AT&T "Top 5%" data user throttled down to 2G speeds

Top 5% of data users on AT&T starting to see speeds throttled

AT&T has been warning the top 5% of iPhone data users on their network for a while now that they'd start throttling their speeds. TiPb reader David, who previously got the infamous SMS nasty-gram, just received it again and since then can't seem to get download speeds any faster than an EDGE-like 150Kbps.

His friends and co-workers are still getting full speed, ruling out a tower problem.

I called AT&T because I thought it was an issue with them and I did a trouble shooting session on the phone. After finishing they asked if I received any text from them and I replied "yes" and told them which one and that's when AT&T told me "problem solved". I asked how do I go from 14mbps to straight EDGE, bypassing 7.2mbps, and they couldn't reply

Are you one of the top 5% who've previously received warnings from AT&T? Have you experienced any throttling this severe?

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

More Posts



← Previously

Daily Deal: Mobi Products Hard Shell Case for iPhone 4S, iPhone 4 only $4.95

Next up →

Grand Central Apple Store location set to open on Dec 9

Reader comments

AT&T "Top 5%" data user throttled down to 2G speeds


Won't there always be a "top 5%"? I mean; there will always be a worst "fill in the blank" in every situation in life.

AT&T Data Throttling
In regards to this message from AT&T 
""""""ATT Free Msg: Your data usage is among the top 5% of users. Data speeds for this bill cycle may be reduced. Visit or call 8663447584.""""""
When you visit the above web site it directs you to buy extra gigs of data at $10.00 per gig. As long as you are paying for it, there is no problem with congestion.  
everybody should use as much data as possible to teach them that we are not giving up in this fight.  Stream anything live as you sleep to really show them what data congestion is all about. 

I have been 5%'d 3 months in a row... Of course I am livid... I am curious why I am not seeing 5%ers posted up outside of AT&T retail shops picketing, protesting, being heard.?.. Nothing gets a quicker response than mass amounts LOUD bad press and negative ATTention! Coming to chat forums and bickering amongst your selves is a very, VERY quiet and ultimately meaningless form of protest...
Corporations will bully consumers, corporations will force 3rd world slave labor conditions, corporations will pollute rivers, lakes, Forrest's etc. corporations will do everything that a cockroach will do as long as the lights are off. Bright lights, exposure, bad press, disclosure, these are what corporations fear... Bring the issue to AT&T's front door. Force every potential new client walking into a retail location to hear the truth. Be heard, call news stations to cover your protests! Be loud! Be fearless! Most importantly stop being the victim, be the empowered victor in the revolution!!!!!

Yes! I have trouble loding my netflix app now, it plays for like 15 seconds then it stops for another 10 seconds.... It's really annoying.... So much for unlimited 3G!!

You never had "unlimited 3G", even if you have the "unlimited" data plan it's still got a cap around the 5GB mark before ( contractually ) they can start throttling you.

A lot of people are commenting on the caps and what our contract states, which I think is definitely irrelevant to the main issue.
I've been with AT&T & Apple for over 3 yrs using the same apps such as Pandora and Netflix and never had an issue. The AT&T Rep. explained to me that the cap has always been there and the only difference is they are now making it public.
I never dealt with all the pauses and freezing that I am currently dealing with since the text messages begin that informs me when I have reach the top 5%. The fact is, this is just a new way for AT&T to get more money. The Rep. explained to me that if switch my unlimited data plan to a limited one and just pay extra fee's when I go over than I wouldn't have to deal with throttling. If this makes sense to all the people who are pro throttling than please feel free to pay the additional fee's necessary on my bill to stop my throttling.

if their top 5% of data users leave, ATT will be happy with less network load, it won't solve the issue.

And people with unlimited plans pay that price. Sure it's only five bucks more (than the 2GB plan), but if AT&T can't actually provide unlimited data they shouldn't have advertised and sold unlimited data plans.

I agree @George, Throttling your data LIMITS your access to the network, this contradicts an "Unlimited" plan

You can easily do that just by be a frequent streamer of music, particularly Pandora but also now this iTunes Match scheme that Apple just launched.

I have no sympathy either if it improves data speeds and capacity of the tower for everyone either.
They "top 5%" are the people who are truly abusing the data. And yes,there will always be a top 5% who are true abusers as they will always find a new tethering app or way to try to beat the system ruining it for the other 95% of us.

What the problem with tethering your phone. Why cant u use your phone how u want. You r already paying a overpriced premium for service on AT&T. Use that damn money to increase bandwidth and shut the hell up. Maybe people should just dump att for Verizon or sprint.

I am a CSR rep for AT&T. We are allowed to disclose if you have been "hotlined" for exceeding threshold for top 5% of data users. In my experience, this is an extremely hight amount of usage. Usuall a minimum of 10-15gb of data usage in a month.
We have been informed, and it is public knowledge, that if you exceed the top 5%, data speeds will be reduced. The actual speed reduction has not been disclosed.

