It’s probably your neighbor—
For San Francisco customers of AT&T, slowdowns in Internet connection speeds are common. The reasons for this, according to the company, are data hogs who use up too much of its bandwidth.
Unlimited data plan users targeted
Last year AT&T scuttled its unlimited data plan service and restructured its pricing to a tiered system where individuals would be charged according to how much bandwidth they use.
But for existing customers who already had an unlimited data plan before the new pricing took effect, AT&T gave them a free pass; they could still download all they wanted to.
The data hogs get corralled
According to AT&T, of those who still hold an unlimited account, the top five percent of users in this group use many times more bandwidth than “average users,” which accounts for the slowdowns for other customers when online—a virtual “e-traffic jam” on the Web.
AT&T said, “These customers on average use 12 times more data than the average of all other smartphone data customers.”
The end is near
Starting on October 1, AT&T will cut back on the connection speed of unlimited data plan customers who it believes are the black holes of bandwidth. AT&T will send notices to the largest downloaders of data and give them time to realign their surfing habits.
AT&T didn’t say what the data threshold point would be when someone is considered an offender, but if data usage isn’t curtailed by the suspect customer; AT&T will throttle the connection until the next billing cycle or longer.
The iPhone did it
Where did all the use of extra bandwidth come from? AT&T says the finger points to the iPhone. Internet use was way up by the iPhone community and this supposedly clogged AT&T’s network.
This apparently resulted in years of poor service especially in the high-tech area of San Francisco.
Although the throttle move by AT&T will only affect around 5% of its customer base, one AT&T subscriber put it bluntly with his comment on mobileburn.com:
“AT&T should be ashamed and sued for treating and harassing the most loyal and first generation AT&T-iPhone customers… I’ve been loyal AT&T customer for decades and now seriously considering to abandon the arrogant AT&T.”
Source: CNET, MobileBurn
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