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Re: Using Hotspot with an Unlimited Wireless Plan

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Using Hotspot with an Unlimited Wireless Plan

Living in a rural area in upstate NY I'm obviously a candidate for a product like a cellular hotspot.

What is the reason that AT&T does not allow a customer to use a hotspot with an unlimited plan?

Is it a marketing plan to keep control of data usage or is it a technical issue that prevents AT&T from being able to manage more data usage over their existing network?  

AT&T's Wireless Home Phone & Internet looks like a product that would adaquetly work but the data plans do not seem like a good value.  To me, as consumer, this looks a way to control data and make more money.  Also 2 year contracts are a thing of the past.  

Thanks Rural_Life_Pete

 

 

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Message 1 of 17
Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Using Hotspot with an Unlimited Wireless Plan

"To me, as consumer, this looks a way to control data and make more money."

Every business exist to make as much money as possible
Message 2 of 17

Re: Using Hotspot with an Unlimited Wireless Plan

The FCC has ruled that tethering is a protected legal usage of the data you are buying. Att can not legally stop you from tethering regardless of your package. If they have, then file a complaint with the fcc.
Message 3 of 17
Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Using Hotspot with an Unlimited Wireless Plan

Actually the FCC has never said that a cell phone company can not block tethering. They said verizon could not block it as part of the stipulations on the 700 mhz bands was "Licensees offering service on spectrum subject to this section shall not deny, limit, or restrict the ability of their customers to use the devices and applications of their choice." Nowhere have they said other cell phone carriers are not allowed to block it, and have allowed at&t to do so for many many years with never any ruling or lawsuit saying otherwise.

Message 4 of 17
ACE - Expert

Re: Using Hotspot with an Unlimited Wireless Plan


@Rural_Life_Pete wrote:

Living in a rural area in upstate NY I'm obviously a candidate for a product like a cellular hotspot.

What is the reason that AT&T does not allow a customer to use a hotspot with an unlimited plan?

Unlimited is MUCH a cheaper way to get LOTS of data, but if you want that that much data for a budget price, then it's only for ONE device. Multiple devices are going to use more data and aren't eligible to share unlimited data.

 

Devices like laptops generally eat through tons more data and more easily at a higher rate, so they likely don't want them sharing.

 

Is it a marketing plan to keep control of data usage or is it a technical issue that prevents AT&T from being able to manage more data usage over their existing network?  

If you want to push more data around any way you want, they offer a 100GB plan for $450 a month, so I'd think it's not a technical issue.

 

AT&T's Wireless Home Phone & Internet looks like a product that would adaquetly work but the data plans do not seem like a good value.  To me, as consumer, this looks a way to control data and make more money.

Wireless probably isn't the best affordable option for home use.

 

It IS AT&T's job to make more money for it's owners/investors.

 

 

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Message 5 of 17
ACE - Sage

Re: Using Hotspot with an Unlimited Wireless Plan


@rightofpassage wrote:

Actually the FCC has never said that a cell phone company can not block tethering.

Correct.  The FCC does not prohibit carriers from managing their network so that all customers can use it.  

They said verizon could not block it as part of the stipulations on the 700 mhz bands Uh, not quite.  Verizon is not allowed to throttle or lock their phones.  Tethering is not included in the FCC agreement.  Verizon has not offered the unlimited plan for several years and this is why they will never offer an unlimited plan again.  Their current no overage plan has a customer controlled, voluntary throttle.   was "Licensees offering service on spectrum subject to this section shall not deny, limit, or restrict the ability of their customers to use the devices and applications of their choice." Nowhere have they said other cell phone carriers are not allowed to block it, and have allowed at&t to do so for many many years with never any ruling or lawsuit saying otherwise.


Verizon is allowed to block tethering on the unlimited plan.  Verizon cannot throttle or reprioritise.  But they did prohibit tethering unless customers paid a $30 additional fee on the unlimited plans.  This means those who are grandfathered with unlimited plans are paying $90 for a plan for talk and text, $50 for an unlimited data plan and $30 for the use of tethering.  $170 for one line, not including text, taxes or phone.  

The ability to buy the $30 tethering option was removed before the unlimited data plan ended and cannot be added to plans that have unlimited data anymore.  

