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AT&T Boosts Unlimited Plan 'Throttling' Trigger to 22 GB

AT&T has updated its maximum bit rate reduced speed threshold trigger from 5 gigabytes to 22 gigabytes

The company had been telling unlimited data plan users that if they exceeded 5 GB of data per month, they might experience "reduced data speeds and increased latency during periods of congestion."

In its disclosure statement online, the company said it had recently made a change and that slowing speeds or increased latency would only be triggered after exceeding 22 gigs in a billing period and only during peak usage periods. AT&T also said it would give customers a heads up when they had reached 75% of that threshold (16.5 GB) so they could "adjust" their usage to avoid the potential impact.

AT&T does not limit usage, or charge more for exceeding the threshhold.

In June, the FCC proposed fining AT&T $100 million (http://www.multichannel.com/news/mobile/fcc-proposes-100-million-fine-ag...)--AT&T is fighting it--for billing plans as unlimited when they were slowing speeds for some customers who reached those maximum thresholds. The FCC said that violated Open Internet transparency rules.

AT&T countered that it had provided notice of the practice-- which it pointed out the FCC had said was reasonable management--in multiple ways and going well beyond the FCC’s disclosure requirements.”

AT&T no longer offers unlimited plans, so the change only applies to grandfathered unlimited plans.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.