AT&T's recent throttling policy hasn't been popular with its customers, but they hope to score some brownie points with a new plan that would allow developers to pay for a user's data consumption while using an app. The idea is for app developers to foot part of people's data bills in hopes customers will make more in-app purchases. AT&T’s network and technology head John Donovan told the The Wall Street Journal that it would be like using a toll-free 1-800 number.
“A feature that we’re hoping to have out sometime next year is the equivalent of 800 numbers that would say, if you take this app, this app will come without any network usage”
Pro-tem Judge Russell Nadel said it isn't fair for AT&T to slow down a person's iPhone after selling them an "unlimited data" plan.
According to a statement released by AT&T they only throttle "the top five percent of the heaviest data users." iPhone users who are approaching the the top five receive a message that advises them to use Wi-Fi to avoid "reduced speeds." AT&T's throttling policy didn't sit well with many customers, and it even caused one man to take the carrier to small claims court.
An unemployed truck driver and student sued AT&T after they throttled his iPhone and he won. Matt Spaccarelli was awarded $850 in a California small claims court. This could spell trouble for AT&T who does not allow its 17 million customers with unlimited data plans to consolidate their claims into a class action suit.
9to5Mac republished a video about data throttling which caused AT&T to respond to irate customer complaints. The video created by AppAdvice shows how data throttling can reduce your downlink speed to as low as 0.1MBps. While data throttling doesn't affect everyone, it can be very annoying to the people who have experienced it. It can cause long connection times, slow data transfer speeds and so on.
After the comments section on both 9to5Mac and YouTube started filling up with complaints, AT&T responded by saying, "throttling only applies to top users with grandfathered unlimited plans."
You can read AT&T's full response and watch the data throttling test below.