The U.S. government filed a lawsuit against AT&T Inc on Tuesday, alleging the No. 2 U.S. wireless carrier sold consumers unlimited data plans but would slow their Internet down once they used a certain amount of data.
The Federal Trade Commission, which filed the lawsuit, said that this "throttling" of Internet feeds was deceptive and said that in some cases the data speeds were slowed by nearly 90 percent.
AT&T did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
More than 3.5 million customers had their Internet speeds slowed more than 25 million times because of AT&T's practice, which began in October 2011, the FTC said.
AT&T says on its support website that people who have legacy unlimited data plans can experience data slowdowns once they exceed certain limits. Customers with a 3G smartphone will experience slowdowns after using 3 gigabytes of data in a month while those with 4G LTE smartphones can use 5 gigabytes before hitting potential slowdowns.
Those who dislike the slower internet once they hit their limit are told that they can use Wi-Fi or switch to a different AT&T plan, AT&T says on its web site.
AT&T can't just stop providing data plans to iPhone users like myself who bought and kept the original unlimited data plans from when AT&T was first offering the devices six years ago, especially since it made everyone buy a separate data plan -- with a separate additional charge -- to even activate an iPhone in the first place. That's always been true.
So when customers like myself kept the plans and AT&T grandfathered them, they realized they made a huge mistake and then needed to make the plans all but unusable. If you're wondering why AT&T is trying to screw its unlimited data plan users into canceling their contract or changing their plan, this might have something to do with it:
And these are "value pricing" data plans. Do you see now why AT&T has to get rid of me, and is doing everything they can to get rid of millions of customers like me? We're immune to their massive scheme where even a handful of gigabytes a month in data is hundreds of dollars.
Of course the real problem is the fact that America has the most overpriced internet on Earth. European, Asian, and even African internet rates are a fraction or what we pay, and we're getting screwed massively by companies like AT&T.
Who I'm sticking with, if only to enjoy getting my money's worth at a little more than the 2 GB going rate.