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
122 months ago
AT&T saw iClouds in the distance and ran for cover!
Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)
_Refurbished_ Avatar
122 months ago
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
pito189 Avatar
122 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
122 months ago
Goodbye Netflix over 3G and iOS updates over the air.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
aross99 Avatar
122 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
122 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)

Top Stories

maxresdefault

Italy Fines Apple $12 Million for Misleading iPhone Water Resistance Claims

Monday November 30, 2020 3:10 am PST by
Apple has been slapped with a 10 million euro ($12 million) fine by Italy's antitrust watchdog for unfair commercial practices related to its iPhone marketing in the country. One of the Apple ads cited in the Italian watchdog's proceedings (credit: setteBIT) Specifically, Apple is being charged for misleading claims in promotional messages about how deep and how long iPhones can be submerged...
General cyber monday 20 sale feature

Apple Cyber Monday 2020: Discounts on iPads, Macs, AirPods, and More [Updated]

Monday November 30, 2020 6:25 am PST by
Today is Cyber Monday, a shopping event that sees many of the same deals from Black Friday bleed over into a new week, along with a few brand new offers on everything from Apple products to related accessories. In this post we'll highlight the best online discounts that you can find on Apple devices today. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a...
iPhone black friday 20 sale feature

Apple Black Friday 2020: Best iPhone Deals

Friday November 27, 2020 12:56 pm PST by
Black Friday is halfway done, but there are still a few deals to shop for on iPhones at carriers like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile/Sprint. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. AT&T Starting with AT&T, you'll find up to $700 off any iPhone 12 when...
windows 10

Developer Successfully Virtualizes Windows for Arm on M1 Mac

Friday November 27, 2020 7:16 am PST by
Developer Alexander Graf has successfully virtualized the Arm version of Windows on an M1 Mac, proving that the M1 chip is capable of running Microsoft's operating system (via The 8-Bit). Currently, Macs with the M1 chip do not support Windows and there is no Boot Camp feature as there is on Intel Macs, but support for Windows is a feature that many users would like to see. Using the...
Top Stories 38 Feature

Top Stories: Black Friday Deals, Redesigned MacBooks, Hands-On With Apple's M1 Macs

Saturday November 28, 2020 6:00 am PST by
With Apple's holiday hardware lineup seemingly all set, attention this week turned to the shopping end of things with Apple and other retailers rolling out their Black Friday deals. That wasn't the only news this week, however, as we've continued to learn more about Apple's new M1-based Macs and we've even heard some fresh rumors about redesigned Mac notebooks coming next year, so read on...
16 inch MBP Mini Led

Mini-LED M1 MacBook Pro and Mini-LED iPad Pro Models Coming First Half of 2021

Monday November 30, 2020 2:24 am PST by
Apple is widely reported to be embracing mini-LED display backlighting technology for some products next year, and a new report today by DigiTimes has named several of Apple's partners in the supply chain that are expected to benefit from the switch. According to the report, Apple is set to launch its first mini-LED iPad Pro in the first quarter of 2021 and mass produce mini-LED MacBook Pro...
iphone trade in store

UK Environmental Committee Says Apple Contributing to 'Throwaway Culture' of 'Short-Lived Products'

Thursday November 26, 2020 7:07 am PST by
Technology companies like Apple are contributing to e-waste by making their products difficult to repair, and charging expensive repair fees, according to a lengthy report published today by the UK Parliament's Environmental Audit Committee. "We were told that Apple glues and solders parts together on their laptops, which makes repairing them very difficult," the Committee wrote in a summary ...
mac mini macbook pro macbook air

Apple M1 Hands-On Comparison: MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro vs. Mac Mini

Monday November 23, 2020 3:40 pm PST by
Apple's M1 Macs are out in the wild now, but ahead of the holidays, you might still be trying to figure out which one to pick up, either for yourself or as a gift for someone else. We've got all three of the new Macs available, so we thought we'd give MacRumors readers a hands-on overview of each machine in our latest YouTube video. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. ...
iphone 12 colors

iPhone 12 Colors: Deciding on The Right Color

Thursday November 5, 2020 8:35 am PST by
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro arrived last month in a range of color options, with entirely new hues available on both devices, as well as some popular classics. The 12 and 12 Pro have different color choices, so if you have your heart set on a particular shade, you might not be able to get your preferred model in that color. iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 are ...
ipadairdesign

2020 iPad Air vs. iPad Pro: Hands-On Comparison

Tuesday October 27, 2020 3:03 pm PDT by
Apple announced the new 2020 fourth-generation iPad Air in September, but the new tablets just started shipping out to customers last Friday. We picked one up and thought we'd do a hands-on comparison with the iPad Pro, which was last updated in March, because both tablets are about as powerful and share many similarities. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design and ...