AT&T has been under a lot of scrutiny lately due to its new data throttling practices. Last Fall, the carrier started significantly reducing the data speeds of its unlimited customers who were using more than 2GB a month.

The move prompted multiple complaints from subscribers, and even sparked a string of small claims court lawsuits. Well apparently all of the heat was too much for the carrier, as it appears it has just revamped its throttling policy…

According to a new AT&T support page, unlimited 3G customers will now be slowed after 3GB of wireless data usage (in a month). And 4G customers after 5GB. The carrier believes that these users account for the top 5% of its data usage.

MacRumors received a statement from an AT&T spokesperson this morning on the subject:

“The reason reduced speeds only apply to unlimited smartphone customers is because their data usage is significantly higher than those on tiered plans. For example, in January, the top 5 percent of our unlimited data plan customers used an average of over 50 percent more data than the top 5 percent of customers on tiered plans.

Because spectrum is limited and data usage continues to soar, we manage our network this way to be as fair as possible and so we can provide the best possible mobile broadband experience to everyone. We encourage all of our customers to use Wi-Fi whenever possible – especially when watching video, which is the most data-intesive activity.”

The move from a 2GB threshold to 3GB was probably more for AT&T than it was for its customers. The carrier has a new 3GB data plan, and was being accused of slowing customers on unlimited plans to force them to switch. And yeah, you’re not allowed to do that.

Nevertheless, the throttling policy has changed for the better. We wonder if it had anything to do with the “5 steps to suing AT&T” tutorials that started popping up all over the web last week.

  • So they are putting a limit on unlimited hahahahahahahahahah F*€{ AT&T

  • This still sucks if you ask me, slow is pretty much no data from what I have read. How about edge speeds at least when you go over.

    Also I hope this doesn’t apply to everyone because I haven’t received a email about using to much data and I use over 2 gigs in a month. I guess we will see if it starts applying to the one’s that didn’t have this issue.
    I know it sucks for the one’s that get throttled but I definitely didn’t want to join the team.

  • Anonymous

    So now unlimited has a definite limit. Seems like no one should be capped until they reach 5.

  • Anonymous

    No way in hell I’m going to follow with this 3gb neither . IDB , I was wondering , where did you get the fact that the top 5% equals to 10gb of consumption , so I can help my case

    • Anonymous

      That fact came from an AT&T spokesperson comment to MacRumors. Follow the MacRumors link in the post and you’ll see it.

  • Anonymous

    Wonder if the unlimited ipad plan plays into this? I’ve used 9gb in a month with mine.

  • 3GB thats it?! thats some bullsh*t! they should at least make it 5GB since they have a data plan with 5 gb. man i hope sprint gets their service together cuz ill be leaving att real soon.

    • They do, its just for LTE. So, if you want to complain about caps not being high enough on your iphone, blame apple for sticking with 3 year old technology,

  • What a load of crap. I am not unlimited but I am tired of AT&T pushing us around F**k THEM. I recently got an email and a text message from AT&T telling me not to TETHER or they were gonna switch me to the $50 dollar 5GB tethering package, i dont use that much data! I am on the 3GB limit a month for $30 dollars and use about 2.5 GB a month. WTF is the problem AT&T its data that I payed for, not that I am even using all of it…. who can we talk to about this and be heard????

    • Anonymous

      You’re fighting a totally different battle there.

    • Anonymous

      Thats because your prolly using miwi and didnt know atnt could find out… or any other tethering program

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    I freaking hate AT&T. I switched over to them from Verizon because I was tired of waiting for the iPhone (back in 3GS days) and was constantly plagued by dropped calls. But I kept telling myself, hey, at least I can multi-task data and a phone call together with fast download speeds! Well the bastards caught me using MyWi and stripped me of my unlimited data plan (don’t even get me started about that “tether tax”). Now, forced to watch my data usage and dealing with crappy cell reception made me go back to Verizon. I guess AT&T is doing whatever they can to make users go to a tiered plan.

  • I have an iPhone 4S that is transferring data over the 3G network at 4G speeds. So will I be throttled at 3gb or 5gb?

  • the reduced speed only applies to UNLIMITED customers. they r the ones using the most data. DAAAAAAAA becuase we pay for the unlimited plan. Let me know if im wrong here. Doesnt unlimited mean much as u want or in there case over 3Gigs a month? I dont know about the rest of u guys. but i had UNLIMITED plan when it was Cingular. And believe me they didnt have apps they didnt have pandora or even Netflix all those things on the phones back then. So AT&T was getting $30 a month for me and i was using that shit for surfing the web.So AT&T was ripping me off then. So now im starting to use more DATA they want to cut my shit. FCK AT&T im getting my moneys worth now. Shit they own me back money for not using hardly anything back then.

  • SHIT SPRINT just bought something like 24mil iphones. they r going to get alot of new customers with the unlimited no cap they have right now

    • yeah but sprint is sslloowww.

      • Anonymous

        They are slow, but faster than what AT&T throttles me.

  • They should not cap us the user. they need to cap themselves from more users. increase capacity increase users. if they cap themselves then they would be forced to improve there network which they can do. they made hspa+ happen so they just need to innovate more. they are the ones who should have the “limits of the carrier” this will force inovation.

  • Anonymous

    I think we really pumped at&t heads up, I’m really really considering moving to sprint after my contract. If AT&T get their act together I might comeback. We need to take them to small claims court or switch to show them we have options

  • stanley pierre-louis

    That’s totally BS if unlimited is unlimited restricting things what ppl pay for makes no sence AT&T needs to steep it’s game up then