AT&T Starts Charging iPhone Jailbreakers With Tethering Fees

Posted Aug 4, 2011

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is starting to remove unlimited plans for users who jailbreak iPhones to tether or hotspot off of AT&T’s unlimited data plans without the consent of the customer. Below is a confirmation from an AT&T spokesperson about the change:

Earlier this year, we began sending letters, emails, and text messages to a small number of smartphone customers who use their devices for tethering but aren?t on our required tethering plan. Our goal here is fairness for all of our customers. (This impacts a only small percentage of our smartphone customer base.)

The letters outline three choices:

1) Stop tethering and keep their current plan (including grandfathered unlimited plan)

2) Proactively call AT&T or visit our stores and move to the required tethering plan

3) Do nothing and we?ll go ahead and add the tethering plan on their behalf ? after the dated noted in their customer notification

I thought this was an interesting approach to handle jailbreakers for AT&T. Charing customers for a service without their consent seems like it would cause a lot of criticism, but jailbreakers know that tethering without paying isn’t exactly the right thing to be doing either.