Smartphone users who believed that the FCC’s recent love of net neutrality meant that AT&T would stop throttling their devices with “unlimited” plans when they hit 5GB are finding that the situation is complicated, to say the least.
When AT&T customers with unlimited plans hit 5GB of usage, the company reduces their speed to a crawl. Some sources have claimed to see speeds on par with dial-up service when the speed bump is in place. Big Blue’s policy is to restrict a customer’s speed until the end of the month, regardless of the actual congestion of the network.
The FTC is currently suing over the issue, but AT&T is arguing the lawsuit is out of the jurisdiction of the agency because of the recent net neutrality ruling. In addition the FCC does allow for throttling in cases where there is actual congestion; AT&T’s said it will change its policies to only throttle customers on affected cell towers “sometime” in 2015.
The FCC’s ruling also makes accommodations for “reasonable network management,” which means companies that offer internet service could make the argument that its heaviest users should be subject to throttling.
While Verizon Wireless tried to instituting a similar plan using the network management argument, it was stopped because of a specific ban on the activity that was a condition of a block of spectrum the company had purchased.
Via Ars Technica.