AT&T Throttles Speed For Heavy Users of Unlimited Data

Posted Aug 1, 2011

AT&T has notified customers that it will be throttling some unlimited data plans to help alleviate network congestion. Engadget reports that starting in October, the top 5% of heavy data users with unlimited plans will find their speeds reduced. The speed reduction lasts from a vague point in the bill cycle when the user “reaches the level that puts them among the top 5 percent of heaviest data users” until the next billing cycle begins. These users, according to AT&T, use on average more than 12 times the data of most smartphone data customers.

AT&T recommends that heavy data users who need speed switch to a tiered usage plan and pay for additional data as needed. The press release ends with a warning: “nothing short of completing the T-Mobile merger will provide additional spectrum capacity to address these near term challenges.”