Sprint was criticized by several technology news sites for marketing a new $20 per month plan yesterday as "unlimited" even though after 1 GB of high-speed data usage, customers will see their speeds reduced to 2G speeds for the remainder of their billing cycle. Sprint counters that it is providing customers with choice and will not charge overage fees, and that if customers want more high-speed data, they can simply purchase more.
Verizon Wireless customers who have managed to hang onto unlimited data plans will not see their speeds throttled even if they use large amounts of data, according to Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo.
Sprint said it will start throttling the speeds of customers on its unlimited smartphone data plans who use more than 23 GB of data in a billing cycle for the remainder of their billing cycle, but only at times and locations where the network is constrained.
AT&T Mobility quietly increased the amount of data customers on its legacy unlimited data plans can burn through before they see their speeds throttled. Previously, the upper limit was 5 GB but the carrier has increased the threshold to 22 GB in a change that takes effect today.
Verizon Wireless confirmed that in June it quietly stopped throttling the data speeds of customers who were on legacy unlimited data plans on 3G devices and who crossed into the top 5 percent of data users when they were on high-traffic cell sites.
AT&T has called a proposed $100 million fine levied against it by the FCC for alleged throttling "unprecedented and indefensible."
AT&T Mobility hit back hard against the FCC's proposed $100 million fine for not being transparent enough with its grandfathered unlimited data plan customers about how and when their speeds would be reduced if they use too much data. In its formal response to the agency, the carrier called the fine "unprecedented and indefensible" and said a court would toss it out if the FCC decided to levy the penalty.
Sprint quickly dropped a throttling limit on its new "All-In" data plans that limited streaming video to speeds of 600 Kbps after customers loudly complained about the policy.
T-Mobile US said its network management policy of throttling the speeds of smartphone customers on its unlimited LTE plans once they hit 21 GB of data usage in a month and are on congested cell sites is permitted under the FCC's net neutrality rules.
Sprint decided to end its practice of slowing down the data speeds of its heaviest mobile data users after the FCC's net neutrality rules went into effect last Friday. The decision is one of the first concrete impacts of the rules, which apply to wireless networks and bar data throttling except in cases of "reasonable network management."