AT&T recently started taking heat as subscribers with grandfathered unlimited data plans saw their downstream throughput throttled after consuming just over 2GB on AT&T's 3G HSPA+ network. The primary complaint at that time was that it was illogical for AT&T to set the glass cap at 2GB (as derived by the 'top 5% of data users per market' metric) when the same $30/month buys you at least 3GB on another DataPro  plan. It seems as though AT&T has taken that criticism to heart and today announced that it is setting the throttling cap uniformly at 3GB for 3G HSPA+ subscribers, and 5GB for 4G LTE subscribers. 

After you hit this cap, data rates on the downstream slow to around 256 kbps on 3G, and hopefully substantially more for 4G LTE throttled subs. AT&T has already sent out some notification SMSes to customers who went over 3GB of use on the previous billing cycle, as shown above.

Source: AT&T

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  • TerdFerguson - Friday, March 2, 2012 - link

    I know that the cell phones hire "community managers" and such, but the level of defense they get from the general public while simultaneously bending folks over in droves is unparalleled, even for republican politicians. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Friday, March 2, 2012 - link

    He's not defending it, just educating people about their rights. There was a court decision where I live that limited the use of "flatrate" ("unlimited" in this instance) in cellphone advertisements, because the "flatrates" they offered gave you 300MB to 1GB (I think) of traffic at high speeds and then throttled to lower speeds. They could still say "flatrate", but had to make sure the "fine print" of throttling was easier accessible and readable.

    You can disagree with this decision while still being aware of its legality. Know the legality of it and treating it by applying the law and not your gut feeling will help you see through more advertising BS they throw at you.
    Reply
  • MaK2000 - Thursday, March 1, 2012 - link

    I already spoke by cancelling my subscription and signing up with Verizon. Reply
  • Ronakbhai - Thursday, March 1, 2012 - link

    Nice. I too just cancelled my Internet with them, and shifted to Verizon. Initially they sent me 2 accounts. 2x 6Mbit connections, with 2x the hardware, and 2x the statements. Took over 3 months to get them to understand that 1 man with 1 desktop and 1 residence has no need for 2 connections. Plus they sent a collection's agency after me, I too sent the FCC and BBB after them.

    Now AT&T just fits in somewhere between AOL Time Warner and that white stuff that accumulates at the corner of your mouth when you're really thirsty. A la Cyrus the Virus. :)
    Reply
  • Owls - Thursday, March 1, 2012 - link

    Unlimited is unlimited? They should advertise that it's not unlimited anymore and leave it at that. Unless of course they like to engage in deceptive practices. Reply
  • xdrol - Thursday, March 1, 2012 - link

    It is unlimited as in you can do unlimited data for the same price, don't play more than the subscription fee. You still get 256kbps after reaching 3GB, what is still usable. Reply
  • Fleeb - Thursday, March 1, 2012 - link

    I believe unlimited does not refer to the bandwidth but to the amount of time spent online. Internet connection was used to be billed by the minute until it was "unlimited". Reply
  • rs2 - Thursday, March 1, 2012 - link

    Unlimited means unlimited. Without any limits. Not without limit until you hit 3 GB and then throttled. That's not unlimited, and I wonder what marketing genius at AT&T thinks that it is. Reply
  • Sunsmasher - Thursday, March 1, 2012 - link

    AT&T is on very dangerous legal ground here. They are acting like real weasels.
    They are actually appealing the small claims award on the grounds that "we only promised unlimited data, not the speed of the data".
    This is like offering all you can eat food at a restaurant, and then saying after two plates, you can only eat one plate every 3 hours, but you can do that as long as you want, therefore it is unlimited food.
    This is a PR disaster for AT&T, and they should just quit while they're ahead.
    As mentioned above, all this weaseling is really making them look terrible.
    I personally will never use any AT&T serivce ever again.
    Reply
  • dcollins - Thursday, March 1, 2012 - link

    I really hope Verizon does not follow suit. I have a truly unlimited plan that I am quite fond of and I would hate to see it replaced with a unlimited-2G-but-limited-3G plan. Verizon has promised me that I will be able to keep my plan when upgrading to LTE, so here's hoping they keep their promises. Reply

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