AT&T to throttle grandfathered unlimited data plan customers only in areas that are experiencing network congestion

AT&T is pulling back on its throttling efforts against unlimited LTE customers, reports ArsTechnica. The site noticed that the carrier recently changed its policy to say that it will only throttle users with unlimited LTE data plans who have both exceeded 5GB in a billing cycle and are in an area experiencing network congestion.

The company has silently updated its support documents to say the following, which was first discovered by Ars Technica:
“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.”
In 2012, AT&T had started throttling top 5% of the unlimited data plan subscribers to 2G speeds. But was forced to make a change in the policy after a backlash for its unlimited data plan customers. It then added a data cap, and started throttling its grandfathered unlimited data plan users after they consumed 5GB of LTE data or 3GB of 3G/4G data in a month. Many AT&T users have reported speeds slower than 512kbps despite being on LTE and paying the carrier for an “unlimited” plan. 


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