AT&T Data Throttling Shown on Video

Jan 17, 2012 - 8 Comments

You’ve probably heard the talk of AT&T throttling heavy data users, but now we can see it’s effects ourselves and it’s probably worse than you thought. AppAdviceDaily put together the video up top, skip in about a minute ahead and you’ll see a side-by-side comparison of download speeds on a throttled vs non-throttled iPhone 4S. The speed difference is gigantic, as low as 0.07mbps on the throttled account vs 1.8mbps on the normal account.

Throttling is only supposed to impact the top 5% of data consumers and unofficial tetherers on AT&T on Verizon. These users typically get a warning text message notifying they are using too much of the data they paid for:

Throttled Data message

The threshold for being throttled is alleged to vary widely, with some reports saying it’s as low as 1GB and others suggesting it’s over 4GB. Once you’re throttled, you’re basically kicked off the 3G network and stuck on the painfully sluggish 2G EDGE network.

If you’re concerned about this, check data use on AT&T and Verizon by logging into your account. For those close to their allotted data limit, it may be a good idea to disable data or at least turn off 3G until the next billing cycle.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPhone, News

8 Comments

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  1. Marcus says:

    It’s a good thing we’re paying $130+ a month for this service we can’t fully utilize.

  2. Popov says:

    It sounds really bad.

    Here in Bulgaria I pay 10$ for 256MB on fastest speed – over 650KB/s download speed and after those 256MB are over, I get 128KB/s unlimited traffic. And this is the lowest plan, there is other option, for 35$ you get 2GB for fast 3G, over 5mbps..

  3. Vaughn Logan says:

    *** MUST READ ***

    I URGE EVERYBODY TO FILE A COMPLAINT WITH THE FCC. THEY WILL EXAMINE IF THERE IS A POLICY VIOLATION ON UNLIMITED PLANS REGARDING BANDWIDTH THROTTLING. EVERY COMPLAINT HAS TO BE ANSWERED IN WRITING BY AT&T IN WRITING WITHIN 45 DAYS. PHONE 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-8888-225-5322).

  4. B R says:

    You can use an online form on the FCC site too, probably easier than calling. I would not have committed to a new phone with them and extended my contract if I knew they were going to do this.

    http://esupport.fcc.gov/complaints.htm

  5. FQ says:

    AT&T Data Throttling
    In regards to this message from AT&T 
    “”””””ATT Free Msg: Your data usage is among the top 5% of users. Data speeds for this bill cycle may be reduced. Visit http://www.att.com/dataplans or call 8663447584.””””””
    When you visit the above web site it directs you to buy extra gigs of data at $10.00 per gig. As long as you are paying for it, there is no problem with congestion.  
    IT’S ALL A BIG SCAM. THEY SHOULD GET SUED FOR BRIDGE OF CONTRACT. 
    everybody should use as much data as possible to teach them that we are not giving up in this fight.  Stream anything live as you sleep to really show them what data congestion is all about. 

  6. Jon says:

    We need more people to complain to AT&T and the FCC. This policy is uncalled for, as is the extent to which AT&T is throttling the data speeds. If they did not wish people to use their network, they should not have grandfathered people in with unlimited data plans.

  7. VB says:

    Im filing my complaint with the FCC.
    AT&T is strong arming the people who are
    grandfathered in. If they don’t have the
    Equipment to handle 4G service for ALL of
    Their customers, then they have falsely
    Advertised their capabilities and have falsely
    advertised many unwitting consumers into signing
    long-term contracts! Had I known, I would not
    Have spent $600 to re-up with another phone
    And contract. I’m trapped!

  8. David says:

    This is an excellent demo, and EXACTLY what I experienced here in Dallas from 2/3 to 2/9. In fact, the demo is being way too generous in showing one of the throttled/choked speeds spiking to 0.44Mbps. My speeds were almost rock solid at 0.12Mbps regardless of time or location. Yet AT&T reps claim your data throttling is determined by the network needs for that place and time. BS!

    Take action: Don’t let AT&T get away with fraud! http://www.change.org/petitions/att-stop-using-the-term-unlimited-to-describe-a-severely-limited-data-plan

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