AT&T yesterday started featuring “double the data for the same price” to fresh customers and current customers that sign brand new contracts, evidently failing to remember that their network is so overloaded that speeds have to be throttled when too much data is used.
Just like other cell providers, AT&T slows down the data transfer speeds of particular customers when the network is overloaded. This kind of network supervision can be a unfortunate requirement that may help the majority of customers if it’s used to make certain that everyone is able to connect to their network. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler argued, the carriers’ discerning administration of throttling demonstrates that it is possible that it’s being utilized to increase revenue by pushing customers toward more expensive plans.
ATTs congestion, AKA throttling, just pertains to users with “dated unlimited-data plans,” the sorts of customers which AT&T really wants to drive onto restricted plans together with overage charges. Initially, the throttling had been added as soon as users passed 3Gigabytes or 5 Gigabytes in the month no matter if the network had been congested. In the month of July, AT&T altered its policy to ensure that throttling just affects those users from time to time and in locations when the network is definitely congested, reported by an AT&T representative. The 3 Gigabyte and 5 Gigabyte thresholds, with the higher one applicable to LTE devices, were unrevised.
Use the Internet Archive’s WayBack Machine to determine that, all through the month of June, AT&T throttled unlimited customers whether their network had been congested or not. The website, both then as well as currently, promotes heavy data customers to change to a tiered or shared data plan. AT&T states that over 80% of their postpaid smartphone customers are on limited data plans.
AT&T’s throttling affects unlimted data customers even if they prefer to use much less data compared to subscribers on restricted plans. Brand new AT&T customers that purchase Mobile Value Share plans can usually get 15 Gigabytes to 50 Gigabytes of data monthly for 2 to 10 lines. Under the new marketing campaign, much like one released by Sprint, AT&T is increasing that to 30 Gigabytes to 100 Gigabytes for the identical cost for new customers which register before the end of October. The extra data continues to be on subscribers’ accounts till they will sign a fresh contract.
At the cheapest price, this could work out to as low as 3 Gigabytes for each user whenever customers share 30 Gigabytes across Ten lines, or 15 Gigabytes for each user for customers which share the identical 30 Gigabytes across two phone lines. At 100GB shared, every user will get between 10 Gigabytes to 50 Gigabytes depending upon how many lines the data will be distributed across.
This is not to state that the package is not a good one, comparatively speaking. Had you been planning to sign up with AT&T anyhow, you may as well get it done during a marketing campaign that gives much more data yet at the identical price.
AT&T’s capability to provide much more unthrottled data to brand new subscribers than it offers to its oldest customers, those who specifically pay for unlimited data, demonstrates exactly how arbitrary the boundaries are. (AT&T may reduce limited users’ speeds on overloaded cell sites for all we know, however the company’s PR statement is that just unlimited users are throttled.)
Be aware that this “congestion” does not take place whenever you double a shared 15 Gigabyte data plan to 30 Gigabtye, or perhaps a 20 Gigabyte plan to 40 Gigabyte, or even a 30 Gigabyte plan to 60 Gigabtye, or a 40 Gigabyte plan to 80Gigabyte, or a 50 Gigabyte plan to 100 Gigabyte. It does not happen should you allow both new and existing customers maintain a double data from now on, or perhaps at least until finally they alter their existing plan.
Simply, “network congestion” just occurs with Unlimited Data Plans bandwidth capped at 5 Gigabytes.
Verizon Wireless in July began throttling unlimited data users’ plans that had LTE products, just like it had already did with older technology 3G users. Responding, Wheeler demanded that Verizon give a “rationale for treating customers differently based on the type of data plan to which they subscribe, rather than network architecture or technological factors.”
Verizon replied that the guidelines are necessary to provide customers on unlimited plans an “incentive to limit usage.” People that have limited plans and encounter overage fees should they exceed the limits already have these incentives, carriers argue.
Verizon furthermore remarked that its guidelines are much like those carried out by other companies, but Wheeler did not agree with that argument.
“‘All the kids do it’ was never something that worked for me when I was growing up,” Wheeler quipped following an FCC meeting.
Wheeler said he was researching all of the carriers’ throttling methods however has not yet stated if he’ll propose brand new guidelines on data throttling.