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AT&T Begins to Threaten Data Hog Users with Throttle SMSes



It looks like AT&T is making good on its promise that if you’re among the top 5% of data users on its network, you’ll most likely be throttled to reduced speeds for the duration of your billing cycle. The carrier had stated that the policy change will go into effect at the beginning of October and that only those who were grandfathered into unlimited smartphone data plans would be affected. Heavy data users are now beginning to receive text messages from AT&T to warn them that their data use is high, placing them in the top 5% of users, and that they should switch to WiFi.

Verizon Wireless had also recently announced its throttling plans as well.

According to a user on 9-to-5 Mac who received the courtesy message from AT&T, he is now up to 11 GB in data transfers per month.

Currently, of the major 4 national carriers, Sprint is the only carrier to not throttle data speeds and still offer an unlimited smartphone data plan. AT&T and Verizon have grandfathered existing customers to unlimited plans, but have begun to tack on throttling provisions. New subscribers are on finite and metered plans where there are overages for both customers. T-Mobile USA has unlimited plans, but you pay for the amount of data you want at faster 3G/4G speeds; once you exceed the bucket, you’ll be throttled down for the remainder of the month though you won’t be assessed overage fees.



  1. Guest

    09/30/2011 at 3:47 am

    That’s odd, I don’t recall reading anything in my contract with ATT saying I could be throttled if I exceed 5G on my UNLIMITED data plan…I guess ATT thinks they can just modify a contract at will.

  2. Guest

    09/30/2011 at 7:12 am

    If everyone cuts back usage, the top 5 per cent may use 5 Mega bytes per month and still be throttled.  When will it ever end? 

  3. Tim Davies

    10/01/2011 at 7:43 am

    Actually, if you read the contract, ATT can change the contact at any time. I think that will let you get out of it with-out having to pay a ETF, but you have to keep up on it yourself and you have 30 days after the change to cancel. Most contracts state they they reserve the right to change the contract without notifying you. It’s a slimy business, what if they said you had to include your next unborn child for another month of service? ha(J/K but really)

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