Following the rumor that AT&T would beging throttling unlimited data customers for excessive use, AT&T has officially confirmed in a press release that such a procedure will fall into place this October.  Starting October 1, AT&T will begin to implement data throttling for the top 5% of customers that remain on the unlimited data plan.

This move follows in the footsteps of Verizon, who is already throttling its unlimited customers in the same way.

“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.”

Good news? For those of us that aren’t streaming/torrenting/downloading/VoIPing over 3G all day- I’d say yes.

[9to5Mac]

  • Dane

    AT&T FTW!! If you’re using that much bandwidth you should be on wifi anyway.

    • soccerkrzy

      What if your wi-fi has a cap too asshole? There’s no winning in this, it’s screwing everyone and making the free market continue to get worse.

      I’d rather not connect my phone, which has just as much personal information than my computer to a wi-fi network, especially one at work where IT can see and manage your packets. Your iPhone isn’t properly secured to be on public networks, bet you didn’t know that moron. I hope someone hacks your network while you’re skimming McDonald’s free wi-fi.

      • Jordan

        Wow way to freak out buddy. Take a breath and chill.

      • urlow

        actually the iphone is secured to be on public networks, if you set it up to be. by default I’m sure it isn’t.

  • Ethan

    I think that’s a breach of contract since the contract said “unlimited”. For those whom got cut, let’s sue AT&T!!

    • Shannon

      It’s still unlimited…

  • TABA

    This is bullshit! I’m paying for that service! It’s like, I’m selling 3G unlimited data…u buy it, and now I turn around and say…u can still have the unlimited but ur gonna be running on edge. Hell with that!!
    I’m paying for 3G, I should get 3G! It’s a contract, now they wanna tweak it. Shhhhit! Nigga please.

    • Fern

      Very good point sir. Must be talking about people who tether all day as well. They have so many customers, they should just better their systems or something.

  • Dave

    This is BULLSH*T. It will affect me. F*CK AT&T. I signed a contract with them because I liked what they had to offer. Now they’re f*cking us over. It’s like your wife cheating on you. First Netflix, now AT&T.

  • T

    What sucks is it only affects those of us that are grandfathered in. So basically AT&T is saying that we need to change our plan so that they can charge us if we go over our limit. And for those that are saying we should not complain cause it’s still unlimited are completely not seeing what’s really going on, you see we pay for unlimited data at a certain speed, when AT&T throtles that back it slows down the speed that your supposed to be paying for and that’s where AT&T will be walking a fine line. So to these AT&t bastards you shouldn’t offer something and then slowly pull it away and dangle it in front us just cause you want your pockects to get fatter.

    • Dave

      WELL SAID. Completely unethical.

    • Shannon

      It’s not fair to the people who don’t have unlimited plans to have to have slower 3G because some people are using tons of data every month, while we’re limited to 2GB (if I could’ve gotten unlimited data at the time I signed up, I would’ve). Maybe people will learn to use Wifi now instead of being data hogs. And this only applies to people who are in the top 5%, if you’re not in the top 5% you have nothing to worry about. But if you’re using 150GB every month, then come on, you have to draw the line somewhere.

      • Dave

        But Shannon, some of us use our phones as our home wifi for our laptops. Some of us can’t afford an additional bill of extra internet service. And we’re not making anyone’s 3G slower, just as nobody’s making ours slower. AT&T just wants you to believe that. I can download stuff at 300kbps and you can too. That’s pretty fast.

      • moimoimoimoi

        anyone who apologizes for huge megacorps need to get their head examined. If ATT priced honestly, we would all be getting true unlimited @ 4G speeds

    • Thor

      Unlimited 3G means just that. All you can eat, free refills etc. Means just that. Do not say it f you do not mean it. All you can eat, on crab Rangoon every half hour. Free refills, one ounce every ten minutes. Come on, this is BS. I am not unlimited but agree aPay&Pay is screwing their customers.

      The country cannot agree that the top 2% of wage earners should pay a higher tax rate, but seems fine with screwing consumers who bought unlimited data at 3G speeds. So what if they use 150GB a month. Buyer beware, seller beware.