 

The only option Verizon was left with to control a handful of abusive users, many of which were using hundreds of gigs a month, was to terminate their service.  In the past year Verizon started a campaign to get rid of the abusers.  First by raising the unlimited plan cost by $20.   Then notifying customers that if they used over 100 gigs a month they might have their service terminated.  

 

 

(The following is included after all posts to save typing) I don’t work for AT&T. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. Our answers are honest, but not always appreciated. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.
Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
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Message 6 of 17
Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Using Hotspot with an Unlimited Wireless Plan

@lizdance40 I may be misreading what I saw. Here is where I was getting that from.

http://lifehacker.com/5933152/the-right-to-tether-what-the-verizonfcc-settlement-means-to-you
Message 7 of 17
ACE - Sage

Re: Using Hotspot with an Unlimited Wireless Plan


@rightofpassage wrote:
@lizdance40 I may be misreading what I saw. Here is where I was getting that from.

http://lifehacker.com/5933152/the-right-to-tether-what-the-verizonfcc-settlement-means-to-you

Go about half way down the page where it addresses the grandfathered unlimited data plan.  

Verizon has no right to prevent tethering for those paying by the gig or to charge extra to use that data.  This didn't apply to unlimited data plans, which by the date of that article were already gone.

Verizon (jerks that they are) was charging people $2.99 a month on limited 2 - 5 gig plans to use their tethering feature.  Smart consumers were downloading apps to get around the Verizon feature.  

Kind of like why would anyone pay to use ATT navigator when there are so many free apps?  

 

 

(The following is included after all posts to save typing) I don’t work for AT&T. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. Our answers are honest, but not always appreciated. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.
Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 8 of 17
Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Using Hotspot with an Unlimited Wireless Plan

I gotcha. That makes sense.
Message 9 of 17

Re: Using Hotspot with an Unlimited Wireless Plan

Tethering has a standard definition. It's definition does not vary from carrier to carrier. Point is, blocking, throttling, or penalizing customers for using a feature if the hardware they own and using the data they are buying, simply so they are forced to purchase other services from you, is unethical and illegal. I recently had to buy the att unlimited data plan because att was unable to honor the contract I had with them with my uverse and dtv bundle. This is no different than telling home Internet customers they have to buy a service to use a wireless router and pay per device connected to it.
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Message 10 of 17
Highlighted
ACE - Sage

Re: Using Hotspot with an Unlimited Wireless Plan


@DecimateClout wrote:
Tethering has a standard definition. It's definition does not vary from carrier to carrier. Point is, blocking, throttling, or penalizing customers for using a feature if the hardware they own and using the data they are buying, simply so they are forced to purchase other services from you, is unethical and illegal. I recently had to buy the att unlimited data plan because att was unable to honor the contract I had with them with my uverse and dtv bundle. This is no different than telling home Internet customers they have to buy a service to use a wireless router and pay per device connected to it.

@DecimateClout

I suppose you buy the all you can eat buffet, and then let everyone eat off your plate too?

 

The FCC defines unlimited data as an unlimited amount of data used by one device only.  

Tethering is sharing with multiple devices.   The FCC also does not require a certain quality or speed of data, which means the data does not have to be at LTE speeds.  

https://www.wired.com/2015/06/fcc-reminds-att-insane-offer-unlimited-data/

 

 

 

(The following is included after all posts to save typing) I don’t work for AT&T. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. Our answers are honest, but not always appreciated. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.
Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 11 of 17
ACE - Expert

Re: Using Hotspot with an Unlimited Wireless Plan


@DecimateClout wrote:
This is no different than telling home Internet customers they have to buy a service to use a wireless router and pay per device connected to it.

So it's like cable TV, where you need a box per TV (device) and pay for each one.

 

@DecimateClout wrote:
Point is, blocking, throttling, or penalizing customers for using a feature if the hardware they own and using the data they are buying, simply so they are forced to purchase other services from you, is unethical and illegal.

If you buy a fixed amount of data, AT&T lets you tether it; if you want the unlimited spout of data you agree to not tether it and use it per device. This is a choice that you make between the services.

 

100GB of data without tethering is $100. 100GB without tethering is $450. You decide what it's worth to you.

