AT&T to throttle data speeds for 'unlimited' hogs

July 30th, 2011 By PETER SVENSSON , AP Technology Writer in Technology / Telecom

(AP) -- AT&T Inc. said Friday that it's going to start limiting speeds for the 5 percent of its customers with "unlimited" data smartphone plans who clog the airwaves the most.

The measure will take effect Oct. 1, AT&T said, and is intended to alleviate congestion on the network.

T-Mobile USA already throttles users who go over certain limits for data consumption.

AT&T stopped signing up new customers for "unlimited" plans last year. Instead, it now lets heavy users pay extra when they go over a certain data allotment.

Verizon Wireless also recently stopped signing up new customers for unlimited service.

AT&T says it will warn users when they are approaching joining the top 5 percent, and anyone subject to the speed limits will experience them until the next billing cycle starts.

The Dallas-based phone company says that what puts someone in the top 5 percent is usually streaming video or playing some online games.

AT&T won't count data use over Wi-Fi, just usage over the cellular network.

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"AT&T to throttle data speeds for 'unlimited' hogs." July 30th, 2011. http://phys.org/news/2011-07-atampampt-throttle-unlimited-hogs.html