AT&T announced today that it's throttling back the speed that the highest-usage unlimited data subscribers can use on the network.
Starting Oct. 1, these high-use customers could experience reduced speeds on AT&T network once they've hit a data limit for the month. They'll still be able to access data, but at a much slower speed. The company said that it would provide notices and a grace period before cutting back on the user's speed. It'll be restored to full strength at the beginning of the customer's next billing cycle.
AT&T says that this only affects 5 percent of the heavier data users on the service. These people use more than 12 times the rest of data users combined. As 9to5Mac reported, Verizon and Virgin have also adopted similar plans to deal with bandwidth hogs. While AT&T hasn't released its data threshold, 9to5Mac gives Virgin's, which is 256Kb/s once you've reached a 2.5 GB limit. It wouldn't be shocking to see AT&T have a similar limit. Most likely, the upper threshold will be around 4GB, which is the company's top-tier data plan at this time.
*Verizon is currently in the process of acquiring AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.