  • Chewy

    What is this? Metro PCS?

    • Dave

      +1

    • Johnson

      But if you ask them, you aren’t using yours legally. Because if you are tethering legally, you are well under the 5%.

      • Dave

        It’s true that I tether “illegally,” but if I were to NOT tether and download my torrents straight to my iPhone (to later transfer them to my computer), i would still be downloading over 10GB a month, which would be LEGAL because my plan is UNLIMITED.

  • Chewy

    I didnt think so, we deserve our 3G speed

  • Justin

    Hmm. I have no clue where I would fall percentage wise, but how would we even know if we are in, or under the top 5%?
    I’m even thinking that number changes from month to month. Who is the biggest user and how much data do they consume? Where do I fall compared to them?

    Ok people, start posting numbers. (unless that’s a bad idea)
    I range between 2-5 gb a month.
    I think most of it is from streaming some music at work, streaming NPR, and for chuckles we check out YouTube videos during lunch. There is no wifi at work, and crappy radio reception so it’s futile to get stations to come in. I don’t feel like I’m an extreme user, so I don’t think I will be in the top 5. But it would nice to get a rough idea of what other people are hitting in a month.

    What if your usage is exactly the same every month and you are in the top 7% the first month. The following month, total usage drops and even though you are using the same amount, will you get throttled???

    Oh, so many questions.
    What’s is there to prevent them from just throttling 50% of the people?

    • Tony

      Also, when does the top 5% throttling kick in? Like, after 15 days? they take the top 5% and throttle their speed? If so, do you keep being throttled for the rest of the month? Or does it stay until someone else surpasses you? Would could easily be done if you are being throttled. Or, will we just wait till like the last 10 days of the month, for example, and download everything then?

      • Michael

        You will know because they will “supposedly” give you fair warning and and a grace period, still bullshit if you ask me. It’s just another way of getting us to switch plans.

    • Fern

      Hey Justin,

      I am generally under a 1 gb since 3G at my job sucks and now there is wifi at my job it’s not needed, i got wifi at work.
      But at busy season, when i go to clients everyday, I’ve used almost 2gb, like 1.75gb a month during long train rides.
      But I just jailbroke my phone to tether and I plan to get a laptop to “illegally” tether. I won’t over use it much. Freaking AT&T!!

      • Justin

        Thanks for your input Fern. Like Kurt points out below, it will probably be under two gigabytes where they will throttle. Hopefully your future plans will not be affected.

  • Kristen

    So your going to be paying for unlimited data and going to be punish with a slower speed if you use to much date, this is crazy thats the point of having unlimited so you can use it WHENEVER!

  • MrA

    i was grandfathered into unlimited plan and i use about 6GB/month of data. So if my speeds start to slow get ready AT&T i will up it to 12GB/month!

    • ChrisG

      I totally agree with you MrA. If my speeds slow down simply because i use to much of my unlimited data that im allowed to have ill simply start to stream w/e even while i sleep!

      • MrA

        yah they trying to make our 3G speeds EDGE speeds, let’s bring the giant down!!!!!

        i mean really, since the iPhone they have record breaking quarters every time…..why not use some of that money to build more towers!!!!!!

  • Kurt

    When they introduced the 2 GB capped plan, they stated “98% of our users use less than 2GB in a month.” so if you add in the 3% to make the top 5% thats well below 2gigs. so if you are close to 2gigs, you are in the top 5% and will be throttled. isn’t that awesome

    • Justin

      NOT awesome Kurt, I really don’t want you to be right but it sound very logical. I was just at 2.1 on my last bill.
      And like I said, I don’t think I abuse my bandwidth usage. I don’t tether, I don’t torrent stuff, I just use it how Steve Jobs presented it. Wow, I wonder if he will get throttled?
      Today at work I listened to The Joy Formidable on Pandora, Car Talk and Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me on NPR. It really helps keep you going when you have to go to work at 5:00am. Maybe the throttled speed will still allow me to do that, but it will just affect people who are consuming massive quantities of data.

