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AT&T Begins Throttling Heavy Data Users to 2G Speeds



All the way back in September, AT&T began to warn its heaviest data users, specifically the top 5%, that it would begin to throttle their data speeds for the duration of their billing cycle. Those SMSes were just warnings though. Now it appears that AT&T is making good on them. AT&T has reportedly begun sending out messages to those falling into the top 5% of data users telling them that their data speeds may be reduced for the rest of the billing cycle.

AT&T hasn’t yet revealed how much data those in the 5% are consuming but one person who received a message back in September revealed that he was now up to 11GB in data transfers for the month.

The carrier confirmed that this policy would go into effect in October and that the only people who would be subjected to throttled data speeds would be those grandfathered into 3G data plans.


Verizon put a similar policy into place back in September as well.

With AT&T’s policy now seemingly put into action, Sprint remains the only major U.S. carrier that offers truly unlimited data to its users.

Via: Cult of Mac



  1. Wvw3

    12/08/2011 at 11:51 am

    I received this message and at only 3gb of data used.

  2. R. B.

    12/08/2011 at 5:53 pm

    If you are frustrated, lets get our voice heard.
    Post your stories on this Facebook Page and let’s get as many likes as possible and send a message to AT&Turd.

  3. Derek Kerton

    12/12/2011 at 1:42 pm

    I received the AT&T warning SMS and a similar email last week, just 5 days into a new billing cycle. It turns out, it was quite useful for me.

    I had written an email message to my wife with an attached video of our kid at 9 am on Wednesday, and got the message Thursday afternoon. Apparently, the email program choked on the message, but tried to re-send it the entire two days. The only indication I had was that my battery level dropped precipitously both days, and new email was not arriving on my phone (but I wasn’t checking phone email.)

    When I checked my data usage after the warning, my email glitch had consumed 2GB in under two days. I quickly diagnosed the problem (since the AT&T website told me when my heavy data consumption started, and I though “what was I doing then”, remembered the email, then found that the program was ‘hung’. So I went into the email options and chose “clear send queue”, and it was fixed.

    The AT&T notification was very useful. But it was also clumsy. It gave me no useful diagnostic info. I needed to sign into their website to see that. But the email and SMS didn’t give me the right URL to see my data usage. And the website itself is clumsy and confusing, and it took about 6 minutes of clicking around to reveal the data usage for my phone. Shouldn’t that info be part of the email, or at least directly hyperlinked in the email?

    Also, AT&T told me I might be throttled, but I have 5GB plan and had only used 2.1GB for the month so far. Why would they threaten me when I’m not even near the 5GB limit? I appreciate the heads up, but not the threat. As usual, the telcos bungle the notification processes.

    ***You shouldn’t sell tiered serves and throttle until you can competently handle the customer information and notification tasks.***

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