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AT&T Cellphones Communications Handhelds

AT&T To Start Data Throttling Heaviest Users 207

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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  • Ahead of the US (Score:2, Informative)

    by genjix ( 959457 ) on Friday July 29, 2011 @07:01PM (#36928814)

    Here in the UK, this has been already happening with British Telecom (BT) for years.

    I remember being on 'unlimited' dial-up and getting a letter saying that my speeds are going to be throttled at peak times due to heavy bandwidth usage.

    Misrepresentation at it's best.

  • by hsmith ( 818216 ) on Friday July 29, 2011 @07:04PM (#36928838)
    So they plan to make their shit service even worse?
  • RaceToTheBottom tag? (Score:4, Informative)

    by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Friday July 29, 2011 @07:23PM (#36929002) Homepage

    It's always another ratcheted step in their race to the bottom. One of them pulls some kind of stunt, waits for backlash... if it's sufficiently small enough, they keep it and their increased benefits. The others will follow suit as they see they can do it and get away with it as well.

    This will keep going on and on until we see some legislation to stop it. And before anyone says "but we don't need any more laws!" I would like to hear what ELSE could make them change their behavior? No significant numbers of people will stop using their services because of it. So what else is there but law?

  • by roman_mir ( 125474 ) on Friday July 29, 2011 @08:25PM (#36929398) Homepage Journal

    something to look at [mises.org]

    The biggest myth of all in this regard is the notion that telephone service is a natural monopoly. Economists have taught generations of students that telephone service is a "classic" example of market failure and that government regulation in the "public interest" was necessary. But as Adam D. Thierer recently proved, there is nothing at all "natural about the telephone monopoly enjoyed by AT&T for so many decades; it was purely a creation of government intervention."

    Once AT&T's initial patents expired in 1893, dozens of competitors
    sprung up. "By the end of 1894 over 80 new independent competitors had already grabbed 5 percent of total market share . . . after the turn of the century, over 3,000 competitors existed. In some states there were over 200 telephone companies operating simultaneously. By 1907, AT&T's competitors had captured 51 percent of the telephone market and prices were being driven sharply down by the competition. Moreover, there was no evidence of economies of scale, and entry barriers were obviously almost nonexistent, contrary to the standard account of the theory of natural monopoly as applied to the telephone industry"

    The eventual creation of the telephone monopoly was the result of
    a conspiracy between AT&T and politicians who wanted to offer "universal telephone service" as a pork-barrel entitlement to their constituents. Politicians began denouncing competition as "duplicative," "destructive," and "wasteful," and various economists were paid to attend congressional hearings in which they somberly declared telephony a natural monopoly.

    "There is nothing to be gained by competition in the local telephone business," one congressional hearing concluded.

    The crusade to create a monopolistic telephone industry by govern-
    ment fiat finally succeeded when the federal government used World War I as a n excuse to nationalize the industry in 1918. AT&T still operated its phone system, but it was controlled by a government commission headed by the Postmaster General. Like so many other instances of government regulation, AT&T quickly "capturedn the regulators and used the regulatory apparatus to eliminate its competitors. "By 1925 not only had virtually every state established strict rate regulation guidelines, but local telephone competition was either discouraged or explicitly prohibited
    within many of those jurisdictions."

    The complete demise of competition in the industry, Thierer con-
    cludes, was brought about by the following forces: exclusionary licensing policies; protected monopolies for "dominant carriers"; guaranteed revenues or regulated phone companies; the mandated government policy of "universal telephone entitlement" which called for a single provider to more easily carry out regulatory commands; and rate regulation designed to achieve the socialistic objective of "universal service."

    That free-market competition was the source of the telephone monopoly in the early twentieth century is the biggest lie ever told by the economics profession. The free market never "failed"; it was government that failed to permit free-market competition as it concocted its corporatist scheme to the benefit of the phone companies, a t the expense of consumers and potential competitors.

  • by nebular ( 76369 ) on Friday July 29, 2011 @09:17PM (#36929676)

    Wind Mobile does this in Canada. They say you have unlimited but if you go over 2GB, I think, they de-prioritize you and you get throttled if the network needs you throttled.

    I agree with it completely, so long as they tell everyone exactly where the line is

Competence, like truth, beauty, and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder. -- Dr. Laurence J. Peter