AT&T backs off slightly on its throttling practices, boosts usage cap for the “top 5%”

AT&T backs off slightly on its throttling practices, boosts usage cap for the “top 5%” ...

Last year, AT&T announced that it would begin throttling users who were at the top 5% of usage on unlimited data plans. Even though service wouldn’t be cut off for those of us who still have the legacy unlimited plans, performance would decrease dramatically once we hit 2GB.

At the time, AT&T said that these users eat up twelve times more data than the average customers. We’ve heard from many people recently who have gotten text messages saying they were close to becoming a part of that 5% in usage, so it appears that AT&T has ratcheted up its enforcement of the throttling practice.

In response to backlash it has received, AT&T announced today that it would increase the cap and also split it into two groups; HSPA+ and 4G LTE users. The cap for HSPA+ users has gone from 2GB to 3GB and 4G LTE users will get a jump to 5GB from 2GB. Here’s what AT&T had to say about the change today:

Do you have an unlimited data plan? If so, we have information to help you manage your account if you use more than 3GB, which means you are in the top 5% of data users in our network. If you have a 4G LTE Smartphone with monthly data usage over 5GB, you’ll also be interested in this information. You can check your usage for this month by dialing *data# on your mobile phone.

The wireless carrier continues to complain about the rising usage of data and lack of access to more spectrum, and is starting to explore other practices like letting app developers pay for its users data.

Are you a part of the “5%”? Let us know about your experiences in the comments.

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