I got sent the message last month just after I hit 5 gigs it was the first time I used more then 4 gigs in a month since I started using google music to stream from the cloud its so nice my home internet just put a cap of 200 gigs so now I have to watch that as well since I cant upload all my music to google I am having to do some this month then next. No such thing as unlimited anymore and just as speeds are going up and more stuff is going online. I just did not like that At&t says its the top 5% if its 5 gigs then just say that no need to come up with a bogus pr blitz to make people think its just people that are abusing. I stream music in the car and at home im on wifi I hate to use my work network if I want to listen to music at work but to not get dropped to 2g I might have to be on wifi more then I am the 3g so then not sure why I pay at&t I could just get a ipod touch and not pay at&t $100 bucks a month plus that I dont mind paying if they allow me to use there network.

Again, read the above comments. You signed a contract for MAXIMUM 5GB of 3G data.
Also the DATA is unlimited, NOT specifically 3G data. There is no contractual promise to provide unlimited 3G data.
So we should feel bad people people who didnt bother to read the conditions of what they signed up for now?
Abusers are abusers of the system, period.

Yea, and they said they are throttling the "top 5%", which means there could be a lot more than those "top 5%" going over that 5GB "MAXIMUM" or there could be a lot less than 5% going over that "MAXIMUM" of 5GB. "Top 5%" is a sliding scale, not a hard limit like 5GB.

when your sign up for 3g service its kinda implied that is what your going to be using. no more fine print bull shit companies should spell out the terms clear as a bell no fine print no half truths

Unfortunately, you're absolutely correct. ATT promises to provide unlimited data and they do. At what speeds though, that's where the legal language comes in. Once again, AT&T does not promise 3G speeds…I'm pissed at them too, greedy f...ers, but legally there is not much we can do.

You are ignorant!
ig·no·rant / ˈignərənt / Adjective:
1.Lacking knowledge or awareness in general; uneducated or unsophisticated.
2.Lacking knowledge, information, or awareness about something in particular: "ignorant of astronomy".
NOWHERE on my contract does it state there is a 5 GB cap or soft cap. I was coaxed into AT&T iphone bragging of how web friendly it is. I was told I would have unlimited data (3g where available). I pay for unlimited data plan which has limited speeds. Doesnt sound like unlimited to me. I recieved my message this morning halfway through my billing cycle at about 3.7 GB. I will eventually go to Sprint not sure when though. All you other people ripping on us 5%'ers you just wait. TOP 5% is not a concrete CAP. It is a floating number and when I'm gone YOU wil be the top 5% and crying because they are getting you for going over 1GB of data. KEEP DRINKING THE KOOL-AIDE. SHEEPLE. HERE ATT TAKE ALL MY MONEY AND TELL ME I CANT USE YOUR SERVICES THAT I PAID FOR. SOUNDS LIKE GOOD BUSINESS PLAN.

They need to tell us a limit. 5GB? 10GB? If we know what the cutoff is, we can be sure to stay under it. Otherwise, how do I know if I'm nearing the "top 5%"?
The most I've used was 11GB in July watching the Tour de France every day on the Versus iPad app. I never got the nasty-gram.
I don't think my contract ever mentioned a 5GB limit (or any limit for that matter), but I'll go back and check.

This is so ridiculous with AT&T. Whoever has unlimited data should and do whatever they want with it. Don't blame the player, blame the Game and the Game sucks.

That seems severe. I got throttled once and it was around the 7.2 range. Also the limit appears to be around 10gb since that's when I've received the notices. And the thing is that the data is technically unlimited. Just slower. While I don't agree with AT&T for doing it, 10gb is more than enough for 95% of us. However I feel that AT&T should offer a plan where people who have unlimited data can pay an additional amount to not have reduced speeds. Even I threw up when I had that last thought. Sorry.

What is this 5 GB or 10 GB crap? I am an unlimited user and I got a notice from AT&T after using only 2.4 GB of data last month. In the previous year I've averaged 1 GB per month!!! AT&T are abusing this privlidge and attacking their unlimited users while trying to force them onto either their 2 GB plan or 4 GB plan. It's sickening!!!!! I was on the phone with them explaining that there is no way that 2.4 GB was in the top 5%. They said it was, so there you go! If you are on unlimited, you can be throttled for using as little as 2 GB of data. It's time a revolt against AT&T begins!!! I'm sure not going to stand for this!!!!!!

Same here, I am being throttled and received the same text message this morning. I just checked my usage and it's barely over 2.2gb. WTF???? I'm not gonna let AT&T bully me out of what I paid for...

If you're approaching 15-20GB in a month's time, you are DOING IT WRONG.
Get a hobby, people. Talk to the other humans, maybe throw a ball around with your kid and put the frickin' gadget down for a minute.

I like to use hulu plus and Netflix when I travel , sometimes it goes from 8gbs to 15 gbs a month. But doesn't it mean unlimited is unlimited? Why lie to the customer if you can't promise that your product is unlimited . Jailbroke free

Yes they did... When I signed up for UNLIMITED service, it was unlimited service @ 3G speeds where available...

