Starting October 1st, AT&T is joining the ranks of Verizon and T-Mobile and start slowing down your data speed once you hit an unconfirmed level that would mark you as one who uses "an extraodrinary amount of data." 9to5Mac has reported that because AT&T has seen an increase in data consumption of 80 times what it has in 2007 - before the iPhone was introduced - that the company may consider putting the hammer down on those crazy tethering and streaming mobile devices.
This change will affect the plans who currently have an unlimited data package, so you 5GBers need not worry.
While we're not surprised as yet another company either reducing speeds after a certain point in your allotted data or throttling speeds when you exceed a larger amount, we are surprised at what some of the details of this change might be. We have those after the break.
9to5 Mac says,
We've been told that 12,000 e-mails, 12,000 website views, 4 streaming movies and 5 hours of streaming music will start to put you close to that upper range of usage.
Just 5 hours of streaming music would put you in that area of demotion? That in itself is reason to be unhappy about this change as to me, that is not an extraordinary amount of data for devices that are made to do this sort of thing.
AT&T has posted a notice on its website to explain the change as well.
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. These customers can still use unlimited data and their speeds will be restored with the start of the next billing cycle. Before you are affected, we will provide multiple notices, including a grace period. This change will never impact the vast majority of our customers, and is designed to create a better service experience for all.
Either way you slice it, after all is said and done, there's no doubt in our minds that we saw this coming, after years and years of congestion on their network, on top of their data caps they've already implemented. This is just all the more reason to switch to the only carrier that doesn't limit your data. At all. For anything.