February 16, 2012
Just yesterday, we brought you news of AT&T's increasingly agressive data throttling and general anti-consumer view on subscriber rights. Unfortunately, it seems there are more than a few more worms in that can, as we've received some distressing claims from affected readers. Instead of kicking in once users reach a static 2 GB of monthly traffic (as was previously assumed), AT&T is going the Comcast route, crimping the pipe for a floating target of "top five percent per area." The mathematical implications are troubling, as reader ivarh claims the problem:
shows how redicilous a policy of shaping the top x% of your user base. Theis will just lead to the usage shrinking month to month. So month 1 the cap affected user at above 5gb ( as an example) these users then lower their usage and the next month the shaping cuts in at a lower amount since the acreage has sunk due to the shaping. This will continue to happen as long as AT&T keep shaping the top 5% and not those over a set amountAnother reader, Markm, takes this to its logical conclusion:
I guess the bar for the top 5% of data users will eventually be a few Megabytes!While that's obviously not likely to happen, there's a more pressing issue to address: This "top five percent" figure is not a nationwide average. Rather, it's based on local markets within a given region. Reader JimJam777 emailed us the following:
It is so true about AT&T throttling. I recently got the 5% of users and I am below the 2GB with an unlimited plan with a few days to go on my cycle.Here's another concerned customer's take (Supabat):
I just got of the phone with AT&T and I am being throttled because I'm the top 5 in my market!!!!! Im in a small market in south Texas!!!! The agent told me I've only used just over 1g?!?! He was even confused.. This is ridiculous!!Normally I don't like it when folks use a bunch of exclamation points, but it's absolutely appropriate in this case!!! Especially when you toss in this illuminating monkey wrench (from 3dartist):
I just got the 5% congratulatory message from ATT and called them to ask if 3GB/$30 plan users would be throttled too if they went over 2GB in my area like I did. The answer is shocking YES. And she said that the point of 3GB plan is basically a 2GB plan with an advantage of "not to be cha[r]ged overage". I guess you just can't top that kind of customer care, eh?So it turns out that AT&T's not just screwing over their longtime faithful, they're also fraudulently peddling their brand new 3GB data plan! If you're champing at the bit for answers, as we are, be a champ and sign this petition telling AT&T that we all deserve better.