  • yum yum yum

    ISPs and phone providers have a interesting way of getting around the “unlimited” services they offer. here in the uk when something says unlimited you know for damn sure it isnt. what we mean by unlimited is use as much as we want, what they mean by unlimited is use it anytime you want. ive had this argument many times over the phone with companys trying to sell me unlimited then when i call them out on having a FuP or throttling policy they augue with them like im the idiot. when i first got my phone contract with tmobile uk a few years ago it was unlimited data, then it turned into 3gb of data, now its down to 500mb of data.

  • du

    Kurt go fuck ur self ok please man go fuck ur self and at&t

    • SpideyRules

      Not cool dude. He’s just trying to comment on the post and give everyone a head’s up. It’s not like he asked AT&T to do this. Give him a break!

    • soccerkrzy

      How about you go fuck yourself du? Kurt made a very good point.

  • Justin

    I wonder how many people are still on an unlimited plan. Wouldn’t it be ironic if it was 5%?

  • Sebatian

    I don’t mind this too much. What in the world are you guys doing on your phone that would push you over this limit, anyway that you COULDN’T do with a computer? (That’s probably right beside you) Lol

  • Jeff

    I use 20gb per month. And not even tethering. Let’s stop bickering and figure out how we can stop this or get these fuckers back

    • Maflagulator

      Jeff,

      Pease explain to us…..what in the world you are downloading/streaming to total up 20GB per month!!

      As I’ve traveled outside of South Florida, I’ve noticed that there is a massive lack of 3G service, and when you can get it, it’s terribly slow. In some places there’s only EDGE or nothing at all.

      In my area, 3G service is quite good, but I would never ever even consider using it as a dedicated service, particularly when I have much faster WiFi at home and decent WiFi at work. I haven’t streamed Pandora hardly at all in the past couple months and I’m only at 1GB a month.

      Heck, even on my Internet consumption at home I barely hit 20GB a month lately, and I stream a decent amount of NetFlix and HULU through my xBox as well.

      I don’t like the alteration of their definition of “Ummmmm, limited” either, but I’m not too worried about getting throttled even if I get near 2GB or even 3GB since there are people like you that are apparently using it as your tethering base-station for all your computers at home…I wouldn’t wish that kind of pain and slowness on anyone. If the hi-speed Internet in your area is slower/as bad as what I’ve seen 3G to be…..I feel bad for you, but at the same time it also doesn’t make sense that 3G service could be any good in an area that has such a poor ‘wired’ connection.

      • Jeff

        Well, I’m a truck driver so all of my data is mobile. The 20 gb isn’t every month but it does happen. I use most of that on YouTube videos in high def. Some pandora and lots of google maps. And when you use the maps feature as much as I do it can use some data. The only reason I use it so much is because I can and I pay my $130 dollars a month. I use to pay $170 till I told them I was leaving. They dropped my bill.
        All I can say is this, if they cut my speeds in half I’m gone. I’m not paying a cancellation fee and I’m not paying my last month because they are breaching my contract.
        I refuse to be punished because their network can’t handle the traffic. Aren’t they the ones who sold everyone these phones? I know I didn’t. If they were real business people the would beef up the network. Not limit our use. Forgive me if I’m out of line but anyone who is on an unlimited plan and isn’t pissed about this is stupid.

  • jonathan

    bullshit…i stopped tethering back when they started changing peoples plans cuz i had unlimited and didnt want to lose that but this shit is jus as bad, im planning on upgrading to iphone 5 but idk if this ends up happening

  • Polemicist

    If everyone who uses AT&T Unlimited decided to increase their use then the 5% who are on top would have a very big “cap” as the normal curve will be altered. This 5% speed kill will cause ALL the users to reduce their use out of FEAR of being in that 5%. If you all just got together and increased your usage you would beat the system.

    Pretty simple but relies on the whole group think garbage and therefore this will never happen as people just can’t get together in a big enough group to cause change.

    Sad but true.

    • Justin

      That’s a good idea. As long as you think the corporate world is honest.