AT&T throttles customers who use 2GB of data but takes on new 3GB capped-users

AT&T has had a tumultuous relationship with its own customers over the last few years, with issues stemming from its lack of network capacity being exacerbated by the hugely popular iPhone being an exclusive handset to the carrier.

Data has tended to be one of the biggest sticking points for many, the lack of ability to make a phone call not withstanding. The recent change of AT&T’s data plans has only managed to muddy the waters somewhat, and now things are getting even more confusing with the news that the carrier is throttling users who are on the old unlimited data plan and use 2GB of data per month.

The obvious question now is simple: why is AT&T throttling users who use 2GB of data but continues to accept new users on the updated 3GB limit plan? No, we don’t know either…

The whole talking point stems from a blog post by John Cozen who found himself having his data connection throttled by AT&T for using 2.1GB of data on his grandfathered unlimited plan. With AT&T claiming he sat in the top 5% of data hogs, he published an email conversation he had with the carrier which many will find interesting.

“To give you a baseline – the average data use across the country by the top 5% of AT&T smartphone customers was 2GB per month, effective August 2011. The amount of data usage of our top 5% of heaviest users varies from month-to-month and by market, based on the usage of others and the ever-increasing demand for mobile broadband services. To rank among the top 5%, you must use an extraordinary amount of data in a single billing period.”

The question now has to be all about that new 3GB data plan that AT&T is touting. If 2GB of usage gets you throttled, what’s going on with the new plan that supposedly offers another 50% of data to play with?