Still hanging onto that unlimited data plan? Bad news champ, this ain’t your grandfather’s data plan anymore. If you are in the top 5% of AT&T’s data users, you will get throttled down if you don’t curb your usage enough in your next billing cycle.

According to Bill Palmer at Beatweek, whatever the top 5% is, he confirms it includes those who use significantly less than two gigs a month. Not even two gigs. The one gig range. The fifty megs a day crowd and possibly lower.

This time I don’t need to go into how much AT&T sucks as this move speaks for itself sufficiently. Just want to warn you five percenters that if those you-know-whats throttle you down to 2G, go into your phone’s settings and make sure it’s on 2G/EDGE, not either/or, to save significant juice until your next month — until you get throttled again, then until the next month and over and over and over because you have carrier Stockholm syndrome and won’t man up and change carriers.

Yes, they all suck, but AT&T sucks the hardest and with consistently increasing force.

Doug Simmons


  1. T-Mobile sucks outside of metropolitan areas, I’d need to take a loan out to use Verizon, Sprint is just pure junk.

    I see AT&T as a reasonably priced rectal cavity cleaning with a wire brush.

  2. I used to think Sprint was the stuff until I purchased a wifi hotspot device and was getting speeds akin to 2G. Made the switch to AT&T to grab a Windows Phone and the rest is history.

    In terms of call coverage I will say Sprint is better in my area but the ability to talk/text/surf all at the same time is invaluable to me. That and the fact I don’t have a minute for each website I visit to load has me being oddly okay with AT&T. But my wife who’s grandfathered into the unlimited data sure won’t be happy when I tell her about the throttling. Am I safe? I have a 2GB data plan and use about 1-1.5GB per month?

    Carriers can suck so hard, grrr!

  3. Suppose the government squished all these carriers and their spectrum together, told the OEMs they’d better start stamping out LTE phones and to pull up Wikipedia for a reference on what bands the US has reserved for cellular use and the phones would all cooperate with each other with sophisticated super radios to hop onto higher frequencies when within close enough range, .. you see where I’m going with this.. my question is in this country is there enough spectrum using LTE’s spectral efficiency to accommodate absolutely everyone’s bandwidth desires including my people in Manhattan? If carriers cooperated, got their ass in gear along with OEMs and the radio people, could people watch Netflix and Facetime and bittorrent to their hearts’ content across our country using their phones and pads and not wifi? Let me make this simpler, how about if Google were handed all the spectrum rights and access to those towers and Microsoft gave Google a crash course on how to bully anyone into submission, could they figure it out?

    I know that’s a bit Utopian and silly but c’mon, not even two gigs a month? What the hell is that?

    Here Smith, another classic from my gallery:

  4. I asked this on the Beatweek article, but if AT&T’s reached capacity and getting more capacity is prohibitively difficult, why don’t they increase their rates into customer defection territory and let that ride for a while?

    Sounds a little nasty, but let’s say you’re an AT&T customer, wouldn’t you pay a good chunk more to drive the rifraff customers away to finally restore 3G speeds to the way they were before the iPhone, and continue to pay that much rather than just switch to Verizon and have to deal with all the paperwork and who knows what?

    (This one’s directed mainly at New Yorkers and those in San Francisco)

  5. Oh and smart move watermarking that AT&T death star explosion thing Smith, I’m sure it’ll go viral.

  6. I wasn’t worried about the security of my shop as mush as a little advertising the site never hurts either. Damn our mobile site is looking good. Fine work Simmons!

  7. As a very long time At+t customer I know no other. I wonder why At+t doesnt tell me this. My data has at times been as fast as WiFi, or as slow as “is this thing on?” It is frustrating and pisses me off. There are no real Paterns as to why. Location time of month or usage.
    I think it is the market to be in to make money right now, and everybody is trying to figure out how to get the most cash and maintain control over their customers.
    Maybe we don’t want all these radio waves circulating around us.
    Maybe they realy can’t keep up with demand.
    Maybe region wide wifi is the way to go?
    I think the market is too young to give control to the customer, there are people smarter than me working on it. Do we need the government to step in?
    Unfortunatly my wallet and my toy are at the mercy of the wireless providers.

  8. I’d much prefer citywide Wifi, but the handoffs between routers would ensure dropped calls so far.

    The Skype phones in Pheonix were a good example… completely unusable on a highway.

  9. Thank you iPhone users! Keep using more and more data so that I will come in no where near the 5%.
    I have had my unlimited data plan for a long time, and come nowhere close to the first 2G data cap, but I still don’t want to give up my “unlimited” plan.
    As long as you SiRi loving iPhone users keep jacking up your usage, AT+T should have no reason to even look at me.

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