I work on a tug boat. My unlimited 3G service is the only Internet I have access to for email, web browsing, and streaming and downloading video and music. For those of you who are telling people to "get a job" or "get a life" for using alot of data, stop bein a bunch of a$$hole$. I have a job and a life. Should I get throttled even though I pay my dues? NO. I'm a hard working American who expects to get what he payed for..

Well feel free to dump AT&T then. You just have to pay a little ETF and you can choose whomever you like. Or, build your own wireless network!

I pass 1GB EVERY month and I don't even stream, so what the heck are you doing on your device.
20GB is excessive but otherwise people should be able to use what they pay for.

I got the SMS & Email from AT&T 14 days into my current billing cycle. I had only used just over 2GB of data. It appears as if 2GB of data is the new threshold for users which is a joke. I called AT&T and expressed severe displeasure with their scare tactics to get me off my unlimited plan. They were not even remotely interested in my points........
Sprint looking better each day....

Heres an idea. How about we “throttle” back our payments to AT&T? You know. Send them an im telling them that they are in the top 5% of bills I have to pay each month and therefore I’ll only be sending half payment for this cycle.

It's the same thing tho right? We should at least have the same options as our overlords. :0)

F.U. cus i have a bad ass job and i like to download. I should get what i am payin for. If you or anybody else that does not like that and you do not have an unlimited data plan can eat my shorts and stop talkin mess....

i got the same text message a couple months ago. late at nite i would use my iphone for youtube and such , because thats when id get the highest speed of all...3Mbps if im lucky. so itd make things less frustrating because of less waiting & more watching of content.. but they started to throw me onto EDGE which at best is like 24kB/s making everything unuseable because every app requires internet access. so i was so pissed off but once that week went by, i havent had any EDGE icon popping up.
i use my iPhone essentially as a laptop. unlike my iphone3G, my iPhone4 allows me to be more productive & multi task effectively enough. i use it for email,twitter,facebook,instant messaging, video games, video conferencing, uploading photos, downloading from the app store,itunes, etc. all the usual stuff one does on the iphone. i hardly ever use a computer these days because i can do it quicker on the iphone4 & from
anywhere. but without an internet connection, the iphone is almost useless.
when i first got my iphone3G back in 2008 id use up to 21GB of data usage cause i would use my shiny new iphone all the time. never had issues then other than the phone being a bit slow. bit with the iphone4 and UNLIMITED data....should have no limitations, because the phone can do everything.
i shouldnt be restricted cause AT&T after 4 years still cant get their crap together. they even had the nerve to tell me to downgrade to the 2GB plan !!! im like why would i want less data? that wont stop me from using as much as i do now, itll only allow them to charge me even more money than im already paying.
its bad enough im paying over $80 a month for minutes i dont even use, but now they want to cripple my expensive iphone.
not everyone has wifi access in small towns or in many parts of the city. i cant just find an access point at every block. making it a slap to the facw when they tell me OH JUST USE WIFI FOR EVERTHING.

I stuck with At&t when I got my 4S because of my unlimited plan. I use 4-5Gb a month. I check the weather, iMessage my brother, get news alerts watch some video. If you don't use at least 1Gb maybe your not maximizing your iPhone' s potential.
I regret staying with AT&T more everyday. Some days the data connection is non- existent. Once my brother reaches 65% on his iPad he gets constant warnings from AT&T.

We've had AT&T for several years now, and have never had much to gripe about. My question is, what if your on a family plan and say...a fifteen year old or your spouse have an unlimited plan and they use an excessive amount of data. Does this "throttling" affect the others on the plan?

In related news, let's all deduct 90% from our 'unlimited' data charges each month when we're in places clearly within a coverage map and get NO data. I can list many OUTDOOR spots in downtown Chicago that fit this bill..
Karma's a bit&$, eh?

What if I wanted to download the full contents of my 50GB account into my app over the course of the month while out "in the field" away from WiFi???

Honestly, this is an easy case to win in court for anyone who decides to sue att. They breached contract; u just need a lawyer who has a brain.

Well, the two major draw backs of AT&T's network are poor call quality and a smaller geographical foot print for their 3G network. If you're staying in the areas they have high 3G speeds and don't need to make calls, then you're set!

I am, such bulls**t. i use roughly 2 to 3gb a month, but its been 3 years like this. I called att and spoke to a manager and she told me that what slows your connection down is an automated system. So they can't do anything about even if they wanted too. Sprint might be the option, but i don't know.

Pandora, Netflix, internet, youtube. downloading apps. Its pretty easy, I'm at just over 3gb and i didn't think i ever could get that high. But 3 years ago i paid for unlimited data and i still pay for unlimited data, so besides the fact that i use a lot of data i expect it to be the same as when i first got it.