 


@DecimateClout wrote:
I recently had to buy the att unlimited data plan because att was unable to honor the contract I had with them with my uverse and dtv bundle. 

AT&T does not require you to be their customer. You are not forced to buy unlimited data from them. It's not like they won't sell you metered data....

 

 

 

 

 

  • Rember the Golden Rule: Treat others how you would like to be treated.
  • Just because my answer does not solve your issue (or agree with you), it may still be correct information...
  • Stating a fact about how something works, is NOT taking sides, it's just stating a fact...
  • Information provided might not be for "you" only, it might be clarification for other community members.
  • This is the public AT&T Community Forum (not AT&T support), please do not post personal info.
  • When provided an answer, please click "Accept solution" which helps other people to find an answer more quickly.
The (very) fine print - This footer is at the bottom of all my posts, its particulars may, or may not, apply to you & your post.
Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
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Message 12 of 17

Re: Using Hotspot with an Unlimited Wireless Plan

That is not an accurate comparison, as I will be using the data that I buy.
Not sharing the data with other individuals. Your comparison is equivalent
of going to said buffet and being required to buy a service to have eating
utensiles. I bought my device, I own it, just as I own it's ability to
allow other devices to connect to it. You use a smart watch? That's
tethering. Fit bit? Tethering, Apple watch? Tethering. It's using your
devices Internet connection. Connect a laptop to write a report? Well,
that's also tethering.
Message 13 of 17
ACE - Sage

Re: Using Hotspot with an Unlimited Wireless Plan

@DecimateClout

The Apple Watch, and fit bit do not use data and are connected by bluetooth. They are mirroring a device.   You can mirror a phone on a big screen, but that is also not tethering as it requires a common wifi connection to make it work.  (FYI, I have an ASUS zen watch.  It is Bluetooth connected, just like a speaker.  Is uses no data)

 A smartwatch is required to have its own data plan and is not using data from another device.  Customers who have unlimited data plans and want to add a smart watch are required to add a $10 device and a $30 data plan to a grandfathered plan.  

 

The analogy of all you can eat buffet is exactly right.  Each device = an individual on an all you can use plan.   

One phone can use all it wants on an unlimited data plan.

One person can eat all they want at an all you can eat buffet.

In neither case is sharing allowed.

 

(The following is included after all posts to save typing) I don’t work for AT&T. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. Our answers are honest, but not always appreciated. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.
Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 14 of 17
ACE - Expert

Re: Using Hotspot with an Unlimited Wireless Plan


@DecimateClout wrote:
That is not an accurate comparison, as I will be using the data that I buy.
Not sharing the data with other individuals. 

No, you're sharing it with other devices. Devices capable of using data withour your intervention. 

 

Your comparison is equivalent
of going to said buffet and being required to buy a service to have eating
utensiles.

It's really not...

 

But even if it was, it's your choice if you want to go to that buffer.

 

You know, I think most people see the point you are attempting to make, but that's not the agreement you make when you choose an unlimited data plan. 

 

What it comes down to is your way is not the way AT&T wants to do this. AT&T is a-okay with you choosing not to buy their service. 

 

You use a smart watch? That's
tethering. Fit bit? Tethering, Apple watch? Tethering. It's using your
devices Internet connection. Connect a laptop to write a report? Well,
that's also tethering.

So you're comparing the amount of data a watch uses to connecting a laptop? 

 

If you want to get technical, an Apple Watch is not the same as tethering as it doesn't require the hotspot function to be activated.

 

Here's the thing, I tether. I'd be more than happy to get unlimited data and get free tethering (so if you win and change the industry, I win too!), but I do understand it does NOT work that way. It's pretty simple actually. 

 

 

  • Rember the Golden Rule: Treat others how you would like to be treated.
  • Just because my answer does not solve your issue (or agree with you), it may still be correct information...
  • Stating a fact about how something works, is NOT taking sides, it's just stating a fact...
  • Information provided might not be for "you" only, it might be clarification for other community members.
  • This is the public AT&T Community Forum (not AT&T support), please do not post personal info.
  • When provided an answer, please click "Accept solution" which helps other people to find an answer more quickly.
The (very) fine print - This footer is at the bottom of all my posts, its particulars may, or may not, apply to you & your post.
Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 15 of 17
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