As a customer of AT&T (who I have been with for over five years) and is now being effected by this policy there are a few things I take issue with. First off, this is going to effect more than just the top 5% of data users over a monthly period. Over time as the top 5% of data users leave the data use threshold to be part of that top 5% is going to continually see itself getting lower and lower. While this month I saw my speeds drastically lowered after only 4.5 gigs (see pic below) next month as people leave / migrate to new plans that threshold may become 4 gigs, and so on and so forth.
As to the people that say "Well AT&T didn't guarantee you this speed or that speed," you are right. What they did guarantee me was unlimited data in a monthly billing cycle. By limiting my speed (intentionally) they are limiting the amount of data I can consume in a single billing cycle. You can try to separate the two, but the bottom line is if you limit the speed at which someone can consume something, you limit the amount of that something consumed over any given period of time. Calling a plan "Unlimited" then putting forth a policy as AT&T has done flies in the face of honest business practices.
Lastly, I wouldn't take issue if they throttled my 33 down to 3 down. Yes, my phone would be slower, but it would still be usable. However, the amount of throttling that is done causes my phone to no longer *function* when doing certain things. Spotify? Don't bother, the songs either take forever to buffer or they skip. Netflix? Doesn't... even... work. Download a game on the go... yeah, sure, by the time the game is done downloading you will be done doing whatever boring task you were doing and won't even need the game anymore. True story, had jury duty today, 5 hours of sitting in a room where for God knows the reason the TV is tuned to TMZ, so I figured I would download a game on my phone to pass the time. Yeah, not so much, the game was taking so long to download I cancelled it and decided to to read a book instead. Sorry android marketplace and independent game developer, you can blame AT&T for that lost sale.
Anyways, this limit is nothing more than a ploy to get people to drop their unlimited data plan and move to a limited data plan. I for one will be returning my phone because (thank goodness) I am still in my thirty day return period for the phone I had just upgraded to, and will be taking my business elsewhere. I feel sorry for the people that do not have that option, you have my sympathy.Edited by tubnotub1 - 2/14/12 at 2:12am