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AT&T Cellphones Communications Handhelds

AT&T To Start Data Throttling Heaviest Users 207

Posted by timothy
from the sounds-like-a-martial-arts-demonstration dept.
greymond writes "AT&T has announced that starting on Oct. 1 it will throttle the data speeds of users with unlimited data plans who exceed bandwidth thresholds on its 3G network. AT&T is following in the tracks Verizon and Virgin Mobile in reducing data throughput speeds of its heaviest mobile data users."
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AT&T To Start Data Throttling Heaviest Users

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  • by Mia'cova (691309) on Friday July 29, 2011 @07:15PM (#36928932)

    I hate how these statistics are worded to vilify these users. First, it's the top 5% vs the average of the other 95%. Hell, they don't even filter out the bottom 5% to balance that out who likely use close to zero data. By removing the top 5% from the average, the average is going to be reduced dramatically, unlike the median would be. 2nd, the services they claim as being the data hogs are the same services that are most heavily advertised. And when defined this way, even if top users find more efficient ways to get their content, eg pandora starts to cache up to 2 hours of songs in advance whenever connected to wifi, there will always be a top 5%. Without setting actual hard limits, eg 50x the median user's usage of the previous month, it's impossible to know where you stand without much greater transparency. It's also frustrating that off-peak usage and edge/hspa/lte are costed the same. 1GB on edge is obviously more destructive to the network than 1GB on LTE.

    Overall, it's a system that is somewhat fair but doesn't offer the user the tools or opportunity to optimize their usage. It's in everyone's best interest to maximize available bandwidth. The networks need to make the users partners rather than enemies. For example, have an unlimited plan with peak-usage throttling and offer rebates, free music/apps/whatever bonuses to good network citizens. If there was an actual thank you and reward for downloading/pre-caching my music rather than streaming it, I'd certainly prefer that option. But if they only punish, I'm going to give them the middle-finger and abuse 'their' network.

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