And this is why AT&T is voted the WORST wireless network in the nation. Need anything else be said. That's why when my contract is up, I'm gone. Buff said.

Wow I got the message last night, this morning reviewed my Data Usage, 1.5GB, called AT&T, they lowered my bill and apologized, yet I have an unlimited Data plan, and I’m paying more than if i bought a 4gb data plan a month, and i never reach anywhere near that amount...What crap, AT&T could NOT explain why i received the message. Ive been put on hold five times, still with no explanation.

In revolt, everyone should download some megafile simultaneously and cripple their network so not-participants will be unable to use data.

My favorite #ATTfail is having a phone rep tell me that streaming Pandora over my vehicle's Bluetooth stereo system is, in fact, considered inappropriate "tethering"...

We are American consumers we should get what we paid for no strings attached
AT&T is wrong for doing this...this could be a class action law suit...let's deal with this issue now because data consumption will only increase
Food for thought

i just got that message. that sad thing is that i only use on average 3-4gb of data a month.

I had the same issue with my galaxy s2 skyrocket. They throttled me at 2 Gb. Speeds was then 150 KB/s. IM up for a class action lawsuit against #attfail. I want what i pay for. Att is full of lies and shit. IM contacting the FCC as well about this

The fact is that streaming is becoming more commom. Music, videos, etc. I like to stream off of Netflix while at work at night. I like to stream music from my PC instead of taking up space on my iPhone drive. Soon others will too and we will all graviatate towards the company that provides us with what we need.

I have to FIGHT THIS!
Its been lots of people reporting that they are getting this message shortly after going over 2gb. There is actually and section on the AT&T suppport site that addresses what is considered the top 5%. In that sections the reply states , “currently the top 5% of users consist of users going over 2gb of use”.
So basically having the old “unlimited” 5gb plan does old customers no good. AT&T just screwed all their long term customers.
How can you penalize an unlimited customer who goes over 2gb during the month when you offer a 4gb tier plan without penalizing them? The threshold should at least be 4gb!!! When I talked to a service they suggested i go to a tier plan. They are clearing pushing us unlimited customers to limited plans or they will limit 3G service to us!!!!This is a class action waiting to happen!!!!!
ATT decided to penalize their unlimited customers because they decided to put "all their eggs" in this T-mobile deal (which is dead)to built their wireless infrastructure instead of building it on their own like Verizon and Sprint. Now their overflowed on the 3G network and we have to suffer. Horrible Customer Relations!

U guys seriously dont use your phones, nowadays. Eerything uses higher data, pandora, netflix, youtube. 1gb of data is absolutetly nothing but 10 to 15 youtube videos alone. And thats a month's worth. Netflix a few movies and your done. I will droop att for another carrier

I agree with people not using their phones. I listen to Pandora daily- at home on my iPhone Dock , at the gym, at work, when I travel, on break at work and/or school. I also watch Netflix, YouTube video's etc. This is in addition to all the applications I have on my phone and games that I have downloaded for my daughter to play while I'm driving in my car. Within the first week I surpass the limit and like clock work receive the text message informing me that I am part of the 5%. I have an iPhone and purchased this phone just for my type of lifestyle. People who don't..whats the point of having this type of phone if you don't even use it. They have simpler phones out there. My contract is up at the end of January and I will switch to Sprint who offers the unlimited data plan at a cheaper price and without the throttle!

i've been with att for 5 years and there answer is always the same. Connect to wifi. Guess what. I don't have wifi. Surprise surprise. My train doesn't have wifi. My job won't let me use there wifi. my car doesn't have wifi. And the prices for my local cable company to provide wifi in my home are rediculous. I was perfectly happy watching my netflix on my phone. Now all of the sudden i get a letter a week into my billing cycle stating i'm in the top 5%... And i'm at 3gigs right now... I'm switching to Sprint as soon as i can figure out how to lawfully break the contract without having to pay. And when i do... i will post to every website i can find how other people can do it to. I have also contacted companies like groupon, living social, yelp, yahoo etc stating that i can't use their services when i need them (costing thme potential sales) because of att's inability to support the people that support them. I got the IPhone for the reasons stated above. TO USE IT.

I've been severely throttled for using 2000mb of data each month, I was told it would reset at the beginning of the month, but I pay for unlimited data so that I can stream podcasts and such in my car. Now I can't even access the internet on my web browser without being connected to wifi. Dumb.

