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canadian05's profile
canadian05
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Tutor

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9 Messages

Wed, Sep 17, 2014 3:01 PM

Unlimited Data Throttling

I am aware of the policy. I am aware of AT&T's stated reasoning for that policy.

 

What I'm here for is:

 

-I contacted AT&T customer care and inquired why the policy is to throttle only unlimited users and not the mobile share users. Also why is the cut-off 5GB. In addition to the normal answers of, "because mobile share users can face overages" and "you pay a flat rate for a lower level of service" they also told me that throttling is mandated by an FCC rule. My first question is, what FCC rule is it that requires AT&T to throttle users? Also, what are the numbers and statistics that can show how unlimited users are the problem and not the mobile share users?

 

-Has AT&T responded to some publicly stated concerns by the head of the FCC over the practice of throttling based on type of service plan?

 

Additionally, I have a less serious question.

 

-If AT&T keeps telling me I would save money by switching to mobile share plans, why would they then justify the discrepancy in service by stating that mobile share users pay more and therefore receive better service. A 20GB mobile share plan for 4 lines actually costs less than the 4 lines of unlimited data my family has. Our current and past usage has never exceeded about 15GB. So, we are paying more money and receiving the inferior service. A family burning every bit of their 20GB allotment will never be throttled although they are paying less.

 

-I understand the need to throttle in order to maintain the integrity of the network. However, why wouldn't AT&T throttle unlimited users at the data limit of a comparatively expensive mobile share plan?

sandblaster

ACE - Expert

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53.3K Messages

7 y ago

I do not believe there is any FCC mandate to throttle users. So, why throttle unlimited users and not those on a finite amount of data? The idea is that those that have a limit will throttle themselves to avoid having to pay overages while those with unlimited data will not. As far as I know, every carrier that still offers unlimited data also throttles only unlimited data users. For whatever reason, ATT has chosen to implement throttling at preset levels of 3GB for 4G users and 5GB for LTE users. Other carriers throttle when they detect network degradation, so unlimited users could get throttled at less than those preset levels or not throttled at all.

canadian05

Tutor

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9 Messages

7 y ago

I understand the basic idea behind your explanation. However, I disagree with the implementation.

 

Both mobile share and unlimited users are being encouraged to limit their use by either overages or throttling respectively. However, the mobile share users have access to a much larger cap before they hit overages. 5GB (for some users) is so absurdly low that there is no motivation to limit use. I hit that 5GB cap so quickly each month I stay in a perpetual state of throttle. If I am always throttled, I have no reason to reduce my use.

 

I would like to know what percentage of unlimited users ever use an equivalent amount of data as some of the larger mobile share plans (20GB and up). Depending on plan details unlimited plans and these higher level mobile share plans can cost similar amounts of money but the unlimited users are neutered in their ability to effectively use data past 5GB. While the mobile share folks are cruising nicely along until they risk overages and likely cut back or pay extra.

 

Again, I'm not saying throttling should never occur. I understand the need. However, I see inconsistencies in the stated intent and the implementation. You would gladly sell me 50GB of data through mobile share but the 15GB I'm using is unbearable and is a risk to the stability of the system. The two just don't match up. The throttling caps should be based on the cost and capacity of similar mobile share plans.

 

I was also told that unlimited users can and will be throttled in times of heavy load regardless of their use. I was told that mobile share users get priority over unlimited. Is that not the case with AT&T?

sandblaster

ACE - Expert

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53.3K Messages

7 y ago


@canadian05 wrote:

 

I was also told that unlimited users can and will be throttled in times of heavy load regardless of their use. I was told that mobile share users get priority over unlimited. Is that not the case with AT&T?


I do not know for sure but this could very well be true. However, I've never seen any unlimited user complain about getting throttled at less than the 3/5GB levels on this forum.

canadian05

Tutor

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9 Messages

7 y ago

Ok.Thanks.

 

Is there a phone number I can call other than the customer care line for these questions? The typical front line customer care rep is minimally informed and can't help me with these questions. I've actually had to educate a rep or two rather than the other way around.

 

Even if I could just get a number for a more specific customer service department that is more knowledgable. That would be a huge help.

sandblaster

ACE - Expert

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53.3K Messages

7 y ago

You would have to find someone in network operations and they don't have publicly advertised phone numbers. Even as an employee, I have no idea who I would contact to answer those questions.

Tutor

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4 Messages

7 y ago

No one with unlimited data should be throttled it's ridiculous and untruthful to sell unlimited and the limit them.

