 mb left. Of course i got flamed by all the att fanboys as a liar sooooo here we are. The whole top 5% is a pile of crap people. Anyone on their network is fair game. It seems like at&t it's really stepping up their game...

Feb 6, 2012, 2:27 PM

AT&T are so full of themselves

There's no incentive to being on an Unlimited plan, if they are going to throttle users at 2GB.

They are trying to force people to upgrade to the 3GB plans, just to get off the unlimited plans.

I don't know why people stay with them. iPhone aside.
That's provided they don't start throttling until 2GB. The way I read it, if the top 5% in a region have only used 1GB, AT&T is STILL liable to throttle those users.
Mebbe you should understand what throttle means before you go off on a rant
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