Just got my text message telling me I'm in the 5%... This is my first warning, so they haven't throttled me yet, but will be next month if I'm again identified as a heavy user (this month: 5.4GB with 4 days left in my billing cycle).
I stream music at work, watch a few TV shows over Netflix on my lunch and other breaks, read a lot of tech blogs, FB, G+, Twitter, etc... I don't tether, torrent movies, or otherwise go out of my way to abuse their data. I just use my phone the way I want to and the way my lifestyle permits.
I understand wanting to reign in the abusers to prevent strain on their network, but they've poorly defined at what point Unlimited users are abusing their data plan. What is 5% of top users? Is that by day, by month? If I'm identified as a top 5% on day 10 of my billing period, and the rest of the world goes crazy on their plan on day 20, do I get removed from the top 5%? No, I'm stuck being throttled because at some point in time I was a top 5% user.
If everyone on the Unlimited plan used only 2GB in a billing period, then I'm abusing their network for using 2.01GB? But if in the following month everyone uses 10GB, they're ok with me using 9GB? It's a moving target, and you can't budget usage around a moving target.
And if I switch to a capped plan... What happens if I go over my 2GB limit? I pay $10 more for each 1GB I use and don't get throttled. Ever. They're really not concerned about network usage. they're concerned about the bottom line, and getting the most money out of their customers as they can. As long as you pay money for it, you can use and abuse their network all you want.
The math is simple: 5GB on Unlimited plan = $30 a month and you get throttled. 5GB on a Capped plan = $25 for the first 2GB +$30 for the next 3 GB = $55 with no speed limits. Either way, 5GB of data is being used. So how does this help reduce abuse of the network? You pay to play. I'm fine if that's what they want to do - just be straight up and say it. Don't change the definition of "Unlimited" to serve your hidden agendas.
And for those unclear on the meaning:
un·lim·it·ed [ un límmitəd ]
1.not restricted: without limits, restrictions, or controls
2.infinite: lacking or appearing to lack a boundary or end
3.complete or total: not subject to qualification or exception

I gave the Customer Service Rep. from AT&T that same definition of my unlimited data plan and asked her what part am I wrong in and she couldn't answer me...she just suggested I switch to the limited data plan and pay extra....what a solution!

AT&T has taking all of the enjoyment from the iPhone!!!
I've been an iPhone user for over 3 yrs now and never had these issues with AT&T. A few months an AT&T Rep. tried to convince me to downgrade my unlimited plan because they claimed that no one really uses that much data. I declined the offer to downgrade even when they offered me money off my bill to do so (which sounded a little suspicious to me). Why is AT&T offering to pay me to down grade my plan....and now I see their hidden agenda when I got the first notice of me being in the top 5% of date usage. What is the point of them sending me this message when I have a unlimited data plan!!! I call AT&T asking them what that message was all about and the Customer Service Rep. explained to me that my phone will drastically slow down if I continue to watch Netflix, listen to Pandora, or go on YouTube. So basically they are saying all the advantages I have with having a iPhone AT&T is now taking away from me. I couldn't believe this and I asked them to let me out of my plan and waive the cancellation fee(which of course they declined). When I signed up for AT&T iPhone plan I was under the understanding that I can do all of these things and then some without any interruption if I added the unlimited data plan. After explain to the Representative about how unfair this to the customer she offered me to downgrade my data plan (ONCE AGAIN) to the 2GB and if I go over I will just be charged $5, and my service will not be affected if I go over. I don't know if I understood this and/or even heard her correctly: She just informed me that AT&T found a way to get more money from customers by taking away something that they offered at a set price by causing interference than charging me additional for the same service without the interference which they cause!! I think whoever made this decision with AT&T to do this is absolutely CRAZZZY especially since Verizon as well as Sprint is now carrying the iPhones. I was never loyal to AT&T I was only loyal to Apple and now that AT&T is trying to get more money from and provide the same service is crazy. My contract is up at the end of Janaury and I am going to SPRINT!! Sprint offers unlimited data plan at cheaper cost than AT&T as well as uninterrupted unlimted data plans. SMART DECISION AT&T to open doors of opportunity for your competitors (SARCASM)

Sam as all previous, after 7 days my speed was down to worthless! cannot even connect to the internet most of the time. 2G? Crap, worst than dial-up. Total abuse on AT&T's part, bridge of contract.
Has anyone found out if the Lawsuit started?. I'm sure the MESSAGE was sent to 95% of customers with UNLIMITED DATA PLAN, because I do not use my phone that much. There is no possible way I can be on the top 5% data users. That is the way they want to convince (FORCE) such customers to drop the plan.
Please post as soon as you hear when the Lawsuit starts, this shuld be an easy one for attorneys. I'm sure the slowdown has already happened to many thousends of users in the UNLIMITED DATA PLAN.

I am flaborgasted at ATT,
I am on a family plan and not only did they throttle down my phone I just ran on my phone with the following results .07mbps dl .00mbps up at 2050mb or just over 2gb but they also throttled down my wifes phone and she only used 900mb this billing cycle. So not only do they throttle down your phone but every phone on your plan that is on the same unlim program. Please let there be a suit.

Is there a class action lawsuit yet? I received it this morning and the rep told me to use wi-fi. I informed him that I signed a contract that said unlimited data and was assured I would always have high speeds no matter what. Then he said that changed. I feel this is a easy case, seeing that the amount of usage can change month to month and basically they can do this to you whenever that choose to, no matter the usage. I read one person got this msg for 5gb I didn't receive it till 10 so that doesn't make sense or fair. If there is no suit how does one start one.

