AT&T unlimited data policy update.

Spotted on an updated support page on AT&T’s website which now clarifies a reduction of data speeds may happen “in areas that are experiencing network congestion.”

Here is the new policy.

As a result of AT&T’s network management process, customers on a 3G or 4G smartphone or on a 4G LTE smartphone with an unlimited data plan who have exceeded 3 gigabytes (3G/4G) or 5 gigabytes (4G LTE) of data in a billing period may experience reduced speeds when using data services at times and in areas that are experiencing network congestion. All such customers can still use unlimited data without incurring overage charges, and their speeds will be restored with the start of the next billing cycle.

Until recently, AT&T customers who paid for unlimited data and used over 5GB of data in one monthly billing period often had their speeds throttled down to nearly unusable levels, even in areas without said “congestion.” Not surprisingly people where not thrilled the first time this happned even The Federal Trade Commission stepped in and filed a lawsuit against AT&T over the practice, though that case is still ongoing. Just for kicks here’s a look at what the policy used to be, thanks to Internet Archive: Wayback Machine:

As a result of the AT&T network management process, customers on a 3G or 4G smartphone with an unlimited data plan who have exceeded 3 gigabytes of data in a billing period may experience reduced speeds when using data services at times and in areas that are experiencing network congestion. Customers on a 4G LTE smartphone will experience reduced speeds once their usage in a billing cycle exceeds 5 gigabytes of data. All such customers can still use unlimited data without incurring overage charges, and their speeds will be restored with the start of the next billing cycle.  

Are you surprised at the changes in the policy?  I’m not but only because they have done it before and all the issues with net-neutrality.  But if I’m not mistaken unlimited data should mean unlimited data not as much as you can use till you cross a line and get your speeds reduced.  And then how do you decide areas that are experiencing network congestion and how much usage is that?  Some of the language seems a bit loose but I suppose it is there ball and if you don’t want to play you don’t have to.  Let us know if your part of AT&Ts unlimited plan or just let us know  what you think about this in the comments.

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