Tag Archives: Data plan

New report rips a hole into AT&T’s justification for throttling its ‘unlimited’ data users

[Jon Brodkin,Ars Technica] finds that AT&T’s usual excuse for why it’s throttling “unlimited” customers’ plans — namely, that it needs to slow down their data consumption to manage network congestion — doesn’t hold up because AT&T is throttling these customers at all hours and not just during peak traffic hours. “4G LTE customers with unlimited plans aren’t throttled until they reach 5GB of data,” Brodkin writes. “However, these customers are throttled for the remainder of the month at all times of the day and night regardless of whether the network is congested.” – Brad Reed,BGR
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T-Mobile agrees to help users accurately test for reduced data speeds

T-Mobile will begin giving its customers clearer information about when they’re placed on reduced data speeds. Under a new agreement with the Federal Communications Commission, T-Mobile will provide customers with a link to a speed test when they’re placed on reduced data speeds so that they can accurately see what kind of service they’re getting. The updated policy was announced today and will go into effect within 60 days. […] T-Mobile will take a number of other actions to clarify its reduced speed policies. T-Mobile already sends customers a text message to inform them when they’ve used up their high-speed data allotment and are being moved onto reduced speeds, and it’ll modify the language in those messages to note that some speed tests only show full network speeds. The messages will also better explain what type of speeds customers can expect. T-Mobile will also update its website to better explain its speed test policies and will provide a button on customers’ phones that will direct them to an accurate test. – Jacob Kastrenakes,The Verge
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T-Mobile Doubles The Number Of Music Streaming Services That Don’t Count Towards Data Caps

T-Mobile has today doubled the number of streaming music services supported with its recently launched “Music Freedom” program which allows the company’s customers to stream music from a variety of apps without counting towards their data caps. T-Mobile announced this feature in June with a limited number of services, including then only “top” industry players like Pandora, iTunes Radio, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Slacker, Rhapsody and others. Now the company says it has added 14 others, which doubles the number of providers in the program. The new services include Google Play Music, Xbox Music, SoundCloud, RadioTunes, Live365, Mad Genius Radio, RadioPup, radio.com, as well as smaller, specialty services focused on music genres like FIT Radio (for the gym), Fresca Radio (Latin, Hispanic and Caribbean music), JAZZRADIO.com, ROCKRADIO.com, and Saavn (Bollywood and Indian music). – Sarah Perez,TechCrunch
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The FTC is suing AT&T for throttling customers with unlimited data

The Federal Trade Commission, which worked closely with the Federal Communications Commission on the case, alleges that AT&T didn’t clearly articulate its throttling policy in marketing materials. The carrier importantly failed to impart the implications to customers who renewed their contracts, violating the FTC Act when it charged those who canceled their contracts after seeing reduced speeds. AT&T made a more egregious transgression in the seemingly arbitrary way it reduced bandwidth. The FTC estimates that roughly 3.5 million customers were impacted more than 25 million times over several years, many without notice or explanation. Their speed was repeatedly cut to dial-up levels on an average of 12 days out of the month, making services like Web browsing, GPS navigation, and video streaming nearly impossible to use. – Kyle Wiggers,Digital Trends 
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Wireless data caps are a massive crock, and carriers know it

“After Sprint offered ‘double the high-speed data’ on its network, 20GB per month for family plans, AT&T responded by doubling data, too, through shared plans of 30GB to 100GB a month,” [Jon Brodkin,Ars Technica] writes. “Verizon doubled its own customers’ data, while Sprint offered yet another doubling to stay ahead of AT&T and Verizon. Suddenly, network constraints had apparently disappeared. Where did all this extra capacity come from? The carriers’ networks didn’t double in size overnight. The capacity was always there — carriers just weren’t allowing customers to use it until one decided to boost data and the others followed. – Brad Reed,BGR
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Verizon Backs Off New Data Throttling Policy After FCC Pressure

Verizon Wireless has ditched its controversial plan to begin slowing down data speeds for certain customers, just as the new policy was about to take effect, […]. The reversal by Verizon comes after Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler criticized the new plan, and represents a small, if clear, victory for the FCC chief. In a statement, Wheeler praised Verizon’s decision to abandon the plan, which many critics called tantamount to “throttling.” […] The big wireless providers like Verizon and AT&T vehemently oppose the application of net neutrality to their networks, and it’s possible that Verizon’s decision to drop its “network optimization” plan represents a tactical concession designed to ward of tougher regulation under the FCC’s new Open Internet rules. – Sam Gustin,MOTHERBOARD
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Netflix Is Considering Shorter Clips to Jumpstart Mobile Streaming

According to Gigaom, Netflix is testing ways to shrink down some of its streaming content to help boost mobile use. Netflix design manager Dantley Davis revealed the plan this Thursday. However, the company has no interest in butting heads with viral videos sites, like YouTube or Vimeo, and are definitely not flirting with the idea of user-submitted content. Instead, Netflix would trim the best scenes from films, stand-up comedy specials, and TV shows already its streaming collection. – Darren Orf,Gizmodo
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Data plans are the biggest obstacle to mobile video’s future

46 percent of consumers believe the data cost for accessing video on mobile devices is too high, according to the report, which Ericsson released this week. Interestingly enough, there is a close second reason: 45 percent of consumers think that the cost of content is too high. Still, smart phones are on the rise as a video consumption device, while desktop PCs are declining. – Janko Roettgers,Gigaom
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