AT&T throttling users at just over 2GB of data?

Remember how AT&T indicated that they would begin cracking down on smartphone users who chew through a bunch of data each month?  At the time, we learned that it would only be those naughty, top 5% of heavy users who would get put on the bad list and/or have their speeds slowed down.  Well, according to new details, you may end up getting a notification from AT&T at just over 2GB of data.

A post on Wall Street Journal from today advises that their own Willa Plank received the letter from AT&T indicating they were in the top 5$ of users.  After averaging around 1.76GB of data in 2011, Plank exceeded 2.05GB with about one week to go in the billing cycle. Apparently this means that they are using approximately 12X as much data as the average user.  As if the letter notification wasn’t enough, AT&T also followed up with a text message advising that Plank connects to as much Wi-Fi as possible in order to avoid slowed data.

You Tell Us

Have any of you received the AT&T letter yet?  What kind of data were you using to merit the notification?  How did you adjust your usage?  Or did you?


  • tiroger

    I received at warning 10 days before the end of my billing cycle for last month. I was at 1.8GB. As soon as I reached 2GB I received a text informing me that I was going to be throttled until the end of my cycle.

  • Philip Courtois

    My T-Mobile plan doesn’t throttle until I’m over 5GB… I’m glad I’m not with AT&T!

  • I’ve never received the letter, but I use about 2.5GB or more a month.  The difference here, however, is that I’m not on an unlimited data plan & never have been.  I’ve been using the tiered data plans for a while & when I get close to my limit, they tell me with an email & a text message.  At the bottom of the letter it describes that your speed won’t be throttled if you are on a tiered data plan.  So I guess I can use my 5GB of data with no throttled speed.  It would make sense to me that if your average usage is under 5GB then there would be no use in having an unlimited data plan.

    • Well that’s why. The entire article is about the letter going out to people still on the unlimited data plan. While AT&T has every right to police their network for high data usage, pushing the throttling limit down from the unpublished 4-5 GB ceiling to a laughable 2 GB (which they claim by itself is ~12x higher than the average…also laughable) is insulting and frankly, should be illegal. Yes, they have 2 and now a 3 GB data plan priced at $25 and $30/month respectively, but that doesn’t give AT&T the right to screw over customers like they continually do. 

      What’s really sad is that people paying $30 for “unlimited” data are getting less data than those on the $30/3GB plan for the same price, and now, are even being passed up by the cheaper 2 GB plan.

      • AT&T is essentially screwing their loyal customer base who kept the grandfathered unlimited plans.  I’m willing to bet that most of these users don’t use over 2GB but they kept it in case they needed the extra data in the future.  And when they do need it, surprise surprise, they’re throttled.

        • Gina

          Exactly. That unlimited plan is the only thing holding my husband to ATT. If it’s going to be worthless he may as well just go to Verizon where the coverage is better. 

          • Professororb

            AS long as he doesnt mind pay $30 for 2 Gigs,(where AT&T gives you 3) and if he goes over even more. Also if he get s a 3G phone, 3G is about 3 times slower on Verizon. No voice n data either. Also no 3 way calling? Verizon has a weird system.

  • I’m still on an unlimited data plan and when I got the text letting me know my data speeds would be reduced I had used 2068.2 MB that billing cycle. Now I am capped at about 150kbps down. Thanks AT&T!

    • The capped speed here in Los Angeles is 120kbps.  At least they didn’t throttle you to the floor!

  • It may be worth noting at this point that in Ireland, mobile phone company three offer all you can eat broadband (15gb) to all non contract users for twenty euro alongside free weekend calls to any network and free texts to all networks anytime.

  • Cokeathome

    sad how the industries r milking us for the money n giving shxx to service qulity

  • I received the same warning text and email last month, after hitting about 1.85GB. My data usage on the iPhone 4S is about twice what it was on my iPhone 3G …. I guess because wireless data actually works (most places) and I actually use it. Can’t say that I was using bandwidth-hogging apps – lots of Google Maps I guess. It’s a shame to be on AT&T; I made the wrong choice – they fooled me my promising to continue my “unlimited” contract, then imposed a limit. 

    • Professororb

      Also the 4S on AT&T is connected to their faster HSPA+ 4G network. Runs up to 3 times faster than Sprint or Verizons 4S iphones. Everyone else throttles that has unlimited except Sprint. But just wait they will have to change their ways as well. And if you get throttled then switch to the $30 3 gig non-throttled plan. You prob just need that extra gig anyway.

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  • Drew Carpenter

    My Cincinnati Bell plan throttles after about 200 mb while roaming and I travel a lot so I hit that almost everytime I leave Cincinnati. I am only staying with them until the Spring GN comes out then switching over. Cincinnati Bell has very poor service in my house and on my street and I live in downtown!

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  • Dustin

    Well it finally happened! I’ve been throttled! Got the notice this morning and my bandwidth has gone from 1.5-3 Mbs. to 0.08Mbs.! How’s that for throttled? My usage reached 2GB. and the 3GB plan is the same $30 cost. Explain the advantage of being on the unlimited plan? Furthermore, if they continue to throttle the top 5%, the top tier will continue to lower in usage since it becomes useless for data after being throttled.
    I’ve been a customer since it was Pacific Bell Mobile, 15 years ago. My family bill has been $200.00+ a month for the last 4-5 years. I have had unlimited data on my phone for the last 3-4 years and have had data plans on two other phones on my plan for the last two years. I upgrade most of my devices from AT&T every year instead of every two years and this is my reward!
    I think I’m finally done with AT&T!

    • Professororb

      your reward is that you sign a 2 year contract and AT&T lets you upgrade every year. Go somewhere else and get that with their faster internet speeds. Or switch to the 3G $30 data plan. you prob just need that extra gig to get by and you won’t be throttled. 

  • They are taking steps for exploding mobile data.

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  • Professororb

    Understand that 75% of smartphones run on AT&T alone, and their data use on their network grew 9000% form 2007 to now. If you want your phones to work at all, network optimization has to take place. If your bitter don’t call it an Unlimited plan, call it a Price Fixed plan. 

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