Also I hate when people say abusers of the data network, if I want to use 20gb that's my choice I paid for it and didn't switch for a reason. If there's a strain on there network they should take the billions they make and reinvest in towers. Sprint offers truly unlimited and they have increased there profit share for the last 3 years! Wake up att people will leave and get out of contract cause there not receiving the services we signed up with. Quite being greedy it isn't our fault your sub par lawyers couldn't figure out a way to buy the crappy company I work for and lost you 3 plus billion

2Gb's puts up in TOP 5% , time to boycott this monopoly.. Please inform of is of any offical class action suit. If this went to trial, they would lose, I assure you.. Even if it states contract TOS may change at anytime, this is still considered unfair business and would be an easy win! It falls along the lines of a bait and switch. AT&T advertises iphone as it has thousands of appz, stream TV, listen to radio.. But don't use it because your service will be cut.. Total BS!!! AT&T, you FAIL EPICALLY!

This is absurd. The contact says that if I am abusing or compromising their network, they can throttle. I am not going that. I watch 30 minutes of video during lunch break at work. This uses about 4.5 gigs of data a month. My plan I signed a new contract for was unlimited unless I'm abusing the network. I am not abusing it, I'm simply using it. I would love to return the phone for a Sprint phone but I can't because I am past the return policy. This is an evil practice. When I got my first text warning, they should have said that the "reduced" speeds would be 3% of my original speed. I would have cancelled immediately. Now it is too late and I have an unusable phone that has a severely limited "unlimited data plan." this is misrepresentation and I would gladly partiipate in a class action law suit. The should give me the cost of my data and phone (which I can't return) IN ADDITION to the last 2 years of "unlimited data" I paid for with the expectation of it not just being "unlimited when you don't use it very much but limited if you use it more." I am not a bad guy. I am not abusing the network by using p2p or tethering hacks. I watch 30 minutes of video a day during my lunch hour at work. AT&T should be able to provide this. Now I can't even load webpages and am locked in. I hope someone with legal connections is listening! Please help!

I received the 5% message for my unlimited plan this month. I was at 2.048GB.
It's good to know that unlimited=2GB but the top 5% crap lets them set a moving cap that no one can ever contest. I wonder if all unlimited plan holders get it? At what point in the billing cycle does the witch hunt start?
"We're writing because you are in the top 5 percent of heaviest data users for this billing cycle. Because we recognize that data usage can change from month to month, you will not see reduced speeds this billing cycle.
Beginning with your next billing cycle, we'll send you a text message if you are approaching the top 5 percent of heaviest data users. We'll also send you a second text message if you cross into the top 5 percent of heaviest users, at which point you may see reduced speeds for the rest of the month."

I got a nasty top 5% after using only 1.6GB. What full of sh!t. I hope there will be a class action lawsuit.

I received a few warnings and then a notice that I had reached the top 5% this month. My data has been throttled to well below the standard level of speed/service I had come to expect. By allowing me to pull 10 to 30GB over the past year without warning or notice, hasn't At&t passively agreed to my usage being acceptable and set a precedent for a standard of service/speed? Also how much can they alter your service? Are their no consumer protections/rights? Can a large corporate write a contract that ONLY the consumer is beholden to (early termination fees) but that the provider has every right to change for any reason on a whim? Seems like such a contract should be attacked at it's foundation if it's not really a contract at all but a means by which a corporation can enslave the populance...I say enslave and feel justified. Did you know that the United Nations has proposed that Internet Access be a human right? Many countries have already passed measures declaring it a human right...Do these wireless carriers really have a fundamental right to completely control the transfer of data over an infrastructure that was build with tax dollars collected from EVERYONE and fees collected from consumers - with consumers having paid taxes and fees to put the infrastructure in place that at&t and other wirless carriers now hijack and mete out at their pleasure?? I've lodged a complaint with at&t every single day that my data has been throttled. My case eventually made it to the office of the president. I was optomistic that at&t would help me, provide additional information, soemthing for this customer who has been loyal for 10 years. This is exactly what I got:
If my alleged heavy use was causing a data crunch, wouldn't myself an dother "heavy users" be the first to experience it? I'm a reasonable person, can you provide proof of this data crunch?
AT&T: We don't have to prove anything to you.
AT&T: We reserve the right to change your service any time it pleases us.
AT&T: Do you have any other quesitons.
Basically, they feel they can strongarm us. It's up to us to prove that they cannot: Call every single day and lodge a complaint, ask them to record it. Write the CEO and other higher ups of AT&T Wireless. File a complaint with the FCC from time to time: How can AT&T continue to advertise themselves as the fastest network but provide dial up speeds to some consumers? Also, write a cease and desist notice to At&t asking them to cease and desist throtting your data UNTIL: 1. This issue is resolved in an mutually agreed upon way. 2. The lawsuit regarding phantom charges and overbilled data is resolved - how can you be sure you really did use 5 GB of data or are in at&t's top 5% is their entire process or ability to accurately measure data is currently the subject of an open case in court?

