Published on March 2, 2012, by Trevor Sheridan – Posted in iPhone News
Last week, a California man sued AT&T in small claims court over their Throttling policy, and won $850. Yesterday, AT&T responded to the decision by upgrading their throttling policy to make it much clearer. Previously, AT&T claimed they throttled the top 5% of their users, but that threshold seemed to be lower and lower to the range of 2GB per month. With their new policy, 3G users with unlimited data plans will be slowed after 3GB of data, while 4G LTE users will be slowed after 5GB per month.
Their previous policy was definitely unclear, and it was done on a case by case basis which resulted in varying thresholds for throttling. Now there’s a very clear line not to go over, but it really defeats the purpose of an unlimited plan. In the small claims case, there was proof that throttling began at 1.5-2GB despite AT&T’s current 3GB limited plan. Now, the unlimited plan and 3GB limited plan are practically the same as unlimited users are throttled over that amount to make the device unusable, while limited users are charged more if they pass that amount. AT&T has legitimized limiting an unlimited plan, and really have got rid of it altogether meaning there’s no reason for iPhone users to stay on AT&T.
The unlimited plan is indeed limited to 3GB per month and costs the same $30 per month as the limited 3GB plan. AT&T has set-up a special website to show how and when they’re limiting unlimited users. It will be very interesting to see if there’s more of a switch to Verizon and Sprint when the iPhone 5 rolls around as many AT&T users have AT&T because of the first three iPhones. Now there’s no reason for unlimited users to keep AT&T with their grandfathered unlimited plan, and their less than stellar coverage. We will see if more people are willing to switch, because I know at least one person who will.
I’m still annoyed at AT&T for doing this. I’ll move on to another carrier if the cost is the same and the service is equivalent, because AT&T has broken their promise in my mind by finding a “legal” (but not ethical) way to limit my unlimited data plan. There is something in the contract, in the fine print of one version of the contract that I did not read… that says they can do this. They are trying to strangle more money out of us by telling us we can purchase the Tiered Plan. Why the hell would I want to pay more for what should already be unlimited?? I won’t budge. We had a deal and they broke it. I’ll give my money to Verizon next if AT&T doesn’t reverse this.