Unlimited data continues to evolve backwards into something more, well, limited. AT&T is continuing its backward evolution by announcing that the top 5 percent of their unlimited data customers will soon be throttled once they reach a monthly cap.
AT&T is quick to point out that this 5 percent uses more than 12 times the data of the other 95 percent combined!
These unlimited plans are becoming more and more scarce as companies move to tiered data plans. AT&T maxed out its tiered plan at 4GB / month when it scrapped its unlimited data plans for new customers shortly after the launch of the iPad.
AT&T is putting this new plan into effect October 1st. Anyone that goes over a set threshold will automatically be throttled for the remainder of the month. Basically, it means AT&T will slow you down considerably.
Once the new billing cycle begins, the throttle is lifted and the users are free to soak up data at full speed until they hit the cap again.
AT&T will be issuing several notices and a grace period before throttling these users, but that shouldn’t make too much of a difference as they’ll still be able to access data, just at a reduced speed.
Verizon and other companies are adopting similar plans to deal with users “taking advantage” of these unlimited plans. Personally, we feel if you’re going to sell something called unlimited, it should probably be unlimited.
I couldn’t imagine going to an all-you-can-eat buffet, and after eating five crab legs on my first plate, only being allowed to take one at a time for the remainder of my visit.
Although I am not happy about this move, I don’t fall into that top 5 percent and I am happy to be among the few that still have their unlimited plans at all.
AT&T is expected to make this bandwidth throttle kick in at 4GB. This is their top tier data plan, which makes it a likely choice.