The newest tactic by AT&T? Start throttling the top 5% of grandfathered unlimited users.
I mean, I’ve been expecting something like this for a while, en route to eliminating unlimited entirely. But their reasoning?
The move, which takes effect on October 1st, is a response to a “serious wireless spectrum crunch,” according to a message issued today. […] Even with this new plan in place, however, the company says that the spectrum problems still won’t be resolved — it does have a simple solution, however, explaining that “nothing short of completing the T-Mobile merger will provide additional spectrum capacity to address these near term challenges.”
Yeah. I put $5 on them not stopping the throttling after the deal goes through.
I’m in Seattle for a few days, and I just saw an AT&T commercial on TV promoting the T-Mobile deal in my hotel room. Basically, all the talking points they gave in their submissions to the FCC, especially the “mobile broadband” thing.
Unfortunately, I can’t find the commercial on YouTube, but I’m not sure why they’re putting these commercials on TV when who they really should be convincing is the FCC and DoJ. And public comment period for the FCC’s already past, so even if people’s minds are changed, they won’t be able to let the FCC know.
The folks up in Canada are also fighting the usage based billing battle, and it seems like Shaw Cable’s competitor to Netflix isn’t subject to the provider’s normal usage caps:
Causing the issue are promises that “the only limit is the number of hours in your day” unlike bandwidth capped streaming from unnamed services like Netflix. While Movie Club viewing over the internet on a PC, tablet or other device is capped just like any other service, access via the cable box is not metered.
This sounds suspiciously like U-Verse TV and phone, which do not count towards caps even though they use IP traffic because people use AT&T’s DVR and the telephone jacks on the Residential Gateway to access those services. I’m taking dibs on when AT&T starts doing something similar.
So Verizon no longer has unlimited data for its mobile phones. This now means that 80% of the mobile phone market in the country (if the T-Mobile deal goes through) no longer has the option of having an uncapped data plan for their smartphones*. Sprint will be the only national carrier that offers unlimited mobile phone data.
And people still think it’s a good idea to reduce competition in the telecommunications industry. Insane.
*Yes, I’m aware that before they made the cap explicit, all the carriers effectively had a 5GB soft cap.