Contributor

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1 Message

7 y ago

It's funny how the $30 unlimited iPad data deal isn't throttled.

Contributor

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1 Message

7 y ago

Here's a customer that's complaining!  3 gb is hardly heavy usage.  We're not talking movies and such.  This is not what was explained to me when I first got the contract.  There was no mention of throttling except in heavy usage times in the overall network.  I think the FCC really does need to step in here, because the consumer is getting screwed.

lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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89.2K Messages

7 y ago

 

You are a day late....

 

I'm glad you are self controlled enough not to  burn more data than those of us on limited plans.   

You are the exception.

AT&T has to make policies that protect you and I from data hogs who tether their phones to their XBox and Apple TVs.

Those hogs are why unlimited data plans are on the way out and throttling is necessary.

(There are more of them then there are of you)

 

[Edited to comply with Guidelines]

Contributor

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1 Message

7 y ago

i have pulled out many hairs and grinded away many teeth trying to get a logical response from AT&T customer service for why my "unlimited data plan" goes from average speeds of 26MB+, mostly in the mid 30's and as high as 56MB but only upto 5GBs, then it does to max speed of 0.5MB.....yes 1/2MB download speeds.....&%#$#k*%$@!!.....i get it, AT&T wants to throttle back after 5 GBs but for whatever reasons they may produce and backed by the microscopic print in our contracts BUTTTTT 60 times slower!!!!! IF i am getting steady 30MBs download speeds then throttle me to 15MBs?....ok ok ill take 12......allllrighty lets do 10mbs...... ill take 7mbs........5mbs.......... ill take 3mbs.........but no.... the ***  in charge over there are giving MAX 0.5mbs.....i get steady 0.3mbs....you can barely open an email with those speeds..

 

im going to ditch the unlimited and add myself to my wife's new plan we just setup...ending oct 31 you can get the 30GB family plan for $130 plus whatever phone aggrement you have (2yrs new phone upgrade $40 or what we did, bought new phone outright and pay only $15 month)....so we will have 30GBs to share plus unlimted calling and texts for $160 plus taxes, previously we were paying $110 and $102 each, hers a 3GB plan, mine the fake unlimited really 5GB plan, me 450min canada plan with 200 texts, her 900 min plan unlimted texts....definitly the way to go, blow the unlimited data plan of way back

 

[Edited to comply with Guidelines]

canadian05

Tutor

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9 Messages

7 y ago

Actually, At&t has stated that the majority of of their unlimited customers don't get throttled which would imply they are not exceeding the 3GB 3G/5GB LTE limits. People that exceed those limits on unlimited plans are a minority of a minority. In fact, I bet 99% of unlimited users never exceed 20GB.

 

There is no issue with throttling unlimited users. There has to be a limit. Or else, there will be a few abusers. The issue I have with the throttling is that it is based on arbitrary, fixed limits. It has nothing to do with maintaining the network. It has nothing to do with ensuring a quality experience for all. The only explanation that seems to match the implementation is that At&t is trying to push us off the unlimited plan. They are discriminating against that plan type in order to drive customers away from it.

canadian05

Tutor

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9 Messages

7 y ago

You point out another important point. If the throttling was meant to maintain the network, they would do tierd throttling like you are suggesting. However, they knock it down as slow as possible while still maintaining an internet connection.

 

They are still technically providing unlimited data, but it's the minimum requirement to still be considered data.

Mentor

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83 Messages

7 y ago

I have read for years on popular cell phone forums, mostly Iphone, that users Jailbreaked the phones and used them as hotspots with computers and tablets with the unlimited plans, and read the posts where At&t "Caught them" also they are streaming videos on the phones which use a lot of data. At&t does not allow you use mobile hot spot unless on a plan for that and the new mobile share does allow this. Your unlimted plan is only for the phone no hotspot.

 

I agree unlimited data should be unlimited but At&t has fought to get rid of unlimted for years now.

Contributor

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1 Message

7 y ago

 I'm on unlimited data here for a new note 4 that I had upgraded to, and have used 864MB of data. My speed tests run literally less than .5mb/s for both upload and download. This ocurrs no matter where I am, and I had never had this issue in the past. It only ocurred when I recently upgraded from my note 2 to my note 4, in which the sales rep tried to get me to "save money" by getting off unlimited data.

 

So yes, I would say that they do throttle you once someone actually does take a look at how much data you use and if you are on unlimited data. Power cycling, resetting my settings, nothing solves the below .5mb/s up and down rates, more so reinforced by the fact that hopping on my wifi shoots the speeds up to 25+ for up, 4+ for down.

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