Skip to main content

    AT&T will throttle "unlimited" cellular data plans on October 1st

    AT&T will throttle "unlimited" cellular data plans on October 1st

    Share this story

    If you buy something from a Verge link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

    Bad news for AT&T customers with a grandfathered unlimited data plan: starting October 1st, the carrier's going to squelch speeds for what it's calling the "top 5 percent of heaviest data users." We're not sure what it takes to become one of the elite, but AT&T suggests that you'd have to be "streaming very large amounts of video and music daily" to be considered for a cap, and that even unlucky users will receive multiple notices of their allegedly bad behavior and receive a grace period. Still, it puts AT&T in the unenviable position of being seen handcuffing its users at every turn. With AT&T, your choices as a consumer will be these: capped DSL and U-Verse landline connections, tiered cellular plans up to 4GB, or a supposedly "unlimited" grandfathered (or dumbphone) connection with potentially throttled speeds. That's not to say that AT&T's alone in forgetting what words mean, though -- T-Mobile's notoriously been throttling for months, even as it likes to call its plans "truly unlimited" in polite company.

    Source: AT&T, via Los Angeles Times