Unlimited data plans offered by AT&T now bear more resemblance to actual “unlimited” data plans. That is because the second biggest wireless carrier in the United States recently revealed that it is moving to dramatically boost the amount of data that its subscribers grandfathered into its discontinued plan can utilize in a month’s time before it starts to throttled (slowed down).
As indicated on its official website, AT&T is effectively notifying subscribers of its unlimited data plans that it will start throttling service when customers go beyond 22 gigabytes of data with a specific month, until the next billing cycle. For subscribers of the wireless carrier who are still using its unlimited data plan, this will mean a lot of changes. Before, AT&T previously throttled service for subscribers who ate up over 4 gigabytes or 5 gigabytes of data.
Could AT&T’s latest adjustments in its policy be possibly connected with the fact that it is currently in dispute with a couple of US federal agencies that have charged the wireless carrier with misleading its subscribers regarding its data throttling practices. Back in June earlier this year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that it was planning to issue a fine of $100 million to AT&T for misleading its customers about its unlimited data plans. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has also filed a lawsuit against the wireless carrier in hopes of seek a court decision that could help refund millions of dollars to subscribers affected by AT&T’s allegedly questionable throttling practices. Is AT&T easing off on its throttling now so that it can get the FCC and the FTC to reconsider their sanctions? Maybe, maybe not.
Previously, AT&T had throttled data for subscribers of unlimited plans when they reach 4 gigabytes of data when using a 3G mobile device, and 5 gigabytes of of data when using a 4G LTE smartphone or tablet. But now, whenever a subscriber of unlimited data eats up over 22 gigabytes data in a month, throttling will ensue only when the customer is using his device at specific times and locations where the network is congested and only for the remainder of the current billing cycle. An older version of this policy, which was adjusted in May earlier this year, throttled data speeds 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, no matter how congested the network is.
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