AT&T to Throttle Unlimited Data Plan Customers Starting in October

093727 att logo 150

AT&T announced today that they will be throttling high end users with unlimited data plans.

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.

Early AT&T iPhone customers were offered an unlimited data plan for their devices. Even after AT&T stopped offering an unlimited plan, they allowed existing customers to retain their unlimited plan through device upgrades.

This change will affect any of those users who still have an unlimited plan and are considered to be in the "top 5 percent of heaviest data users". For those users, download speeds will be reduced until the next billing month. By definition, this should affect 5% of users each month.

AT&T claims that users can still "send or receive thousands of emails, surf thousands of Web pages and watch hours of streaming video every month and not be in the top 5 percent of data users."

Top Rated Comments

Eddyisgreat Avatar
134 months ago
AT&T saw iClouds in the distance and ran for cover!
Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)
_Refurbished_ Avatar
134 months ago
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
pito189 Avatar
134 months ago
I am one of the grandfathered in people and my biggest problem with this is.

How much puts me in that top 5%? Don't just start sending me texts when I get close to it, tell me what qualifies for that top 5%. It seems asinine that I have a unlimited plan and they can just slow down my speed at their whim.

I'm going to start keeping a record for when my service isn't usable and then I'll just deduct that out of my bill at the end of the month and we'll see how that goes over...:rolleyes:
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mlrollin91 Avatar
134 months ago
Goodbye Netflix over 3G and iOS updates over the air.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
aross99 Avatar
134 months ago
What concerns me is what if the 5% limit is less than 2GB? might I be paying $5 more per month and getting throttled before someone with the 2GB plan?

I thought 98% of their users used less then 2GB per month? That would mean the top 5% would include people who used less than 2GB.

The top 5% part is what stinks. They should come out and say this is 4GB or 5GB or whatever.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jolson247 Avatar
134 months ago
Go ahead AT&T, throttle us. When I actually do get service on my phone it's either two bars of E or one bar of 3G and it's slow as molasses. I've done speed tests on my phone and it's barely at 700 kbit/sec.

Do you really need to throttle people when your service is slow as crap and spotty/unreliable already? And for this we pay $30/month. Very nice.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
os x mountain lion macs 16x9 2

Apple Makes OS X Lion and Mountain Lion Free to Download

Wednesday June 30, 2021 12:19 pm PDT by
Apple recently dropped the $19.99 fee for OS X Lion and Mountain Lion, making the older Mac updates free to download, reports Macworld. Apple has kept OS X 10.7 Lion and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion available for customers who have machines limited to the older software, but until recently, Apple was charging $19.99 to get download codes for the updates. As of last week, these updates no...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Kuo: iPhone 13 to Feature LEO Satellite Communications to Make Calls and Texts Without Cellular Coverage

Sunday August 29, 2021 7:39 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 will feature low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication connectivity to allow users to make calls and send messages in areas without 4G or 5G coverage, according to the reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that the iPhone 13 lineup will feature hardware that is able to connect to LEO satellites. If enabled with the relevant...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...
bluetti eb70 main

MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Bluetti EB70 Portable Power Station and 200W Solar Panel

Friday September 3, 2021 11:13 am PDT by
For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with MAXOAK to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a Bluetti portable power station and an accompanying solar panel. Bluetti makes a range of portable power station options that are useful for camping, emergencies, power outages, off-grid living, and similar situations. The Bluetti EB70 is a solid middle of the road option that offers 716Wh and...
personal hotspot 1

Apple Acknowledges Personal Hotspot Issues Affecting Some iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 Users

Saturday March 21, 2020 10:04 am PDT by
In an internal document distributed to Apple Authorized Service Providers this week, obtained by MacRumors, Apple has acknowledged that some iOS 13 or iPadOS 13 users may experience issues with Personal Hotspot. Apple has told Authorized Service Providers to expect customers who are unable to connect to a Personal Hotspot or experience frequent disconnection from one. Customers may also...
iphone 13 teal with text

Apple Begins Preparation for iPhone 13 Production Ahead of Fall Launch

Monday June 28, 2021 3:29 am PDT by
We're just a few months away from when Apple is expected to reveal the 2021 iPhone, dubbed the "iPhone 13." In preparation for its launch, it has been pulling in shipments of different components needed to produce the new iPhones, according to a report from DigiTimes. In years past, Apple released its latest iPhone lineup, alongside a new Apple Watch, during a September event at Apple Park....
General Spotify Feature

Spotify Partners With Delta to Provide Free In-Flight Music and Podcasts Service

Thursday September 2, 2021 12:59 am PDT by
Spotify has announced a new partnership with Delta that will see the streaming service take over the "audio" section of Delta's in-flight seatback entertainment, making select playlists and podcasts freely available to all passengers. You are now free to roam about the cabin—and get the music and podcasts you love at 30,000 feet. Beginning today, we're taking off in a new partnership with...