&T’s practice of throttling their top 5 percent unlimited data subscribers for monthly usage as low as 1.6GB didn’t go too well with users, and understandably so.
Brian X. Chen of The New York Times spoke to an AT&T representative about this. The rep says that the average usage by the top 5 percent unlimited data users, indeed comes to around 2GB per month, but that isn’t the only criteria to throttling:
Mr. Siegel [AT&T rep] said that even if you do exceed 2 gigabytes of data usage and qualify as one of the top 5 percent, that doesn’t absolutely mean you’re going to be throttled. AT&T will only reduce speeds for the top 5 percent of users in areas where network capacity or spectrum is insufficient, he said. In other words, throttling is done on a case-by-case basis, not based on a hard number, according to AT&T’s claims.
“There’s a very good chance you wouldn’t be slowed,” Mr. Siegel said. He added that in the last month, less than 1 percent of AT&T smartphone customers were affected by the policy.
The rep however, didn’t explain, why does AT&T offer a 3GB usage plan for the same price as the unlimited plan at standard, non-throttled speeds, even in congested areas.
AT&T’s trying to give out a clear message here: “You’ll get better speeds for the same price, if you change from your grandfathered unlimited plan, to the 3GB limited plan. Or we’ll throttle you so bad, that your connection would effectively become unusable.”