There's a war on unlimited data being fought as we speak, and Ma Bell is leading the main charge. Just days after AT&T announced it would begin throttling data speeds for the heaviest bandwidth hogs grandfathered into the carrier's no-limit internet service, it's also confirmed it's ready to crack the whip on illegal tethering as well. In attempt to achieve "fairness for all of [its] customers," the carrier has added a bit of force behind its March announcement, sending out notices to anyone using their jailbroken iPhones as a mobile hotspot. The gist? Cut it out or be scaled back to a tiered data plan. In a statement originally given to 9to5mac, an AT&T spokesperson said:
Earlier this year, we began sending letters, emails, and text messages to a small number of smartphone customers who use their devices for tethering but aren't on our required tethering plan. Our goal here is fairness for all of our customers. (This impacts a only small percentage of our smartphone customer base.)
The letters outline three choices:
1. Stop tethering and keep their current plan (including grandfathered unlimited plan)
2. Proactively call AT&T or visit our stores and move to the required tethering plan 3. Do nothing and we'll go ahead and add the tethering plan on their behalf - after the dated noted in their customer notification
We reached out to AT&T and confirmed that this statement is indeed true. Consider this the company's last warning -- your time to enjoy all-you-can-eat tethering is almost at an end. How soon the day of reckoning will come, however, likely depends on when you received the notification originally. And you thought you were being so sneaky...