The comment I got from the AT&T rep explains it perfectly if u switch to the 2gb plan and pay for the extra your speeds wont b throttled funny how their network can handel all the data if I pay the extra but can't with the unlimited plan. It isn't enough that I have a five phone line plan all have Internet packages only one of them is unlimited and spend 300 dollars a month on a cell bill. My phone got throttled and made it virtually worthless I might as well as used it as an I pod cause that's all I could do with it pretty much. I understand if they change their practices but if I have to change the way I use my phone bc I only use it for the things they offer I don't teather or it's not jailbroken I refuse to stay with at&t bc the only thing they care about is their greed. So nice job AT&T bc the only thing u used to have going for u is the I phone and now ur not the only one. My guess is everyone with the unlimited plan will eventually feel it bc if I get throttled this month and slow my usage guess who they will come after next the next person in line who has an unlimited plan untill they pretty much hit everyone with unlimited . Bottom line is it has to do with one thing and one thing only $$$$ thanks AT&T I hope it costs u a fortune in lost customers. I wish I had an option to change the contract like AT&T does cause I'd tell them to take their phones and shove them well u know the rest

Just because some of you don't use your smart phones as much as others is besides the issue! Why do you even care what if people use 1gig or 100!!! Mad because you didn't have the for site to get unlimited data plans when they first came out!? I have a iPhone since day one... I use it for work the majority of the time... I am a sound engineer and use pandora for all my break music for festivals, concerts, parties, touting bands etc... I stream and download shows and movies for home since I don't watch tv often and see no reason to pay $80 a month for cable because I thought I had unlimited data...(yes, I know it's still "unlimited" technically) but in reality it is not since apps don't work as intended and it takes 3 hours to download something if it downloads at all because of time outs. The gps app doesn't even run as it should. Web pages time out due to slow speeds... This is causing problems with my work daily! How about we ration gas... You only get 30 gallons a month at market cost, if you go over $10 a gallon. It's not my fault you drive a bigger car or chose to have a wife and kids you need to haul around. I can hear all the suv owners and pickup truck owners pissing and don't give me the "you shouldn't use that much data" speach. I paid for unlimited data for the last 5+ years for a reason... I use it, I need it for reasons that quit frankly are none of your damn business! I'm getting we are getting screwed and everyone should be pissed about this.... They won't stop here...

I used only over 2 gigs and I've been throtelled. I'd like to see a report that shows 2.gigs is top 5%. My friend has Verizon iphone and he get super fast downloads. Hes's doing over 17 gigs.

*** MUST READ ***

Throttling is bulls**t! I don't think it's right for AT&T to do something like this I pay $115 a month for "unlimited data" and they can just slow my speeds down because they r mad cuz some wise guys hacked their system n made it available to the world to jb? AT&T will lose a ton of customers for doing this including me if they don't fix it soon. They need to get slapped with a lawsuit for this stupid bs they are pulling. and on top of that AT&T will lie to you if u call and ask them what's up with the top 5% text they will tell u to not use ur data untill u fall out of the top 5% knowing damn well ur speeds r throttled for the rest of the billing cycle

AT&T Data Throttling IRS all a big scam
In regards to this message from AT&T 
""""""ATT Free Msg: Your data usage is among the top 5% of users. Data speeds for this bill cycle may be reduced. Visit or call 8663447584.""""""
When you visit the above web site it directs you to buy extra gigs of data at $10.00 per gig. As long as you are paying for it, there is no problem with congestion.  
everybody should use as much data as possible to teach them that we are not giving up in this fight.  Stream anything live as you sleep to really show them what data congestion is all about. 

AT&T Data Throttling It's all a big scam
In regards to this message from AT&T 
""""""ATT Free Msg: Your data usage is among the top 5% of users. Data speeds for this bill cycle may be reduced. Visit or call 8663447584.""""""
When you visit the above web site it directs you to buy extra gigs of data at $10.00 per gig. As long as you are paying for it, there is no problem with congestion.  
everybody should use as much data as possible to teach them that we are not giving up in this fight.  Stream anything live as you sleep to really show them what data congestion is all about. 

This is ridiculous BS. I've paid for unlimited data since the iPhone 3G, thats $30 every month for 2 iphones and then an ipad so in data I pay $90 a month, just for two iphones I'm paying $200 a month. I received the Top 5% message last month and this month and guess what I was nowhere near 5gb. First of all I signed up for unlimited data, then AT&T said they had 5gb soft cap, so ok...I didn't use 5gb that often. However with the Iphone 4S data usage is way more. I use about 6GB a month and not every month. This month I got the message at almost that fair? way. I am not doing anything illegal and I have a job and a life but I also use my phone to its fullest. I stream music, watch videos, listen to podcasts and use my apps such as netflix, hulu, pandora, lastfm, instacast, icatcher etc..... I don't consider myself an abuser. Getting throttled at not even 2gb is infuriating and you can't really do much except listen to podcasts. I would love a credit for all the months and months I barely used any data at all.

