Friday, October 31, 2014

Throttle It Back, Guys

Looks like the Federal Trade Commission thinks that when AT&T offers "unlimited" data plans on mobile devices, that it can't just allow 3 GB of data in a month and then throttle download speeds to the point of not being useful.  It's suing the mobile carrier over the plans, and millions of AT&T customers -- including myself -- want what we paid for.

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.


mellowjohn said...

there are a lot of bars in my neigborhood packed with young white men every weekend. i'm sure senator huckleberry j. butchmeup (h/t charlie pierce) would be most welcome in any of them. as long as he was buying.

Horace Boothroyd III said...

When I read horrifying articles like this, and I reach for my golf clubs for to administer the appropriate beatings, I generally remember a specific incident when I was twenty five and glibly certain that Social Security would never be there for me after forty years. Well, I grew up and learned and the kids are going to grow up and learn as well. The only question is, how much destruction will they leave in their collective wake while going through the process. Thus as it ever was with children, am I not right?

But damn! Just as it hurt in '68 to see Humphrey kneecapped by the stinkin' hippies so that malignant Quaker could call the shots for a few years, today it hurts to see the kids hand power to their and our worst enemy through sheer entitled negligence.

I admit that it takes a bit of brain work to understand how the Democrats could have the nominal upper hand yet be stymied by Republican obstruction, but the correct target of frustrated THROW THE BUMS OUT! campaign is to throw out the Republicans and free up the Democrats to get some work done. Giving more power to the Republicans is like shooting the hostage yourself.

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