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[BGR] Throttling unlimited data plans is pointless, study finds

post #1 of 47
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Quote:
AT&T’s questionable policy with regard to unlimited smartphone data plan holders recently found its way back into the limelight following a new wave of subscriber complaints. The nation’s No.2 carrier no longer offers an unlimited data plan to smartphone users, though many subscribers on its network still have grandfathered plans that provide an unlimited amount of smartphone data each month. Subscribers who approach the top 5% of unlimited data users in a single billing period see their data speeds throttled, however, and countless users have found that AT&T is now beginning to throttle users after less than 2GB of data usage in a billing period. According to a new study, subscribers are right to be furious at AT&T because throttling does nothing to alleviate network bandwidth issues. Read on for more.

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post #2 of 47

BUMP! Can't believe this doesn't have any replies yet.

 

I can't wait for data caps to be eliminated altogether, it's ridiculous.

post #3 of 47
I personally can't wait for capped home-internet plans to be eliminated, but we've gotta start somewhere!

Signed,
A Canadian internet user ):
post #4 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malcolm View Post

BUMP! Can't believe this doesn't have any replies yet.

I can't wait for data caps to be eliminated altogether, it's ridiculous.

Caps will never be eliminated until we stand up to these companies. As long as people continue to sign these "arm's length" consumer contracts, we'll keep getting boned.

Ironically, AT&T is the company that could be the most dangerous. They're a major player and if they simply decided that they wanted to beat Verizon, they could. All they'd have to do is offer one year plans at a higher cost per phone, no contract phones at a high price, or, offer truly unlimited data - since the top 5% are the only ones that need to worry about hitting the very synthetic bandwidth "caps," providing this extra data won't be an issue for AT&T. Right AT&T? Right?

The bottom line, however, is that corporate red tape, obsession with quarterly reports to investors (cash flow projections are tied heavily to the number of in term cellular contracts), and the fact that AT&Ts infrastructure is wet garbage is going to keep this from happening. "Bandwidth" is not a finite thing; what is a finite thing is the infrastructure that provides that bandwidth, and since AT&T was grossly unprepared to handle the rapid-fire landline -> cell -> cellular data revolution that has occurred in the past ten years, they are desperately scrambling to catch up.

Oh, and the fact that we're stupid enough to pay $50 for 5GB doesn't give them any additional motivation either. Why should it? People are stupid enough to lock in to a $50 a month charge and use only 10% of that data volume. Let's break this down: 3G data plans were unlimited two years ago. AT&T has since added infrastructure, including a fairly decent LTE infrastructure. However, now AT&T is indicating that we NEED caps in order to better service the public. Wait - if I added more space to my pool, it could hold more water, couldn't it? But according to AT&T, even though there's more water pouring in, there's more demand for that water. So we need to dam it off. And charge you more. And only give you so much. Even though the problem is that our dam is too small and when everyone gets to it, it ****s the bed. Whaaa?

I used to work for Time Warner in the legal department, so trust me on this. I've been in meetings where we would sit for a few hours and discuss how we were going to "protect the company" - e.g., **** the customer with contract terms grossly in our favor.
Edited by Axon14 - 2/24/12 at 5:44am
    
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post #5 of 47
Well I'm happy I still have my unlimited AT&T plan Throttling pisses me off though...
post #6 of 47
The isps are too thickheaded to even care about this research. I just wish isps would stop blaming users on their own neglected and aging infrastructure. Excuses like
Quote:
AT&T’s network has grown a staggering 20,000% over the past five years. Usage has doubled between 2010 and 2011 according to the executive, due in large part to the proliferation of smartphones.
To justify caps and throttles is idiotic. Its teh 21s century everything is web based now either they should upgrade and quit the whining or leave to let other able companies take over.
Edited by Onex - 2/24/12 at 7:25am
post #7 of 47
My theory is:

Throttling is just another means to discourage piracy and always has been.



Nonetheless i've still yet to hit my 30GB limit per month which suits me fine. All i do is game, and i don't pirate. Although i do torrent games i already own, usually when the discs are damaged or lost, this is rare though, and when i do it i'll store the data and burn to a new disc.

I'm paying about £30 (approx 47 USD) a month (Broadband/phone deal) for 12Mb download / 1Mb upload and 30GB monthly limit.
Edited by Thingamajig - 2/24/12 at 7:36am
post #8 of 47
lol. This news is actually funny. And sad. But mostly sad.
 
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post #9 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thingamajig View Post

My theory is:
Throttling is just another means to discourage piracy and always has been.
Nonetheless i've still yet to hit my 30GB limit per month which suits me fine. All i do is game, and i don't pirate. Although i do torrent games i already own, usually when the discs are damaged or lost, this is rare though, and when i do it i'll store the data and burn to a new disc.
I'm paying about £30 (approx 47 USD) a month (Broadband/phone deal) for 12Mb download / 1Mb upload and 30GB monthly limit.

I understand for PC but for 6GB you cant pirate jack.
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post #10 of 47
It's not pointless for companies like AT&T because they do it as a means of trying to generate more revenue from their customers. The whole reason they throttle you after a relatively small bandwidth usage on an unlimited connection is to get you to ditch your unlimited connection and sign up with a tiered capped plan--trust me, they'll give you all the bandwidth you want on a tiered capped plan to make sure you go beyond your cap and pay overage fees. It's not rocket science, and data providers don't throttle because the high-usage people are actually impacting the quality of usage for everyone else.
    
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Overclock.net › Forums › Industry News › Technology and Science News › [BGR] Throttling unlimited data plans is pointless, study finds