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AT&T has quietly changed the way it slows down your ‘unlimited’ LTE data

Published May 7th, 2015 8:30AM EDT
AT&T Unlimited Data Throttling

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Good news for AT&T subscribers who have “unlimited” data plans: It seems that the carrier isn’t going to slow down your connection speed unless you’re using a congested cell site. Ars Technica flags a recent change in AT&T’s network management policy in which the company specifically states that “customers on a 3G or 4G smartphone or on a 4G LTE smartphone with an unlimited data plan who have exceeded 3 gigabytes (3G/4G) or 5 gigabytes (4G LTE) of data in a billing period may experience reduced speeds when using data services at times and in areas that are experiencing network congestion.”

RELATED: T-Mobile will slow down your ‘unlimited’ LTE data in some circumstances – here are the details

This is different from before because AT&T used to claim the right to throttle “unlimited” LTE data once users exceeded certainly limits for the duration of billing cycles. Now it seems that once your connection moves off a congested site or once the site you’re on is no longer congested, you’ll be returned to your normal LTE data speeds.

AT&T is being sued by the Federal Trade Commission for allegedly deceived consumers with claims of “unlimited” LTE data when in reality the carrier will slow down your connection speeds at certain points. It’s unknown whether AT&T’s policy change is at all related to the FTC’s charges.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.