AT&T announced last week that it was no longer providing unlimited data to its $30/month customer base. Once users reach 3GB per billing period, their speeds will be slowed significantly. Right now 5% of users will be impacted, but that percentage is sure to rise. AT&T customers have three options: (1) be more careful with their device settings and use WiFi as much as possible (as opposed to the 3G or 4G AT&T network), (2) switch to a different billing plan and pay higher monthly rates to get the same speeds as they did under the original plan and (3) switch to other carriers. Sprint is the only other carrier with an unlimited data plan and, unless they see a surge in customers, one would guess that they will be next in line to generate more revenue from network users.
In the short term, I imagine there will be some very upset, unhappy people. But as broadband gets more and more available and runs at faster and faster speeds, one must question how much value AT&T's proprietary network will generate.
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