updated 09:25 pm EST, Sat February 4, 2012
ATT throttling hits low levels in some areas
At least some anecdotes from AT&T subscribers have shown that its throttling practices for unlimited data plan users have started to take effect at low levels. John Cozen claimed to have seen the throttling take effect with as little as 2.1GB of data used in the month, or just over the pre-increase 2GB tiered plan's cap. He escalated complaints about the issue to levels where he could confirm the throttling wasn't a mistake.
A chance exists that the actual data use may have been higher and hadn't caught up on AT&T's official iOS app, which Cozen used to track his data. Although it represents what AT&T sees rather than the device, it may take time for the site to reflect use and could be hiding significantly higher recent consumption.
The company started throttling the top five percent most active customers starting in October in what's been widely seen as an attempt to manage data use as the iPhone 4S reached stores. It also served as an attempt to eke more revenue from the most frequent users, since those on tiered plans aren't throttled at any point but also have to pay overages of $10 for every gigabyte past the cap. Customers like Cozen who hit the throttling barrier are given notices that very strongly encourage them to choose a tiered plan.
Throttling has been known for some time to vary on a region-by-region basis, since congestion can hit quickly in dense and cellphone-heavy areas such as New York City, but much less often in the middle of the country or other, less populated and less technology-driven areas.
The curbs on speed have raised more concerns as AT&T has now instituted a $30, 3GB plan that, in some cases, could see unlimited users throttled below the caps of their tiered friends despite paying the same amount. [via MacRumors]