AT&T is really pulling some shady ass s@#t on this one and it's blatantly obvious what they're to do. They want everyone who is "grandfathered" in to free unlimited data plan to have to pay extra now for what we used to get as regular service and they need a class action lawsuit for this!!! I have my doubts as to the validity of that whole "top 5% of data users" BS anyway. I think they send that to EVERYONE who is still on the unlimited data contract so they can slow you down , make you mad, and make you pay extra! I know there's no way I use that much data! I use my phone pretty much for online shopping like eBay and other sites. I don't stream videos or music or pandora or podcast or none of that stuff! An occasional few YouTube video here and there, a couple of songs off iTunes once every couple of months and that's about it for me! I'd say my Internet usage averages lest than one hour a day easy!!! Whatever it's is it's the same as it was when I entered into my contract! Now just because they have more customers now than when I got my plan they shouldn't be allowed to take away what was fine for 3 YEARS now because of an increase in customers(which is also an increase in revenue). They should take some of that increase money and UPGRADE their system to handle the need of more data due to an increase in customer base. That's just part of being in business!!! It's just like if you move into a developing area and you establish over a period of time how much power you use monthly to go thru your everyday activities at home(tv, washing,cooking)and you pay about the same month to month. But now there's 4 big new housing tracks that have just been built so the power company tells you that you're in "the top 5% of power users" so you will now receive enough power to run only one large appliance and one small one. But for so much extra a month you can have back the same service that was once the norm. Would that be ok too? NO!! AT&T should(and if they won't they should be forced to)do like the power company DOES and UPGRADE THEIR GRID and honor the unlimited data contracts they hold. Trying to take stuff away or charge you for it now is some REPUBLICAN S@#T(yeah I said it)!!! Trust me if they honored all of the unlimited contracts legitimately the CEO and board of directors of the CORPORATION, would still make more money than their grandchildren's grandchildren will ever need. Think about it.........

I blow 5 gigs in 5 days. Getting ready for a long slow month. I drive for a living. I stream iheart radio and YouTube all the time. All day streamer. It's about time AT&T catches on with the times. We are DATA HOGS. THE DAM PHONE IS A DATA HOG. LIVE WITH IT AT&T. GET WITH THE PROGRAM.

This has also happened to me and a bunch of my friends. I don't think this is right. They said unlimited not unlimited depending on how much you use. I'm don't even use data that much if you ask me.

After having an iPhone for the last 4+ years with unlimited data, this is getting old. Quickly. I stream pandora daily. Watch YouTube videos for daily laughs. Even the radio in my truck is pandora compatible as long as you USB your phone into it. Well AT&T, the unlimited data was all that had kept me as a customer. Bill me my disconnect. This week I'm moving to sprint. So much for the "thank you for being a valued AT&T customer" line and ridderick mess you've always touted when I call in to customer service.

To the People that are saying that they promised unlimited data but not 3G speeds, how would you like it if your employer said they were going to give you an unlimited amount of money, but then they started to give you a penny a day. You wouldn't be mad right? After all they are giving you the unlimited amount they promised, only at a rate of 30 cents a month... Mine started getting throttled right when I reached 2gb, you can't really believe I'm in the top 5% after reading that alot of other people use 5 and 10 gb in a few days. It takes me 10 minutes to load a 1:30 minute long video. And I read my contract, no where does it say anything about a limit or cap

obviously I could not read through all of these comments, but I'm noticing most people stating the "Top 5%" are data abusers going over the 5GB cap. I just received an email from AT&T advising I was now among this elite group. I did not, however, receive a text message and it said I wouldn't encounter slower speeds this cycle. (I'm guessing this is some type of warning message?) I guess the important thing to add here is my current data is juuuust over 2,000MB. So, if our contracts state we can use up to 5,000MB (or 5GB), then why am I being warned at a rate not even half that? I'm thoroughly confused and annoyed at this new policy. I do hope they find a way to appease their loyal customers, or a lot of people will be switching providers.

Just receive a text from AT&T that my data usage is near 3GB and if i exceed 3GB during this or future billing cycles will result in reduced data speeds... WTF! I thought it was for the top 5%... Message below:
ATT Free Msg: Your data usage is near 3GB this month. Exceeding 3GB during this or future billing cycles will result in reduced data speeds, though you'll still be able to email & surf the web. Wi-Fi helps you avoid reduced speeds. Visit or call 866-344-7584 for more info.

Idiot it is a part of my job. I use over 18GB a mo at work . Try again it is a money scam not a bandwidth congestion issue. I live in a town of 650 people with 4-6 AT&T towers within range. 2 within 1 mile either direction. So why am I being throttled at 2.1GB? Even though policy states 3gb limit? I'll be filling along with the others in small claims.